Road swing opens with loss
Phantoms fall in Green Bay
Green Bay, wis.
After cruising to five straight wins on home ice, the Youngstown Phantoms hit a bump on the road in Wisconsin on Sunday against the Green Bay Gamblers.
The Phantoms surrendered a pair of costly goals in the final two minutes of a seesaw second period en route to a 6-4 defeat at the hands of the defending Clark Cup Champions.
Tommy Davis, Nathan Walker, JJ Piccinich and Ryan Lowney all found the back of the net for Youngstown (28-21-0, 56 points).
Nicholas Schilkey led the way for Green Bay (32-17-3, 67 points) with a trio of goals, including an empty-netter.
Phantoms Goaltender Sean Romeo turned away 21 shots, but was tagged with the loss, just the second in his last nine starts.
Head coach Anthony Noreen said the defeat was because the Phantoms controlled portions of play — they outshot the Gamblers 11-6 in the third period and 32-27 on the game — but were done in by mental lapses.
“It was really just mental mistakes,” Noreen said. “We’ve all been in this league long enough — played this team enough times — to know that if you make mistakes, they’re going to put the puck in the back of the net.
“They’re just too skilled and talented to give them the type of chances we did. Overall our game was good. It wasn’t great, but by no means are we upset with the effort. We just needed to be sharper on our details.”
Davis put the Phantoms in front 7:44 into opening period off a feed from John Padulo. The first-year defenseman came crashing in from the point and fired a wrist shot that rang off the post and in past Green Bay goaltender Richard Ullberg.
Youngstown was forced to kill off a five-minute power play later in the period after Padulo was given a major elbowing penalty and ejected.
The Gamblers capitalized toward the end of the five-minute advantage when Sheldon Dries re-directed a point shot from Gustav Olofsson at the 13:42 mark. Schilkey made it 2-1 three minutes later when he tipped a wrist shot out of mid-air just below the cross bar.
Walker knotted it up for Youngstown nearly nine minutes into the second period, with a tip of his own. The Australian winger got his stick on Jimmy Mazza’s blast from the point and directed it past Ullberg.
Piccinich put the Phantoms in front at the 12:19 mark when he dug a puck out of a cluster in front of the Green Bay net and roofed a backhand shot just behind the crossbar.
The Gamblers answered with three straight goals to close out the period.
“We probably made five mistakes in the game and they scored on four of them,” Noreen said.