Phantoms flat while Saints sizzle
Two quick goals help Dubuque snap Youngstown’s winning streak
By Tom Williams
Minus their second-leading scorer and the USHL’s offensive player of the week, the Youngstown Phantoms came out flat in Friday’s battle of the unbeatens at the Covelli Centre.
JT Stenglein, who also is the second-leading scorer in the USHL with seven points, was suspended for one game for an after-the-whistle confrontation in last Saturday’s win over the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
Taking full advantage were the Dubuque Fighting Saints who limited the Phantoms to 13 shots in a 4-1 victory. The Saints (4-0-0) kept Austin Cangelosi, the league’s leading scorer, off the scoresheet.
“It was the worst game we’ve played,” Phantoms head coach Anthony Noreen said after his team’s four-game winning streak was snapped.
“The 13 shots [were] not a result of us not taking shots, it was the result of our play in all three zones,” Noreen said. “We didn’t do enough to help ourselves.
The Phantoms (4-1-0) were skating uphill most of the way after surrendering two goals in the first four minutes.
First, John Stevens bounced a pass off the backboard to Frankie DiChiara in front of the net. DiChiara’s quick shot beat Phantoms goaltender Sean Romeo. Stevens is the son of Los Angeles Kings assistant coach John Stevens, who (thanks to the NHL lockout) wasin attendance.
Seventy-one seconds later, Jarrid Privitera tapped a pass from Peter Quenneville into the net for a two-goal lead.
“Anytime you score two goals on your first two shots, it gives you a lot of momentum, especially on the road,” Saints head coach Jim Montgomery said.
The Phantoms managed six shots in each of the first two periods.
“That’s as good of a team as we’ve seen,” Noreen said. “No doubt about it, they are good defensively. “
Their forecheck was even better in the final 20 minutes, allowing just one shot on goaltender Arthur Brey.
After a sluggish start, Romeo kept the game close worse when he stopped Privitera on a breakaway during the Phantoms’ first power-play chance.
But five minutes into the second period, Alex Fossen beat Romeo with a backhand shot for a 3-0 lead.
Mac MacSorley beat Brey for his first USHL goal midway through the second period.
“Take away the first four minutes and it’s an even hockey game,” Noreen said. “That’s a learning lesson for our guys — you can’t afford to spot a team as good as that two goals early.
“And you’re never out of a game,” Noreen said. “We had a couple of breakaways to try and get [the lead] down to and we just didn’t put the puck away.”
Late in the second period, Brey stuffed Cangelosi on a breakaway to preserve a 3-1 lead. Seconds later, the Saints’ Seamus Malone stole the puck from a Phantoms defender at the blue line and but was thwarted by Romeo on his breakaway attempt.
DiChiara’s empty-net goal ended the Phantoms’ comeback hopes.