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Storm Spoil Season Opener

By Sean Stewart, 09/27/18, 9:30PM EDT


Eckerle’s Two Goal night Stymies Comeback Effort

CRANBERRY, PA— The Youngstown Phantoms comeback fell just short as the Phantoms fell 5-4 to the Tri-City Storm. The Storm opened the scoring at 5:02 of the first as Brad Morrissey found a loose puck on the Power Play and smacked the puck into the back of the net.

Liam Robertson got the Phantoms on the board for the first time this season with a rocket of a one-timer off the pads of Storm netminder Jake Barczewski to knot the game up at 1 at the 10:11 mark, but Connor McMenamin would answer right back to put the Storm ahead by 1 heading into the break.

Joey Abate would net his first of the season with a wicked redirect that found twine to put the game even at 2 just 55 seconds into the second frame but just under three minutes later Jake Crespi would get that goal back to put the Storm back up by 1 and then Benji Eckerle would get one more with 11.6 seconds remaining in the period to go up by two.

Eckerle would net his second of the night 11 minutes into the third and the Phantoms furious comeback effort would begin.

Matt DeMelis would fire a wrister from the high slot that found the twine to bring the Phantoms within two and then Gianfranco Cassaro would walk in from the blue line and fire a laser of his own to decrease the deficit to one goal. Both goals came on the Power Play.

The comeback would fall just short as the Phantoms could not break through Tri-City’s defense as the game came to a close.

The Phantoms return to action this Sunday at 1:00PM as they take on the Dubuque Fighting Saints, a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Semi-Final matchup. Broadcasts will be available on both Western Reserve Radio and HockeyTV.

By the Numbers

Shots – 33

Saves – 24

Power Play – 3/5

Penalty Kill – 3/4

Goals – Robertson (PP), Abate, DeMelis (PP), Cassaro (PP)

Assists – Cassaro (2), Murray, Abate, Kraemer, Dennison

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Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 17th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2018-19. 57 players were chosen in the 2018 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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