Phantoms win 4-3 in overtime shootout
Mark Bores scored the only goal in the shootout against the U.S. team.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Defenseman Mark Bores scored the only goal in a shootout, and Ryan Zapolski stopped all nine shooters he faced in the overtime session to give the Mahoning Valley Phantoms a 4-3 win over the U.S. National Team, winning the shootout 1-0.
After both teams failed to convert on their first eight rounds of the shootout, Bores skated in from right to left and roofed a wrist shot over the left shoulder of U.S. goaltender Nick Maricic.
"I asked [goaltender Bryce] Merriam where I should go. He said that [Maricic] was covering the five-hole well. So I came across wide to freeze him and just beat him high," Bores said.
Zapolski secured the win when he stopped Danny Kristo's effort to extend the shootout. Twice the Phantoms avoided losing in extra time. Robbie Czarnik's shot hit the crossbar with two seconds remaining in overtime, and again when Jordan Schroeder's seventh-round shootout attempt hit the iron.
The Phantoms fell behind in the first period. Michael Cichy forced a turnover behind the Phantoms' net and quickly fed Vinny Saponari, who was alone at the top of the crease. Saponari tapped the puck past Ryan Zapolski for his second goal of the season at the 5:05 mark.
The Phantoms (6-6-1) had five power play chances in the opening period, but could not convert any of them.
The U.S. (6-6-1) added to their lead on their second power play, a goal by Stephen Rogers.
Mahoning Valley cut the deficit in half with a 5-on-3 power play goal in the second period. Chris Fairbanks shot from the slot was blocked by Maricic. Derek Graham gathered the rebound in front of the goal line and roofed the puck over Maricic's left leg at 9:03.
The Phantoms tied the score when Bill Stemzynski sent a low wrist shot that was stopped by Maricic. Nick Kulas quickly scooped up the puck and shot it off Maricic's right skate and into the net with 8:30 remaining.
Team USA's Steven West scored at 2:43 of the third, but the Phantoms tied it, again on a two-man advantage, on Fairbanks seventh goal of the season with 11:11 remaining.
The Phantoms outshot the U.S., 34-21, and finished 2-for-12 on power plays while the U.S. was 2-for-4.
The Phantoms play the U.S. Under-18 team tonight at 7. The game will be webcast on www.mvpphantoms.com.