Phantoms’ rally comes up short

Staff report


The Youngstown Phantoms’ four-game winning streak ended Saturday in a 5-4 defeat to Team USA.

The Phantoms got goals from Kevin Liss, Mike Ambrosia, Austin Cangelosi and Ryan Belonger.

“I think if there were a few minutes left in the game, we would’ve had a chance to tie it,” Head Coach Anthony Noreen said. “That’s not an excuse though. That’s why you need to take care of business within the 60-minute frame.”

It was a back-and-fourth first period that saw the Phantoms take the lead twice. Defenseman Kevin Liss opened up the scoring 6:58 into the period when he knocked in a rebound off a Mike Ambrosia shot.

The Nationals tied it up on the power play less than two minutes later when Anthony Louis snuck one low past goaltender Matthew O’Connor.

Ambrosia caught USA goaltender Hunter Miska by surprise when he shot from center ice during a USA line change. Miska mishandled the puck.

“You’re going to get them both ways — lucky bounces and unlucky bounces — but that was fortunate for us,” Ambrosia said. “We’ve got to manufacture goals, so it’s whatever it takes.”

Connor Chatham tied the game for Team USA, which dominated the second period thanks to a four-minute double minor to Mike Gunn. Defenseman Keaton Thompson scored a pair of power-play goals. In the third period, Connor Clifton put Team USA up 5-2.

Late in the game, Cangelosi knocked in a rebound from a Chris Bradley point-shot. With the net empty again, Belonger shoved a puck five hole on Miska to make it a one-goal game with 25 seconds remaining.

“I think we showed that we’re not going to stop until the final buzzer,” Ambrosia said. “But we didn’t bring it for the full 60 minutes tonight. It’s disappointing, but we’re still 4-2.”

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