Youngstown, OH— The Youngstown Phantoms (0-4-0-1) jumped out to an early three goal lead but the Muskegon Lumberjacks would rally back and get the win 5-4.
Craig Needham got the Phantoms on the board first as he found himself on a breakaway but had the puck knocked loose by Egor Afanasyev who subsequently knocked the puck into his own net.
The Phantoms would stretch their lead to two as Connor MacEachern would grab a loose puck off the wall and fire a sharp angle shot passed Bussi.
Needham would net his second of the game at the 2:33 mark of the first frame as he once again found himself on an odd man rush shorthanded and put the puck through the five-hold of Bussi to give the Phantoms a three-goal lead to head into the first break.
Muskegon would storm back in the second period and net goals from Mikael Hakkarainen, Alex Gaffney, and Matthew Staudacher and we would enter the second break all knotted up at three goals apiece.
The Phantoms were able to get the puck in deep on Muskegon and get good offensive pressure as Joey Abate was able to fire a shot on net that was saved by Bussi but Matt DeMelis was right there for the rebound to put the Phantoms up 4-3 just 2:57 into the third and final frame.
Muskegon was able to battle back and tie the game a little over 2 minutes later off the stick of Cam McDonald, and would net the game winner as John Farinacci was able to gather a bounce pass off the boards and put it over Jon Mor (25 saves) to give the Jacks a 5-4 lead and the win.
The Phantoms return to action this Thursday as they start a 3-in-3 at Waterloo, then travel to Dubuque, and finish off the road trip at Cedar Rapids. Follow all the action on the Phantoms social media as well as HockeyTV.
By the Numbers
Shots – 33
Saves – 25
Power Play – 0/2
Penalty Kill – 4/5
Goals – Needham (2, SH), MacEachern, DeMelis
Assists – Messina (2), Dennison, Abate, Cassaro
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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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