The Youngstown Phantoms’ struggles on the power play continued on Thursday in the opening game of their three-game road-trip to the Great Plains.
The Fargo Force (4-2-1) killed the Phantoms’ five man-advantage opportunities in posting a 2-1 victory, extending Youngstown’s losing streak to three games.
The Phantoms (4-3-0) will be in Sioux City, Iowa, tonight to play the Musketeers (1-2-2), then travel to Sioux Falls, S.D., for Saturday’s game against the Stampede (4-2-0).
Phantoms goaltender Sean Romeo (2-2) made 37 saves.
“Sean did a tremendous job tonight,” Phantoms head coach Anthony Noreen said. “He gave us every opportunity to win. I don’t fault him at all.”
Kyle Connor scored an unassisted goal in the third period to slice the Force’s lead to one goal.
After a scoreless first period, Justin Wade beat Romeo for the game’s first goal midway through the second period. Brendan Harms assisted.
Three minutes later, the Force made it 2-0 when Jordan Nelson scored with assists by Dominic Toninato and Harms. Force goaltender Brendan Jensen made 25 saves.
The Phantoms’ penalty killers were extremely busy, killing off all nine of the Force power plays.
“It’s very hard to win a hockey game when you’re in the box for 18 minutes in the game,” Noreen said. “I’d say the good majority of penalties we took tonight are one’s we’re willing to live with — good, honest, physical penalties.”