GREEN BAY, WIS.
With their top two scorers away representing their country, the Youngstown Phantoms struggled to create offense Friday at Brown County Arena. The Green Bay Gambler netted a pair of goals on the power play and their goaltender Michael Rotolo turned away all 27 shots he faced to shut out the Phantoms 5-0 in the first of a two-game set.
Goaltender Sean Romeo got the start in net for Youngstown (5-8-0, 10 points) and surrendered four goals on 13 shots in the loss. Patrick Spano came on in relief in the second period and turned away 22 of 23 pucks thrown his way.
Leading scorer Austin Cangelosi and No. 2 scorer JT Stenglein were both unavailable Friday night, and will not gone for the Phantoms next three contests while representing Team USA at the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Head coach Anthony Noreen acknowledged that the team missed the pair’s presence, but would not offer their absence as an excuse.
“Of course we missed Austin and JT,” Noreen said. “But it gives other guys the chance to step up, and the bottom line is we didn’t take advantage of the opportunity it provided those guys.”
Barrett Kaib, Trevor Olson, Jimmy Irwin and Ryan Sirocky scored for the Gamblers.
The Phantoms entered the first intermission trailing for the ninth time this season.
“You can’t expect to win if you surrender leads as early and often as we have,” Noreen said.