Six Phantoms score goals in Ice romp
Six different Youngstown Phantoms found the back of the net in Thursday’s 6-2 victory over the Indianapolis Ice in USHL action.
Early on, the ice appeared to be tilting in Indiana’s favor as the Ice outshot the Phantoms 11-2 to open the second period.
Then Sam Anas tucked a shot top shelf, glove side just inside the near post to grab a 2-1 lead and the goals came flooding in.
The Phantoms rattled off three more in quick succession at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The other goal scorers were Tommy Davis, Zach Evancho, Josh Nenadal, JJ Piccinich and John Padulo,
Kyle Connor doled out a pair of assists as Youngstown (23-19-0, 46 points) picked up its sixth win in seven meetings with Indiana (16-27-4, 36 points).
Goaltender Sean Romeo earned his third straight win, and 19th overall, with a 27-save performance.
“We played well in the first period, but in the second period things started opening up,” Phantoms head coach Anthony Noreen said. “We started creating more chances.
“Then we got Sammy’s goal and kind of went from there.”
Anas’ goal, his team-leading 23rd, came 9:02 into the second period and left Indiana goaltender Dalton Izyk’s visibly shaken.
Youngstown showed no hesitation and beat him again 27 seconds later. Connor came darting down the right wing boards, abruptly pulled up at the bottom of the circle and fired a pass across the slot for Evancho, who one-touched it in.
“Sam’s goal gave us a little bit of energy — it sparked us,” Evancho said. “We went out the next shift, got a couple hits, got out of the zone and then Kyle made a fantastic play to find me backdoor.
“I kind of just let it hit my stick and it went in the net. I didn’t have to do much. He set it all up for me.”
Noreen praised the effort from the second-year forward, who was playing in his first game since Jan. 11, with both leading scorer Austin Cangelosi and Markus McCrea out of the lineup serving suspensions.
“A lot of guys stepped up, but the first guy I’ll point out is Zach Evancho,” Noreen said. “He hasn’t been in the lineup for awhile but he didn’t pout, didn’t feel sorry for himself, got a chance to go in and made the most of it.”
Indiana pulled Izyk in favor of Anderson Snair, but that did little to deter the Phantoms.
Nenadal notched his fifth of the campaign at the 14:01 mark, at the tail end of a Youngstown penalty kill. Alfred Larsson dropped a pass for him from beneath the goal line and the Brecksville native fired it on the mark and sent the Ice reeling.