J.J. Piccinich scored two goals and goaltender Colin DeAugustine stopped 30 shots on Saturday as the Youngstown Phantoms defeated the first-place Omaha Lancers, 4-1.
The victory snapped a two-game losing streak, including Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Lancers.
Josh Melnick gave the Phantoms a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. Setting up the goal were Max Letunov and Zach Evancho.
Two minutes later, the lead was 2-0 as Piccinich scored on assists from Kyle Mackey and Kyle Connor.
In the second period, the Lancers spoiled DeAugustine’s shutout hopes when Jimmy Schuldt scored. Jake Randolph had the assist.
Midway through the third period, Evancho set up Piccinich again to give the Phantoms a 3-1 lead.
With Lancers goaltender Hayden Hawkey pulled for an extra attacker, Tyley Spezia scored an empty-net goal. Hawkey finished with 14 saves.
Neither team scored on the power play; Youngstown was 0-for-2 and Omaha 0-for-3.
“When you play a good team, and when you play big games like this, special teams are a huge factor,” Phantoms head coach Anthony Noreen said of the penalty killing.
Next weekend, the Phantoms will be in Muskegon, Mich., for a two-game series against the Lumberjacks. Their next home game at the Covelli Centre will be on March 21 at 10 a.m. against Team USA.