Phantoms drop 2 games in Iowa

Staff report


Four unanswered goals over a 12-minute span doomed the Youngstown Phantoms to their fourth road loss of the season.

Patrick Russell and Brandon Montour each scored two goals on Saturday as the Waterloo Black Hawks defeated the Phantoms, 6-3.

Cal Petersen made 27 saves for the Black Hawks and Jake Moore 26 for the Phantoms.

The Phantoms went 0-for-Iowa on their weekend trip, also losing 4-3 on Friday to the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

“That’s kind of the way things are going for us right now,” Phantoms coach Anthony Noreen said. “As long as we build from it and learn from it, we’ll be OK.”

The Black Hawks (2-1-0, 4 points) snapped a 2-2 tie with their first power-play goal of the season. Montour took a pass from Hayden Shaw, skated into the slot and wristed the puck past Moore, who was screened by two Black Hawks on the play.

Forty seconds later, Drew Melanson picked up the game-winning goal when Jake Horton found Melanson in the slot and he sent the puck past Moore’s left leg.

Fifty-one seconds into the third period, the Black Hawks struck again during a 5-on-3 advantage for Waterloo. Russell tapped a rebound of a Horton shot into the net for a 5-2 lead.

JJ Piccinich, Ryan Schwalbe and Maxim Letunov scored for the Phantoms (1-4-1, 3 points).

The Phantoms had a couple of late power plays, including a 5-on-3 for 30 seconds, but were unable to solve Petersen.

Piccinich has six goals in six games. He and Kyle Connor have recorded at least one point in five games.

Against Cedar Rapids, Piccinich scored two goals and Letunov one.

“He doesn’t over-handle the puck,” Noreen said of Piccinich. “He puts it on net and gets it there before the goalie is able to set. That’s what goal-scorers do. It’s not always the placement or how hard you shoot it.”

The Phantoms and RoughRiders were tied 2-2 in the third period when the RoughRiders took advantage of a lucky bounce. Cedar Rapids defenseman Nathan Wideman tried for a wraparound goal, but Moore was able to cover his post and get a piece of the puck.

However, the puck deflected off the backside of his stick into the far post and into the net.

Piccinich’s second goal of the game tied it.

After the Phantoms’ Alfred Larsson missed on a breakaway shot, the RoughRiders stormed down ice where Andrew Poturalsi beat Moore with 74 seconds remaining in regulation for the winning goal.

“Of course you can’t give up goals that late, but I don’t think it was a lapse or mental error by anybody,” Noreen said. “The bottom line is you can’t give up a goal on a 2-on-2 rush.

“We get a breakaway one way and it looks like we’re going to be winning the game and 20 seconds later the puck’s in the back of our net.”

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