By matthew Peaslee
The Youngstown Phantoms dropped their sixth game in a row Friday night falling to the Lincoln Stars, 4-1.
But they may have their answer to break out of the slump for the next seven games.
The seventh-round selection in the 2012 USHL draft from New Albany joined the Phantoms on Friday after 12 games with the U18 Junior Blue Jackets, a Youngstown farm team.
Sherwood entered as a reserve against Lincoln and took four shots.
“He was arguably one of the best players on the ice from both teams,” said Phantoms coach Anthony Noreen. “He got out of the car after the four hour ride and jumped right in. Not only did he play with the top line, he added something to the top line.”
A left winger, Sherwood played alongside Youngstown leaders Austin Cangelosi and JT Stenglein for most of the second and third periods.
“Obviously they’re very talented and the way they play is very easy to adjust to,” Sherwood said. “It’ll be a pleasure to play next to them.”
Even though he only met his new teammates briefly before the game, Sherwood — a Miami (OH) commit — enjoyed the new atmosphere.
“It’s a good group of guys,” he said. “Very welcoming. It won’t be long before we turn this thing around.”
The Stars (7-0) scored less than three minutes into regulation, but the Phantoms answered six minutes later.
Todd Koritzinsky delivered a sharp pass to Luke Stork who dished it to Stenglein. After a scrum at the net, Stork punched it in for his third goal of the season.
The Phantoms (4-6) had 30 shots on goal.
“That’s the second-most chances we’ve had all year,” Noreen said. “It wasn’t lack of effort or trying to be cute or gritty.
“We limited them to three chances and they scored on all of them.”
Lincoln scored two more in the first period, but not again until six seconds were left in the third when Dominik Shine made an empty net goal.
“It was a huge step in the right direction,” Noreen said. “That was as good as we’ve been all year.
“Games we’ve won, games we’ve lost. That’s as good as we’ve been, as far as sticking to our game plan, the entire season.”
That’s not to say they aren’t frustrated.
“It’s a long season,” Stenglein said. “If we go on our skid now and then get a win streak going — looking back at the end of the season we can laugh at this.”
Patrick Spano started in goal for Youngstown, but was replaced with Sean Romeo. They combined for 27 saves.