Ryan Belonger’s unassisted goal with 2:35 remaining lifted the Youngstown Phantoms to an overtime session in Friday’s game against the Waterloo Black Hawks at Young Arena.
But Ian McCoshen’s goal with 1:14 remaining in the extra session gave the Black Hawks a 6-5 victory to knock the Phantoms out of a second-place tie with the Indiana Ice.
Indiana (30-14-6, 66 points) shut out the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 4-0, to take sole possession of second in the Eastern Conference.
Belonger’s goal earned the Phantoms (29-15-7, 65 points) a point in the standings, keeping them one ahead of the Dubuque Fighting Saints (31-15-4, 64 points), who defeated Cedar Rapids, 3-2.
The top four teams in the Eastern Conference are assured home games for the USHL Playoffs that begin the week of April 16. The top two seeds earn first-round byes.
Waterloo (26-17-6, 58 points) outshot the Phantoms, 41-28. Goaltender Matt O’Connor stopped 35 shots.
Dylan Margonari, Chris Bradley, Austin Cangelosi and Mike Ambrosia scored the other goals for the Phantoms, who were 0-for-4 on the power play.
Twice, the Phantoms had two-goal leads they couldn’t hold. Margaonari and Bradley scored late in the first period to give Youngstown a 2-1 lead.
Early in the second period, Cangelosi scored an unassisted shorthanded goal for a 3-1 advantage.
After Tony Cameranesi scored for the Black Hawks, Ambrosia scored on a feed from Pat Conte for a 4-2 lead with 3:26 remaining in the second period.
The Black Hawks stung the Phantoms for two goals before the period expired. Taylor Cammarata’s came with three seconds to go.