The Youngstown Phantoms made the most of limited chances Sunday with a 3-2 shootout win over the Indiana Ice. The Ice racked up 40 shots, but Phantoms goaltender Sean Romeo was the difference.
Romeo turned away all but two of them through three periods and overtime and then denying both Ice skaters in the shootout.
Dan Renouf and Alexander Dahl scored in regulation while Sam Anas and Kyle Connor capitalized in the shootout to propel the Phantoms (22-19-0, 44 points) to their ninth win over their last 12 games.
It was Youngstown’s fifth win over the Ice in six games.
In a contest that hinged on special teams play, the Youngstown penalty kill was staunch and Romeo, who picked up his 18th win of the campaign, was stellar as the last line of defense.
“Your goalie’s got to be your best penalty killer and Sean was that,” Phantoms head coach Anthony Noreen said. “When they tilted the ice a little bit and took over for spurts, he held it together for us.
“He was just his calm, normal self in net.”
Renouf opened up the scoring 5:12 into the first with Phantoms down a man. The second-year Phantom intercepted a pass from Joe Fiala at the half wall, took off down the ice and strode in on a breakaway. Fiala hustled back and tried to hook him down, but the 6-foot-2 Renouf brushed the stick off and put the puck past goaltender Dalton Iyzk for his second short-handed goal of the season.
“Danny’s deceptively fast, but the thing he does really well is protect the puck,” Noreen said. “He’s got a long reach and a big stick, and when he gets an outside advantage on a guy, it’s almost impossible to catch him.”
The lead was short-lived as the Ice (16-26-4, 36 points) capitalized on their man-advantage the following shift with a goal by Matt Krug.
In the second period. Dahl put the Phantoms back in front with assists from Austin Cangelosi and Luke Stork.
The Phantoms were dealt a tough blow in the waning seconds of the second period when Cangelosi was handed a five-minute major and game misconduct for checking from behind.
The Phantoms’ penalty-killers skated off the long man-advantage.
“When we really needed the them, especially with probably our best penalty killing forward off for the whole time, they did a great job,” Noreen said. “We had some guys who had to kill penalties for the first time all year and they stepped up.”
The Ice forced overtime with Mikhail Plotnikov’s goal with three minutes remaining.
Sam Anas and Kyle Connor scored on Iyzk in the shootout.