YOUNGSTOWN, OH— A four goal deficit was not enough to keep the Youngstown Phantoms (2-6-0-2) down, as they came all the way back but lost in a shootout to the Central Illinois Flying Aces Friday night at the Covelli Centre.
The Aces came flying out of the gate, getting on the board early just over a minute into the game off the stick of Philip Elgestal.
The Phantoms would tie the game four minutes and twenty seconds later as Joey Abate was able to block a pass and found himself on a breakaway, and he fired the puck past the Aces netminder, Ryan Snowden for his first of the night.
The remainder of the first period would see three more Central Illinois goals and Head Coach Brad Patterson would opt for a change in net, as newly acquired Christian Stoever (14 saves) would enter the game in relief of Jon Mor (8 saves).
Gianfranco Cassaro stopped the bleeding on the Britton Gallagher Power Play. Cassaro picked up the puck at the point and fired a snap shot through traffic to bring the Phantoms within two.
Central Illinois would pick up right where they left off as Lynden Breen picked up a pair of goals to start the second period, but Joey Abate would not be denied as he would net his second goal of the game redirecting a shot from the point to pull the Phantoms within three goals.
The third period was dominated by the Phantoms, outshooting the Flying Aces 12 to 5. Abate would complete the hat trick on the Power Play, redirecting another shot that trickled past Snowden to cut the deficit to two just over six minutes into the period.
Trevor Kuntar would pull the Phantoms within one, as he spun and fired a shot from the high slot at the 14:44 mark. The Phantoms kept the pressure on and would again score on the Power Play, as Jack Malone banged home a backdoor pass from Abate to complete the comeback and tie the game at 6.
Overtime was dominated by the Phantoms, but Snowden stood on his head stopping what would have been Abate’s fourth goal of the night, right on the doorstep and the game would head to a shootout.
Trevor Janicke would score the lone goal in the shootout and the Flying Aces picked up the extra point.
The Phantoms and Flying Aces meet again tomorrow night at the Covelli Centre, broadcasts are available on HockeyTV and Western Reserve Radio. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm.
By the Numbers
Shots – 37
Saves – 8 (Mor) 14 (Stoever)
Power Play – 4/7
Penalty Kill – 2/3
Goals – Abate (3, 2 on PP); Cassaro (PP); Kuntar; Malone (PP)
Assists – Robertson (3); DeMelis (2); Cassaro; Abate; 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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