Phantoms fall to Storm in overtime
Youngstown has dropped nine of its past 11 games
By DAN HINER
Unlike Friday’s lopsided contest at the Covelli Centre, the Youngstown Phantoms forced overtime in their second game in as many nights against the Tri-City Storm.
Just 18 seconds into the extra session, the Storm’s Sam Hentges scored his second goal of the game, handing the Phantoms a 2-1 loss, their ninth in the past 11 games.
The Phantoms (14-13-3-1) have struggled to score during this tough stretch. Youngstown has been outscored 43-22 over the last 11 games.
“At the end of the day, you don’t win a whole lot of games when you score one goal,” Phantoms head coach Brad Patterson said. “I thought we had great goaltending tonight.”
Wouter Peeters got the start at goalkeeper for the Phantoms and finished with 25 saves.
“I thought it was physical, a ton of [competition], a ton of energy,” Patterson said of the game against the Storm, one of the USHL’s Western Conference’s top two teams. “There wasn’t a ton of mistakes.
“We have to find a way to put a few more in the back of the net.”
Youngstown got on the board first after Eric Esposito scored with 10:40 remaining in the first period.
Curtis Hall won a faceoff for the Phantoms in the Storm’s right circle. Esposito slipped behind the Tri-City defense for a 1-0 lead.
The Storm tied the game at 1 with remaining left in the second period on a power-play goal by Hentges from beyond the Phantoms’ left circle.
Patterson said the team worked hard over the past few days to fix some of the team’s recent problems. Patterson was “impressed” with the way his team played and believes the Phantoms will turn things around if they keep working.
“It starts at the fundamentals. They’re the building blocks of success,” Patterson said. “It’s easy for a coach to say ‘Hey, you gotta work harder. You gotta stick to details.’ We gotta make sure we implement those and stick to it every day.”