Hallo-win: Phantoms ice Indiana to end six-game losing streak
By Brandon judeh
There were plenty of tricks and treats provided by the Youngstown Phantoms on Halloween.
The biggest treat of them all was their 6-5 win over the Indiana Ice, snapping their 7-game losing streak.
The Samhain proved to be the ending of a dark chapter of the Phantoms’ (5-7) season and the beginning of something new.
“It feels good to get the monkey off of our back; it was one of those games where nothing came easy,” said Phantoms head coach Anthony Noreen.
“The most important part was our process and the way we played the game.”
Perhaps the biggest reason Youngstown was able to pull out the victory was staying out of the penalty box.
Coming into the game the Phantoms were the second-most penalized team in the United States Hockey League.
“It was extremely important to stay out of the box; we talked about it a lot,” said Noreen. “We did a great job of moving our feet and playing the game clean.”
It wasn’t an easy night for Noreen’s team as it constantly battled the Ice (3-10-1) in a back and forth contest.
The third period looked more like a video game as the two teams combined for six goals.
Coming into the third Youngstown held a 3-2 lead, but that was quickly erased when Indiana forward Drew Smolcynski scored one of his four goals.
After the Phantoms took a 5-3 lead off goals by Luke Stork and John Padulo, Smolcynski answered with his third and fourth goals to knot the game at five.
With 9:49 left, Phantoms forward Todd Koritzinsky stepped up in a big way by finding the back of the net to give his team a huge win.
“It feels great; anytime you have a losing streak you need to come together as a team and that’s what we did tonight, we played a good 60 minutes,” said Koritzinsky.
The night started out on a bad note for the Phantoms. Down 1-0, they appeared to tie the game early in the second period, but the goal sailed off the inside of the crossbar.
Two minutes later they responded with a goal by Sam Anas to lock the game at one.
With the score tied at two and less than 30 seconds remaining JT Stenglein made a spectacular back-handed goal to give Youngstown a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission.
Six different Phantoms scored, including Tommy Davis. Youngstown out-shot the Ice 30-19.