— USHL hockey—
Phantoms Cangelosi, Stenglein score for USA
yarmouth, nova scotia
When their country needed them most, Youngstown Phantoms forwards Austin Cangelosi and JT Stenglein did not disappoint.
The pair combined for three goals Sunday evening to lead Team USA to a 6-3 win over Canada West and capture the gold medal at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge.
Stenglein scored a pair of goals, including the eventual game-winner as USA secured its fourth gold medal at The Challenge in the past five years. Cangelosi, who was named to the U.S. junior select team for the second straight season, chipped in with a goal and an assist for his third multi-point game of the tournament.
“Winning gold is a tremendous accomplishment for Austin and JT,” Phantoms head coach Anthony Noreen said. “We couldn’t be prouder of the way both of them represented themselves and the Youngstown Phantoms organization.
“When the stakes were the highest, that was when they were both at their best.”
Stenglein opened the scoring 7:42 into the first period at the Mariners Center when he fired a wrist shot home from the top of the left circle. Nine minutes later, on a power play, Cangelosi dished a puck off to Vince Hinostroza and the Waterloo Black Hawks forward beat Canada West goaltender Jonah Imoo to put USA up 2-0 heading into the intermission.
Canada West came out of the locker room and rattled off three straight goals to start the second and take a 3-2 lead before the midway point of the period. Cangelosi knotted the game back up at the 12:40 mark when he cut in toward net from the left-wing side and lifted a backhand shot over Imoo’s shoulder.
Stenglein put the U.S. up for good less than three minutes later when Green Bay Gamblers forward Sheldon Dries found him on the backdoor and the Greece, N.Y., native tapped the puck into the open net. USA would get insurance goals from Alex Kile and Hinostroza in the third period to seal the win and remain undefeated at the tournament.
Noreen said that he took as much pride, if not more, in the work ethic Cangelosi and Stenglein displayed in the final, and throughout The Challenge, as he did in their offensive output.
“JT blocked a big shot in the third period and Austin was hounding down pucks all night,” Noreen said. “To see them do the things that we take so much pride in here, and see them do it on the world level with their country’s flag on their chest, it’s a special thing.”
Cangelosi, an Estero, Fla., native and Boston College recruit, finished tied for second in scoring at the World Junior A Challenge, putting up two goals and five assists for seven points in four games. Stenglein added a pair of assists along with the two goals in the gold-medal game to finish the tournament with four points.
The pair will return to the Youngstown lineup Saturday night when the Phantoms travel to play the Muskegon Lumberjacks.