CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The first USHL hat trick for Chase Gresock and 29 saves from Ivan Prosvetov helped pace the Youngstown Phantoms (13-10-3-1, 30 points) to a 4-2 victory over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Saturday night at Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. The win snapped Youngstown’s five-game losing streak and Cedar Rapids’ eight-game point streak.
“I thought the first 20 minutes that we had may have been the best 20 that we’ve had all year,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “Just from a defensive standpoint and playing the right way and being rewarded for it…There was some adversity during the game and the guys shone through and I’m proud of them.”
Gresock opened the scoring just 1:11 into the game, converting a 2-on-1 rush with Matt Barry, giving Youngstown a 1-0 lead. Gresock’s second of the game came at 8:19, firing home a rebound of a Mike Regush shot, giving the Phantoms a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. “Chase was great,” said Patterson. “Over the past couple of weeks, I think he’s been very good for us, but he stepped it up a notch and was really a man out there tonight.”
Cedar Rapids scored the only goal of the second period, cutting the Youngstown lead in half. Graham Slaggert sneaked between two defenders and slid a backhander through Prosvetov’s five-hole at 9:00 for his sixth of the season, cutting the Youngstown lead to 2-1. The RoughRiders tied it on the power play at 8:06 of the third; Nick Cardelli shoveled the puck past Prosvetov during a net-mouth scramble for his fourth of the season, knotting the game at 2.
Gresock came to the rescue just over two minutes later, springing free behind the defense and snapping a wrist shot past Jiri Patera (31 saves) from the hashmarks at 10:14 for his tenth of the season, giving Youngstown a 3-2 lead. Max Ellis added an empty net goal at 19:32 to make up the final margin.
The Phantoms will return to the Hawkeye State next weekend to battle the Dubuque Fighting Saints in a weekend series that begins on January 12. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:05pm Eastern and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV and Dubuque Super Hits 106.1 FM.
By the Numbers
Shots – 35
Saves – 29
Power Play – 0/2
Penalty Kill – 2/2
Goals – Ellis, Gresock (3)
Assists – Barry, Joyaux (2), Regush (2), Thomson
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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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