Phantoms’ losing streak hits 4
By CODIE TALLEY
Friday’s sluggish start by the Youngstown Phantoms was costly as they fell to the Bloomington Thunder, 3-1, at the Covelli Centre.
The loss is the fourth in a row for the Phantoms, who have been lacking consistency over the recent stretch.
“We had a good third period, but I don’t think the energy or compete level was there consistently enough in the first 40 minutes,” Phantoms coach Brad Patterson said.
The Phantoms’ goal didn’t come until 5:42 into the third period when Brad Cocca scored his second goal of the season, reducing the Thunder’s lead to 2-1.
Up until that point, the Phantoms had plenty of good looks but couldn’t find the net.
“We’ve had a couple of games where we haven’t been able to find the net, but eventually that’s gonna come around and if we have effort like we did in the third period we’ll be on the upside of that more often than not,” Patterson said.
The Thunder jumped out to a lead late in the first period when Phantoms forward Nicolas Werbik was sent to the penalty box for head contact. Tarek Baker found the net on the Thunder’s fourth shot of the night for the power-play goal.
Penalties would be a theme all night for Werbik, who was sent to the penalty box three times including late in the game when the Phantoms were looking to tie things up.
“It’s a bad penalty to say the least,” Patterson said. With Werbik in the box and the Phantoms down a man, Baker scored for a 3-1 lead when the Phantoms pulled their goaltender.
August von Ungern-Sternberg scored Bloomington’s second goal in the second period.
The atmosphere got chippy between the two teams, when a Bloomington player bumped Phantoms goalie Ivan Kulbakov.
“When you’ve got a player like Ivan who’s good, opposing teams are going to try to get in his head,” Patterson said.
Despite the losing streak, Patterson said team morale is high.
“Last weekend was a tough weekend, but at the same time we played some really good hockey,” he said.