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Phantoms fall to Capitols, 3-2

Youngstown gives up two goals in final 10 minutes in disappointing loss to Madison

Staff photo / Brian Yauger Youngstown Phantoms forward William Whitelaw, right, and Madison Capitols forward Casey Severo, left, chase down a puck during the second period of Monday’s game.

YOUNGSTOWN — Three goals in the final 10 minutes decided Game 1.

Entering the third period with a 1-1 tie, two late goals sunk the Youngstown Phantoms, falling 3-2 to the Madison Capitols in the opening round of the Clark Cup Playoffs.

The Phantoms went into the final five minutes with a 2-1 lead after Tiernan Shoudy scored to put the team up, but Madison responded 30 seconds later to re-tie the game.

Jack Musa broke that tie with less than three minutes remaining and the Capitols took the opening game of the series.

“You go through a tight, tight game like that, not a lot of chances for or against, (you) find a way to sneak one in and then they jump back on and get some momentum back by getting that second one,” Phantoms coach Brad Patterson said. “There’s a couple little mistakes that happen on that, but moving into tomorrow, those are things we need to be better at.

“You need to find ways to generate. A lot of that stuff is ugly offense. It’s winning that 15-by-15 at the net. Through that first 40 to 50 minutes there, it wasn’t really all that much (opportunities) for them or for us. Ultimately, we need to get to the paint a little bit more, get more pucks directed there. You work for your bounces in the playoffs.”

The Phantoms were held to two shots in the opening period, while limiting Madison to five. The full 60 minutes was a grind it out game, especially in the first period.

It was exactly what the Phantoms expected going in.

“It was kind of to be expected,” Patterson said. “Not a lot given, not a lot taken both ways, especially through 40 minutes. Chances are hard to come by in the playoffs. Ultimately, we need to generate more tomorrow.”

William Whitelaw is who got the Phantoms on the board just under two minutes into the second period.

Neither team scored in the rest of the second. There was a fog on the ice for a majority of the frame, making visibility an issue, especially in the Madison attacking zone.

The Phantoms are playing a balancing act with the game plan. Going into the series, the Phantoms wanted to slow down Madison’s speedy players. They have to balance that with also being aggressive in the attacking zone.

While doing that a little in Game 1, they want to keep that balance going in the second game. Expect to see the Phantoms a little more active in transition and pushing the puck more tonight.

“I think we did that, we muddied it up a little bit,” Patterson said. “At the same time, they did the same to us. It’s tough to find that open ice. I thought through the first, we didn’t connect a whole lot in transition or exits. I didn’t think they did a ton either.

“Going into the second period, that was kind of the message. We need to get our feet moving on that transition. We had a lot of one pass to an exit guy who wasn’t moving his feet and then you’re forced to make a play that doesn’t help your transition. When we get to tomorrow night, that’s something we need to do.”

With their backs against the wall, the Phantoms take to the ice again tonight. A win forces a Game 3 on Wednesday and a loss ends the season.

At this point of the season, every team has taken its lumps. The postseason is no different. Now, it’s up to the Phantoms to respond and overcome this early adversity.

“You’re not going to go through a series or any stretch of time in the playoffs where you’re not going to face some sort of adversity and obviously we’re facing ours right now,” Patterson said. “We need to show up and have a good effort tomorrow.

“We’ve been in this situation quite a bit this year where our backs are against the wall. Now we need to respond to it.”

Puck drop for tonight’s game is set for 7:05.

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