FARGO, ND – A trio of power play goals proved too much for the Youngstown Phantoms to overcome as they dropped Game One of the Clark Cup Final 4-1 to the Fargo Force Friday night at Scheels Arena. Fargo leads the best-of-five series one-game-to-none.
“I thought in the first period they had us on our heels for probably two-thirds of it,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “I thought we had a really good finish to that period. I thought we had a great second…I thought we had a good start to the third as well…Our (penalty) kill has got to be better. Special teams got to be better.”
Fargo opened the scoring with a power play goal 8:58 into the first period. Evan Bell beat Ivan Prosvetov (33 saves) to the blocker side with a wrist shot from the right circle, putting the Force ahead 1-0. Fargo doubled their lead with another power play goal 14:17 into the second. Former Phantom Griffin Loughran fired home a one-timer off a nice back door feed from Robbie Stucker to give the Force a 2-0 advantage. The Fargo power play went 3-for-8 on the night. “Too many opportunities,” said Patterson. “If you give up too many to a team that’s very good, they’re going to make you pay. On our end, we need to shore up.”
Youngstown got on the board with a power play goal of their own at 17:35. Michael Joyaux blasted a one-timer from center point past Strauss Mann (24 saves) to cut the Phantoms’ deficit in half at 2-1 but Youngstown would get no closer. Fargo stretched their lead back to two with another power play goal, this one from Ben Meyers 3:43 into the third, and Garrett Van Wyhe scored an empty netter at 17:51 to push Fargo to victory.
“It’s going to be a series, and we don’t expect it to be a short one,” concluded Patterson. “Tomorrow night we hit the reset button from tonight and show up and give our best tomorrow.”
Game Two of the Clark Cup Final will be tomorrow night at Scheels Arena with puck drop scheduled for 8:10pm Eastern. The game will be broadcast on HockeyTV and simulcast on YPHR.
By the Numbers
Shots – 25
Saves – 33
Power Play – 1/7
Penalty Kill – 5/8
Goals – Joyaux
Assists – Barry, Parrottino
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