YOUNGSTOWN, OH – An offensive explosion in the second period provided all the offense the Youngstown Phantoms (13-12-0-3, 29 points) needed as they turned up the defense late in the third period to earn a 5-3 victory over the Sioux City Musketeers Friday night at the Covelli Centre.
“We had a spell of three or four minutes where it seemed like everything went in the back of the net,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “That’s obviously a huge momentum builder, but I think it’s just a byproduct of doing things the right way, and the guys were rewarded for it.”
Sioux City scored the lone goal of the first period, Marcus Kallionkieli wristed a shot from the top of the circles past Christian Stoever (16 saves) during a 5-on-3 power play for the Musketeers with just 18.1 seconds remaining in the opening frame to give the visitors the lead.
Jack Malone tied the game for Youngstown 1:46 into the second period. Just as a penalty to Youngstown ended, Jayson Dobay cleared the puck from behind his own goal line out to center. Dobay’s clear hit a sprawled-out Musketeer and bounced right to Malone. Malone picked up the puck with speed, cut right down the middle of the ice, and slipped a backhander through the five-hole of Ben Kraws (13 saves) to knot the game at 1-1.
The flood gates opened up at 14:59, as the Phantoms scored four goals in the next 3:17. Malone got his second of the night at the aforementioned 14:59 mark, finishing off a 2-on-1 with Brett Murray. Murray stripped a man of the puck right at the Sioux City blueline, causing the odd-man rush. Murray saucered a puck across the ice to Malone, who tipped the elevated pass into the net on the backhand to give Youngstown the lead. Murray was credited with the next goal, as just 25 seconds later, Malone threw a puck from the right corner to the mouth of the crease, where it hit Murray’s skate and deflected into the net for a 3-1 Youngstown lead. 42 seconds later, Craig Needham redirected a Dobay shot from the point past Kraws to give the Phantoms a 4-1 lead and send Kraws to the bench in favor of Jake Sibell (9 saves). Two minutes-and-ten-seconds later, Malone completed the hat trick, firing home a one-timer from the slot for a power play goal at 18:16, putting Youngstown ahead 5-1.
Sioux City tried to make a game of it with a pair of power play goals in the third period; Kallionkieli netting his second of the game at 3:52 and Parker Ford sniping one past Stoever from the right circle at 9:00, but the Musketeers could get no closer and Youngstown held on for the win.
Sioux City and Youngstown wrap up their season series Saturday night at the Covelli Centre with puck drop scheduled for 7:05pm Eastern. It’s another Youth Jersey night, the first 500 fans 12 or younger will receive a Phantoms’ jersey, courtesy of Armstrong Cable. Game broadcasts will be available on Western Reserve Radio and HockeyTV.
By the Numbers
Shots – 27
Saves – 16
Power Play – 1/2
Penalty Kill – 2/5
Goals – Malone (3), Murray, Needham
Assists – Dobay (2), MacEachern, Malone, Murray (2), Schoen