YOUNGSTOWN, OH – The Youngstown Phantoms (6-5-2-1, 15 points) used two goals from Max Ellis and 23 saves from Ivan Prosvetov to down the defending Clark Cup Champion and current first-place Chicago Steel on Saturday night at the Covelli Centre by a 4-3 final score.
“Bounce back effort from last night,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “I thought the biggest difference in the game was our intensity.”
Youngstown opened the scoring at 14:03 of the first period. Alex Barber scored his first career USHL goal, using a defender for a screen and beating Oskar Autio (21 saves) with a wrist shot from the top of the circles. “Alex Barber has been tremendous for us over the past three or four weeks,” said Patterson. “Happy to see him get his first one.”
Chicago tied it just 15 seconds into the second period when Baker Shore scored on the backhand for his seventh goal of the year. The Phantoms took the lead right back when Tommy Parrottino scored on a redirect at 1:33 for his third goal of the season. Barber took the initial shot that Parrottino deflected, and Jack Malone was credited with an assist on the goal as well.
Youngstown stretched their lead to 3-1 at 8:12 with a shorthanded goal. With Gianfranco Cassaro in the box, Ellis poked a puck away from Tyler Gratton at the Youngstown blue line and went on a breakaway. Ellis used a backhand-forehand move to beat Autio for his second goal of the season. The Steel answered back almost immediately, as Robbie Stucker scored on the backhand from in tight at 8:49 for his second goal of the year, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
Chicago tied the game with just under six minutes remaining in regulation. Jack Dugan and Blake McLaughlin entered the Youngstown zone in a 2-on-1 rush with Dugan carrying the puck down the right side. Dugan shot from the right circle, and Prosvetov made the initial save, but could not control the rebound. With the puck sitting loose at the mouth of the crease, McLaughlin poked it into the empty net for his sixth goal of the year, tying the game at 3 with 5:59 remaining in regulation and forcing overtime.
In overtime, Ellis and Parrottino entered the Chicago end in a 2-on-1 rush of their own with Ellis carrying the puck. Ellis fired a shot from the right circle, and Autio made the save but could not control the rebound. The puck fluttered to the side of the cage and below the goal line. From there, Ellis shot the puck off the back of Autio and it banked into the net for the game winner. “As the year went last year, I felt (Max) was becoming more and more dominant,” said Patterson. “He was one of our best players in the playoffs last year. He’s really started to get better away from the puck as well. He can be put out in any situation in any minute of the game.”
Youngstown returns to the ice Wednesday night for a Thanksgiving Eve special with the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:05PM Eastern and broadcasts will be available on YPHR and HockeyTV.
By the Numbers
Shots – 25
Saves – 23
Power Play – 0/3
Penalty Kill – 4/4
Goals – Barber, Ellis (2), Parrottino
Assists – Barber, Dennison, Malone, Metsa, Parrottino, Petrillo
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Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 49 players were chosen in the 2017 NHL Draft and more than 400 players on team rosters this season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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