PLYMOUTH, MI – In what turned out to be a wild game, the Youngstown Phantoms (4-1) fell 10-6 in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.
The U-17’s of the National Team Development Program got out in front in a hurry as they jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first frame. Owen Lindmark got on the board first for USA just 3:40 into the first as he picked up a rebound off Ivan Prosvetov (21 saves). The momentum quickly shifted in the NTDP’s favor as Erik Middendorf picked up a loose puck along the boards and centered a pass for Danny Weight who sent a one-timer past Prosvetov to extend their lead to 2.
Lindmark netted his second of the night, shorthanded, after Sean Farrell stole a pass in their own end and got it up to Lindmark who put on the jets and netted the breakaway goal.
The Phantoms needed to shake things up and Prosvetov was pulled in favor of Wouter Peeters (5 saves). Just under two minutes later Henry Thrun capitalized on the power play to put the U-17’s up 4-0.
“Give ourselves a fighting chance and chip away,” Head Coach Brad Patterson said to his team. “We did that and came within an inch of tying it up.”
Marshall Warren scored early in the second frame to extend USA’s lead by 5, but Jason Smallidge (1pt) would get his first of the playoffs at 1:57 off a rebound and a wild second period was just getting started.
“I know what we have in that room and I know what our response was going to be.” Patterson said.
Thirteen seconds after the Smallidge goal, Lindmark completed the hat trick to put the U-17’s up 6-1. The Phantoms fought back with two quick goals of their own from Steve Holtz (3pts) at 10:46 and Eric Esposito (4 pts) at 11:11 and the Phantoms found themselves down only 3.
Matthew Boldy quickly changed that 55 seconds later to put the Nationals up 7-3. Prosvetov re-entered the game twelve seconds after the Boldy goal.
Joey Abate (4 pts) found some puck luck on a Holtz shot as he redirected it past Cameron Rowe to cut the deficit to 3 at 17:25. Just 60 seconds later Curtis Hall (4 pts) put the Phantoms within 2 once again.
Momentum was in favor of the Phantoms to start the third frame as Jack Malone (2 pts) made a great play to keep a puck in on the forecheck and found a wide-open Samuel Salonen (2 pts) who fired one past Rowe 1:45 into the third to bring the Phantoms within 1.
The Phantoms finally found themselves in control of the game until 11:06 of the third. USA tallied two goals 22 seconds apart from Marshall Warren and Patrick Moynihan and momentum swung back in favor of the U-17’s. Erik Middendorf put the icing on the cake at 17:51 to end a night of offensive explosion for both teams.
Games 3 and 4 will be at the Covelli Centre Friday and Saturday night at 7:05. Fans are encouraged to wear their favorite orange shirt to “Orange Out Covelli”. Broadcasts will be available on HockeyTV.com and YPHR.
By the Numbers
Shots – 35
Saves – 16
Power Play – 0/1
Penalty Kill – 3/4
Goals – Smallidge, Holtz, Esposito, Abate, Hall, Salonen
Assists – Gresock, Hall, Cardelli, Holtz, Parrottino, Malone (2)
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