YOUNGSTOWN, OH – The Youngstown Phantoms (21-15-4-1, 47 points) got 34 saves from netminder Ivan Prosvetov, helping them to a 2-1 win over the Waterloo Black Hawks Friday night at the Covelli Centre.
“I thought Ivan was great,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “It’s a shame that floater goes in, but they had good presence in front of the net. You can’t limit a Waterloo and expect that one goal is going to win it, because they’re a very good team. I thought the guys did a good job defensively.”
Youngstown opened the scoring at 17:04 of the first period with a power play goal. Chase Gresock was at the weak-side post to tap in the rebound of a Mike Regush shot for his team-leading 19th goal of the season, giving the Phantoms the 1-0 lead. The assist gives Regush points in nine-straight games, the second longest active streak in the USHL. “Mike knows that when he gets (to the front of the net) he’s going to make something good happen,” said Patterson. “He’s getting better and better and better at it.” Affiliate player John Larkin also got an assist on the play, his first USHL point.
The Phantoms doubled their lead at the 8:34 mark of the third period. Eric Esposito converted a 2-on-1 break with Nick Cardelli, tapping the puck across the goal line just before an oncoming Waterloo defender knocked the net off its pegs. The goal was Esposito’s 11th of the season, giving Youngstown the 2-0 lead.
Waterloo broke up Prosvetov’s shutout bid with 10.8 second remaining in regulation. Ben Finklestein’s floater from center point found its way to the back of the net to get the Black Hawks on the board and rob Prosvetov of his first USHL shutout. Jack Drury was awarded with an assist on the play, extending his USHL Tier-1-record scoring streak to 23 games.
“I thought it was a gutsy effort,” said Patterson. “The reason Waterloo is near the top of the standings in the West is they’re a very, very good team. They’re very, very well coached. They have a terrific bunch of forwards and defensemen, and their goaltending is great. We were treated to a good game tonight. Ultimately, I liked the way our guys played and I expect the same tomorrow, it’s going to be a hard-fought game.”
Youngstown and Waterloo wrap up their season series tomorrow night at the Covelli Centre. It’s Military Appreciation Night, the Phantoms will be wearing special jerseys to be auctioned off after the game with proceeds going to charity. Active and retired military personnel will be admitted to the game for free as well. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm Eastern and the game will be broadcast on YPHR and HockeyTV.
By the Numbers
Shots – 25
Saves – 34
Power Play – 1/1
Penalty Kill – 2/2
Goals – Esposito, Gresock
Assists – Cardelli, Hall, Regush, Larkin
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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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