SIOUX CITY, IA – Two goals from Cole Koepke and 23 saves from Matt Jurusik proved too much for the Youngstown Phantoms (18-15-4-1, 41 points) as they fell to the Sioux City Musketeers 5-2 Friday night at the Tyson Events Center.
“It didn’t feel like a 5-2 game, that’s for sure. Obviously those two empty-netters at the end changed that score line a bit,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “I felt like we had a couple chances that their goalie makes big stops, but at the end of the day it’s a tough feeling.”
Sioux City opened the scoring early in the first period. Just after the Phantoms successfully killed off the game’s first penalty, Randy Hernandez fired a shot past Ivan Prosvetov (17 saves), off the back bar, and out of the net so quickly that during live action the shot was ruled to be off the crossbar. Upon video review minutes later, the puck could clearly be seen in the net and Hernandez was awarded the goal, giving the Musketeers the 1-0 lead at 3:28.
After a scoreless second period, Youngstown tied the game in the opening minutes of the third. Mike Regush pounded home a rebound from right at the mouth of the crease at 2:11 for his 12th of the year, tying the game at 1-1. Regush has a goal in three straight games, at least a point in six straight, and at least a point in 21 of his last 26 games. Michael Callahan was awarded an assist on the play, recording his first point as a Phantom after being acquired from the Central Illinois Flying Aces on Monday along with fellow defenseman Jason Smallidge. “I thought (Jason and Michael) got better as the game went,” said Patterson. “As the game went I thought they really became comfortable…I thought both of them were sound.”
Koepke gave Sioux City back the lead with his first goal of the night, banking a shot off Prosvetov’s side and into the net at 10:55, but Youngstown battled back. Michael Joyaux scored his first goal of the season at 15:02, knotting things back up. Joyaux’s shot from the right point hit a Musketeer stick in front and deflected past Jurusik to give the Phantoms the equalizer.
Unfortunately for the Phantoms, Sioux City had the answer once again. Ryan Liebold put home a rebound at 17:37 to give the Musketeers back the lead. Prosvetov made two quick saves in sequence on the right side of the crease, but when the second rebound popped to the mouth of the blue paint, Liebold was there to knock it home. Sioux City scored twice on the empty net, Koepke’s second of the night at 18:57 and Bauer Neudecker at 19:33 to make up the final margin. Koepke was hauled down trying to score on the empty net and was thus awarded the goal.
Youngstown and Sioux City wrap up their season series tomorrow night. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:05pm Eastern, and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV and Fox Sports 620AM in Sioux City, which is available on iheartradio.
By the Numbers
Shots – 25
Saves – 17
Power Play – 0/3
Penalty Kill – 3/3
Goals – Joyaux, Regush
Assists – Callahan, Joyaux
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