YOUNGSTOWN, OH – The USHL’s hottest team looked just that at the Covelli Centre Thursday night, scoring five in the first period as the Omaha Lancers knocked off the Youngstown Phantoms (22-16-4-1, 49 points) 8-1 at the Covelli Centre.
“Definitely disappointing,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “You’ve got that sick feeling in your stomach. They’re a good team over there, but the areas that the Youngstown Phantoms pride ourselves on, I didn’t feel like we were at our best tonight for sure.”
Omaha jumped on the Phantoms early, Filip Suchy pouncing on an errant pass and snapping it past Ivan Prosvetov (4 saves) at 1:45 to put the Lancers ahead 1-0. Noah Cates converted a shot from the slot to double the Lancers’ lead to 2-0 at 3:04. Brendan Furry was credited with a power play goal at 10:49 after a rebound hit off his glove and into the net, and Ethan Price stole a rebound from Prosvetov and tucked it into the net at 11:48 to put Omaha ahead 4-0, chasing the Phantoms starter from the net.
Wouter Peeters (14 saves) came on in relief of Prosvetov, but surrendered a goal on the second shot he faced when Christian O’Neill slammed home a rebound at 18:03 to give the Lancers a 5-0 lead at the first intermission.
Omaha tacked two more on in the second period, Jack Randl firing a slapshot from the top of the left circle at 4:34 and Chase Brand scoring his first USHL goal at 7:55 to put the Lancers ahead 7-0 at the end of the middle frame.
Omaha added another goal 2:11 into the third period thanks to a Nick Perbix slapshot from the top of the right circle to gain an 8-0 lead, but the Phantoms weren’t done. Sam Salonen slammed home a rebound at the 18:00 mark to get Youngstown on the board and deny Vinnie Purpura (23 saves) his first USHL shutout.
“You don’t want to talk about a lesson…it’s not a good feeling,” said Patterson. “We’ve got to regroup (Saturday), come back here, and get better. We’ve got the same team and that’s a huge test for us.”
The loss broke the Phantoms’ four-game winning streak, as well as their five-game winning streak at the Covelli Centre. Youngstown remains tied with Team USA for first place in the Eastern Conference, but the Nationals have seven games in hand on the Phantoms.
Youngstown and Omaha conclude their season series Saturday night at the Covelli Centre, wrapping up the Phantoms’ five-game home stand. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm Eastern and the game will be broadcast on YPHR and HockeyTV.
By the Numbers
Shots – 24
Saves – 18
Power Play – 0/3
Penalty Kill – 3/4
Goals – Salonen
Assists – Abate, Smallidge
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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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