YOUNGSTOWN, OH— A tightly contested game all the way to the end, but the Youngstown Phantoms (5-7-0-2) found a way to take down the Muskegon Lumberjacks 4-3 at L.C. Walker Arena Saturday night.
Brett Murray put the Phantoms on the board first, as he came streaking down the left side and behind the Jacks goaltender Keegan Karki. Murray stopped and turned behind the goal line and crashed the net and banged the puck past Karki to put the Phantoms up early.
Egor Afanasyev would answer a little over a minute later as he banged a loose puck in the crease that was initially stopped by Jon Mor (24 saves) but found its way into the goal. Alex Gaffney would follow with a goal of his own from the low slot to give the Jacks a one-goal lead heading into the first break.
Out of the break the Phantoms would continue to press the Jacks and they were rewarded for their efforts.
An awkward bounce would tie the game for the Phantoms as Gianfranco Cassaro put a puck towards the net that clipped off of Jack Malone and into the net. Bobby Lynch would answer for the Jacks as a misplayed puck in the Phantoms zone found Lynch’s stick and he put it in the back of the net to give the Jacks a one goal lead
The Phantoms would come out of the intermission with great energy and would tie the game off a faceoff as Thomas Farrell cycled down from the blue line and fired a snap shot from just below the faceoff dot in the right circle.
Murray completed the comeback as he brought the puck into the offensive zone and gave the puck to Dalton Messina as Murray crashed through the slot, Messina centered the puck and Murray was able to get his stick on the puck to direct it past Karki to give the Phantoms the lead and the team’s first victory over rival Muskegon this season.
Youngstown returns to action next Friday and Saturday (11/16 & 11/17) for a pair of slates against the Central Illinois Flying Aces. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:07 EST and the broadcast is available on HockeyTV.
By the Numbers
Shots – 31
Saves – 24
Power Play – 0/3
Penalty Kill – 3/3
Goals – Murray (2), Malone, Farrell
Assists – Malone (2), MacEachern, Cassaro, Messina, Farrell
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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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