By John Kovach
YOUNGSTOWN — The 1-2 punch of forward Jefferson Dahl and goalie Jordan Tibbett enabled the Youngstown Phantoms to build 3-0 and 4-1 leads over the Waterloo Black Hawks Tuesday night, in an United States Hockey League East Division game.
But then the Phantoms had to summon all defensive forces, including a strong final-seconds performance by Tibbett, to turn back a determined Waterloo comeback in the final period and escape with a 4-3 win in their first home game since Dec. 10 at the Covelli Centre.
Dahl connected for two goals and one assist while Tom Serratore and Scott Mayfield also scored for the Phantoms (13-11-2, 28 points).
Brock Monpetit, Sorren Jonzzon and Nick Ebert each scored a goal for Waterloo (9-15-1, 19 points), but not until the Phantoms took a 3-0 advantage in the second period on Dahl’s two goals and Serratore’s tally.
Dahl’s two goals and one assist gave him 18 points for second place in team scoring, three points behind Taylor Holmstrom who has 21. Dahl also now has 11 goals to take the team lead.
Youngstown managed to hold off Waterloo despite the Black Hawks’ 44-23 advantage in shots and a 12-5 margin in power plays. Each team scored twice on power plays.
Coach Bob Mainhardt of the Phantoms said Tibbett “was the difference tonight. He did his job stopping pucks. There was a big differential in power plays and shots, and you get the advantage of shots when you have more power plays.”
Tibbett finished with 41 saves while Waterloo goalie C.J. Motte had 19.
Mainhardt also lauded Dahl’s strong offensive showing.
“He was doing a lot of the little things that were getting him to the net and giving him a lot of opportunities,” said Mainhardt. But, “He’s had a lot of good games.”
The Phantoms, also coming off a four-game away trip, will go back on the road for their next three games at Cedar Rapids Thursday at 8:05 p.m., and then at Green Bay Saturday and Sunday at 8:05 and 1:05 p.m. respectively.
They will return home next week to play Fargo Jan. 8 and Jan. 9 at 7:15 p.m. at the Covelli Centre.
The Phantoms struck first in the game on Dahl’s shorthanded and unassisted goal with 11:20 remaining in the first period for a 1-0 lead.
Then in the second period, Youngstown capitalized on a power play when Serratore found the net with 9:19 elapsed on assists from Dahl and David Donnellan for a 2-0 lead.
Then about six minutes later in the second period, Dahl struck again on assists from Stuart Higgins and Richard Young with 16:30 gone in the second for a 3-0 Phantoms’ advantage.
Waterloo finally found the scoreboard with 1:21 left in the second period when Monpetit connected.
However, the Phantoms made it 4-1 with about 10:59 left in the game when Mayfield found the net on a power play with an assist from Tibbett.