MIDDLETON, WI – A four-point night for Max Ellis, a three-point night for Michael Callahan, and 34 saves from Ivan Prosvetov helped the Youngstown Phantoms (23-18-4-1, 51 points) overcome three separate one-goal deficits to down the Madison Capitols 5-3 Friday night at Bob Suter Capitol Ice Arena.
“I liked the resiliency of the guys for sure,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “I felt like there were multiple times tonight when we were on the cusp of going up, so to not get discouraged by a couple of plays, it was huge, and the guys kept pushing forward and got the result in the end.”
Madison opened the scoring early in the first period. After knocking a point-to-point pass into the neutral zone, Mick Messner went on a breakaway and beat Prosvetov with a wrist shot from below the hashmarks at 2:08 to put the Capitols ahead 1-0. Youngstown answered back just minutes later when Matt Barry pounded home a backdoor pass at 4:48 to knot the game at 1-1. The Capitols regained the lead at 19:28 on a Mike Mancinelli goal, giving them a 2-1 advantage at the first intermission.
The Phantoms tied the game 4:34 into the second with a power play goal. Ellis found Eric Esposito with a shot-pass from the right point to the left post where Esposito had the easy redirect for the goal, his 13th of the year, evening the score at 2-2. Madison took the lead back with a Ludwig Stenlund goal at 7:49, but Dalton Messina scored a shorthanded goal at the 19:00 mark to level the game once again. Messina’s initial shot was stopped by Dryden McKay (38 saves), but Messina kept digging for the rebound and eventually the puck slid across the goal line for Messina’s fourth goal of the season.
After trailing or being tied for most of the game, Youngstown took the lead with a power play goal 6:12 into the third period. Chase Gresock redirected a Callahan shot from center point for his 21st goal of the year, putting the Phantoms ahead 4-3. It was Callahan’s third assist of the night, his first multi-point game in the USHL. “I thought ‘Cally’ was great tonight,” said Patterson. “He was out there a lot. (He) really simplified his game, and you wouldn’t think that if you looked at the scoresheet, you’d think he did something extra. He’s very calm and collected on the puck and that’s huge for us back there.” Ellis wrapped the game up with an empty net goal at 19:05, his 12th tally of the season, joining Callahan in setting new career-highs for points in a game. “I thought (Max) was tremendous tonight,” added Patterson. “Max is great when he’s moving his feet, and I thought that was an area of his game that he was really good at tonight.”
The win broke Youngstown’s three-game losing streak and keeps the Phantoms within two points of second place Dubuque in the Eastern Conference standings as the season enters its final quarter. Youngstown and Madison wrap up their season series tomorrow night with the Phantoms looking to split the four games with a victory. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm Eastern, and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.
By the Numbers
Shots – 42
Saves – 34
Power Play – 2/3
Penalty Kill – 3/3
Goals – Barry, Ellis, Esposito, Gresock, Messina
Assists – Callahan (3), Ellis (3), Gresock, Regush
For all the latest news, follow the Phantoms on Twitter (@YtownPhantoms) and ‘Like’ them on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/YoungstownPhantoms). A full version of the Phantoms 2017-18 season schedule, as well as season tickets and mini-plan packages, is available now by visiting www.YoungstownPhantoms.com. Ticket packages can also be purchased by calling (330) 747-PUCK.
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.
Youngstown Phantoms Hockey - #ItStartsHere