Archive for December, 2011

Eargle And Ward Leads YSU Men Past Cleveland State, 73-67


Damian Eargle had 20 points and ten rebounds to lead Youngstown State past Cleveland State, 73-67, on the road.  The Vikings were ranked in the AP Men’s Top-25 last week, so the magnitude of the win for YSU is huge, especially on the road. With the win, the Penguins improved to 7-6 and more importantly, 2-1 in Horizon League play while handing Cleveland State their first Horizon loss.  Cleveland native Ashen Ward scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half.

Senior DuShawn Brooks also reached double figures with 17 points, including 11 in the first half, and as a team, the Guins shot 58.1 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.

After a 3-pointer by CSU’s Jeremy Montgomery tied the game at 40-40 at the 13:46 mark, the Penguins, who shot 65 percent (13-for-20) in the second half, used a 15-6 run over the next five minutes to take a 55-46 lead with 8:34 to go and never trailed again.


Ward started a run with a 3-pointer and after a 3-pointer by Blake Allen and jumper by Josh Chojnacki the Guins ahead by eight, 52-44, at 10:47. Allen also made a layup at the 8:34 mark put YSU up by nine.

The Vikings cut the deficit down to one on two occasions – 57-56 at the 5:18 mark and 59-58 with 4:31 to go.

Ward hit his second 3-pointer of the half and then drove the lane for a layup to extend the Guins’ edge to seven, 66-59, with 1:52 remaining.  Ward also made four straight free throws with under a minute to left, including the final two charity tosses with five seconds left to give the Penguins a 73-64 lead.

The Penguins return home to face Loyola, Thursday, Jan. 5, at 7:05 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.

YSU Women End Nine-Game Drought Against Cleveland State, 70-48


The last time Youngstown State University beat Cleveland State was January 27, 2007.  On the last day of 2011, the Lady Penguins put together a good team effort, defeating the Vikings, 70-48, and headed into 2012 tied for first in the conference at 1-0.  It also marked the first time YSU has won a conference opener since 2008.  It’s a shame that 2011 is almost over, a year that will surely be earmarked as a giant step forward for the Lady Penguins basketball program.

In the first half, the Penguins opened up with a 14-2 run with 11:27 left in the half. Monica Touvelle (below) went 4-4 from three-point range and led all scorers with YSU heading to their locker room ahead comfortably, 35-22.  Brandi Brown had seven rebounds and six points in a half that saw all active members of the Lady Penguins see some minutes.

“It’s nice to get everyone involved”, remarked Coach Bob Boldon after the game. “They have all done the work in practice all week and deserve to be on the floor.”


In the second half, the Penguins started strong and held a 48-34 lead with 10:54 remaining in the contest.  Boldon’s offense looked lethal at times with just a couple of lapses in the second half.  Cleveland State cut the YSU lead to eleven at 50-39 with 9:23 left on a Shalonda Winton drive to the hoop.

An earthquake shuttered the Beeghly Center during the second half but play continued. “Was that an earthquake?” said Brown.  ” I am used to those being from California, I just thought someone fell.”

With the score 51-40, Brown drilled a three from the corner that got nothing but net. The Penguins held a 54-42 lead with five minutes to go.  Brown would extend the lead to 63-42 with just under three minutes left draining a pair of free throws after being fouled driving the length of the court with a steal.  The Vikings nevr got closer than 15 after the six minute mark of the game.


Brown finished the game with 23 points and 12 boards to notch her fifth double-double of the season and the 32nd of her career.  YSU also got an array of statistics from everyone including Touvelle’s four three-pointers, 16 points and five rebounds from Heidi Schlegel, and six assists from Macey Nortey.  The Penguins shot 42.6 from the floor and cashed in 28 more points off of Vikings turnovers.

“It feels good to go into a New Year with a win”, said Brown.  “We really executed well as a team and it was a good win for us.”

Cleveland State got 17 points from Winton and eleven more from Imani Gordon.  The Vikings slipped to 5-7 and 0-1 with the loss.

The Lady Penguins (7-5, 1-0) head West to face Butler on Thursday and Valparaiso on Saturday afternoon.

Phantoms Can’t Get Back On Track After Break, Lose 5-2 To Indiana


The Indiana Ice jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first 31 minutes of the game, and the Youngstown Phantoms were unable to chip away in time, falling 5-2 Friday in the Pepsi Coliseum. Dylan Margonari and JT Stenglein scored for the Phantoms (16-7-2, fourth East), but an 0-for-5 night on the power play helped secure the victory for Indiana (16-7-4, second East).

The Phantoms, buoyed by three power plays, outshot Indiana 12-5 in the first period, but the Ice made the most of what few chances they had. At the 10:25 mark, Emil Romig found Justin Bailey sneaking into the slot and he swept the puck past Matt O’Connor to give Indiana a 1-0 lead. The Phantoms had a plethora of opportunities in the remainder of the period, but Jon Gillies turned away them all and the Ice carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Youngstown started the second period short-handed and went two down after a hooking call on

At that point, Noreen replaced O’Connor with Sean Romeo, who shutout the Ice for the remainder of the game.

“We wanted to get Matt some rest – we’re going back to him tomorrow – and we wanted to spark the team a little bit,” Noreen said. “Sean came into a tough situation – coming in cold off the bench against maybe the most explosive team in the league – and he shut them down.”

Margonari put the Phantoms on the board in the final minute of the period. The Minnesota State – Mankato commit intercepted a pass in his own zone, blew past the flat-footed blue liner and roofed the puck on Gillies, knocking the netminder’s water bottle off the top of the net. The goal, scored with 55 seconds left in the period, made it a 4-1 game after 40 minutes.

“We talk about not looking at the scoreboard and that’s something Margo doesn’t do,” Noreen said. “He plays hard start to finish.

Less than five minutes into the third period Stenglein cut the Ice’s lead in half. The Greece, N.Y., native got the puck with speed at center ice, navigated through the Indiana defense and beat Gillies with a low wrist shot on the far post for his team-leading 14th goal of the season. But the Phantoms were unable to capitalize on a pair of late-period power plays, and Tarasov scored an empty-netter to seal win for the Ice.

Our guys don’t like losing – we’re not going to accept it,” Noreen said. “Hopefully we’re going to learn from it and have a better level of execution tomorrow.”

in the first minute. Daniil Tarasov capitalized on the two-man advantage and put a one-timer past O’Connor to give the Ice the two-goal lead 46 seconds into the period. Sean Kuraly made it 3-0 when he won a foot race and beat O’Connor all alone. Then John Doherty stretched the lead to four goals at the 11:05 mark.

Jack Up The Rev – What It Is And Why You Need To View It

For years, the Jambar has turned out a quality product featuring objective viewpoints from student writers and photographers at Youngstown State University.  Lately, technology has allowed a few of the Jambar student-writers freedom to be more imaginative and try their hand in video-journalism.  Joe Catullo Jr. has spent a whole bunch of time compiling editions of Jack Up The Rev.  Not a conventional name by any means, the video clips are entertaining and the quality is surprisingly good.  All-in-all, it is a well produced minicast of what is going on.  Congratulations to Dustin Livesay, Nick Mancini, and Catullo for taking their vision as far as they can and continued expansion and growth to who comes next.

The name can be amusing to those who have never heard it.  I have watched YSU football coach Eric Wolford make Catullo cue him on what was to be said several times before a take was completed.  I am completely honored to be the featured presenter to Volume #12 (above).  Catullo has chased down Wolford, Bob Boldon, Zach Humphries, Anthony Noreen, Jim Brown, and anyone else they have been able to get to say their catchphrase as a show lead-in.

I recently caught up with Catullo (below) to explain the concept, the purpose, the future, and the past of Jack Up The Rev.


Paneech: Where did you come up with a name like, ‘Jack Up The Rev’?

Catullo: The name Jack Up The Rev came in February.  I was sitting with reporter Patrick Donovan who was telling me about his weekend.  When he finished, I told him it seemed like he was really trying to jack up the… jack up the rev or something.  I don’t know where it came from or how it happened, but it did.  About an hour later, the entire Jambar staff was saying it.

Paneech: Does each episode have a set time limit?

Catullo: We try to keep each episode about four minutes or less.  It only goes over if we have a lot of content we need to use.

Paneech: What goals have been set for the show?

Catullo: My main goal is that this will help me in my future.  I want to show future potential employers what I can offer.  Also, short term, to give the audience a look back at what YSU has done in the past week with some comedy involved.

Paneech: Who are some of the people involved with you in the project?

Catullo: Our online editor, Chris Cotelesse, brought the idea to the table that we could try to produce a sports show.  He is also the creator of the theme song.  He played the guitar and we sang all of the lyrics.  Our editor-in-chief, Josh Stipanovich, gave his blessing to call the show Jack Up The Rev.  Sports reporter Nick Mancini and photographer Dustin Livesay help in filming games.


Paneech: Where do you come up with ideas to keep the content entertaining?

Catullo: Personally, I feel that the sports are entertaining enough.  For other people to think so, I try to present the content in my own entertaining way.  I don’t really know where I come up with the ideas.  It is mostly improvision and the ideas are created and followed through upon on the spot.  I generally don’t write a script.

Paneech: Once you graduate and leave YSU, will you take Jack Up The Rev with you, or is it something you would want future students to expand with?

Catullo: I will still be attending YSU next year, so Jack Up The Rev will definitely continue, even if I am not the sports editor.  Afterwards, I can dream that a company would decide to buy the name and keep me on it.  It would be awesome to see myself on ESPN doing the show.

Paneech: Typically, how long does it take to build a single episode?

Catullo: It takes a long time to build a complete episode.  You first have to take the time to import and export video.  In a good week, there can be three or four hours of video content that would take anywhere from seven to eight hours to import and export.  My segments on camera used to take over an hour, but we have been able to scale that back to about twenty minutes.  Putting the video together is the toughest part and usually takes about six hours to complete.  The theme is the toughest thing because there are so many clips to look at and each one can only last about five seconds to synchronize with the theme song.  A whole episode can take up to two full work days to complete.

Paneech: When you ask someone to do a show intro, how confused are they and how many times can you expect to tell them what to say?

Catullo: Every time I tell a new face the name, they are always stunned and can’t figure out the meaning.  I just tell them that it is the name of my new show and that it is a motivational saying.  They are still usually confused afterwards.  A perfect example is Episode 6 when I had Coach Wolford saying it.  That episode now has the second highest hit total next to the first.

Click the above link and check out the effort that goes into this project by Catullo and staff.  They do fantastic work for having limited resources.

Robert Morris Continues Winning Ways Over Youngstown State, 59-56


Youngstown State University finally got to come home and play a game Thursday night.  The suitcase-carrying YSU team last played home games on November 18 and December 6.  Robert Morris had not lost a game to Youngstown State since 2001 coming in.  The Penguins were unable to reverse their recent misfortune against the Colonials and fell 59-56 to fall to 6-6 on the season.

With seven seconds separating the game clock and the shot clock and the game tied at 56, Youngstown State turned the ball over giving Robert Morris possession with 8.2 seconds remaining.  Coron Williams fired a three right at the buzzer to seemingly give the Colonials the 59-56 win.  Coach Jerry Slocum argued that time had elapsed before the shot was taken, and after the refs reviewed the video, the shot was ruled as good.

In the first half, the Penguins looked to be in control.  In fact, at times they looked like they would pull away.  The Colonials trailed the Penguins by seven at the 13:43 mark of the first half, but to their credit, kept clawing back to keep YSU within reach.  The Penguins held a 32-31 lead at the half behind solid shooting from guards Kendrick Perry (above) and Blake Allen.  Perry scored ten first half points with a couple of threes and 4-5 shooting.  The consistent Allen poured in nine, hitting three triples.


In the second half, Perry continued to show his arsenal hitting a dunk and a three to put YSU ahead 43-39 with 11:43 left in the game.  A half-court pass caught by a cutting Mike McFadden, who easily laid the ball in, tied the game.  DuShawn Brooks then hit a couple of threes to put YSU ahead 49-45 with just under ten minutes remaining.

The second half of the game seemed much more physical than most for both teams.  It seemed every trip in either direction left a member of either team lying under the hoop and grabbing a body part while wincing in pain.

“I am very disappointed with the outcome”, said Coach Slocum.  “I am very respectful of our kids to come back and play as hard as they did against a good team like they did tonight.”


With 6:03 left in the game, and the Penguins ahead 49-48, Brooks hit a nice runner in the paint to stretch the margin to three.  After a stop, Fletcher Larson hit a pair of free throws to widen the lead to 53-48.  Brooks then was fouled grabbing an offensive rebound and he promptly hit a pair of free throws to make it 55-48 with 3:47 left in the game.  The Colonials fought back to make it a two-point game, 55-53, with 3:14 left in regulation.  That score would not change over a two minute span as YSU had a couple of empty possessions.  Anthony Myers hit a three with about 50 seconds left to tie the game at 56.

Perry finished the game with 18 points, Brooks knocked in 16 more and Allen finished with 12.  The Colonials are another quality opponent that the Penguins had on the ropes but could not put away.  Coach Slocum and this dedicated team will continue to work hard and get better for league play.

Velton Jones finished with 15 to lead the Colonials who improved to 10-3 on the year.

YSU Christmas Ideas


Every family has one…  that ‘hard to buy for’ relative that you can never figure out what to get for Christmas.  Here are a couple of nice gift options that are relatively inexpensive:

  • The Youngstown State Athletic Department is selling a one-of-a-kind “Pete the Penguin” golf club head cover for $30. The head cover makes a great last-minute Holiday gift for any golf enthusiast.  All proceeds go to the YSU Athletics Department. To purchase a head cover, contact the YSU Athletic Ticket Office at (330) 941-1YSU or visit the Stambaugh Stadium Athletic Ticket Office. Supplies are limited.
  • The 2012 football Penguins open with a three-game homestand in September featuring FCS playoff qualifiers Albany and Northern Iowa. YSU also plays host to South Dakota, Southern Illinois and Indiana State in MVFC action at Stambaugh Stadium next fall. Season tickets are available for $84 (reserved) and $60 (general admission).
  • Baseball season tickets are available as well for just $40. The Penguins play 22 home games, including 21 at Eastwood Field in Niles. The cost is less than $2 per game with the purchase of season tickets. YSU is set to play host to non-conference foes Akron, Kent State, Pittsburgh, Toledo and Ohio while the league slate features UIC, Valparaiso, Milwaukee, Butler and Wright State. The home opener is set for March 16 against Milwaukee.
  • The new Horizon League Membership in the Penguin Club begins on December 31 with the women’s game against rival Cleveland State. All Courtside Coaches membership levels are discounted 15 percent from the original full-season packages. YSU will play 18 home basketball games at the Beeghly Center between Dec. 31 and Feb. 25.
  • As a friendly Holiday reminder, the only way to purchase tickets for next year’s football season opener at Pittsburgh on Sept. 1 is to be a Penguin Club member or season-ticket holder. YSU returns 10 starters on an offense that averaged a school record 36.2 points per game in 2011.

So why not spread a little cheer, and experience Youngstown State Athletics live!

Kenya Middlebrooks Is Horizon League Player of The Week


With her clutch performance in leading the Youngstown State women’s basketball team to a comeback win at Akron, YSU senior guard Kenya Middlebrooks has been named the Horizon League Player of the Week.

Middlebrooks, a native of Toledo, Ohio, scored 13 of her career-high 27 points in the final four minutes as YSU rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit. Middlebrooks was 8-for-12 from the field, including 6-for-9 from beyond the arc, and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line in the win.

With the Penguins down 67-62 at the 3:55 mark, Middlebrooks made two free throws to cut the deficit to three. She hit another charity toss at the 3:31 mark to make the score 69-65 with 3:31 left, and she went on to score the Penguins’ final 10 points. Her jumper with 2:41 left got YSU within one, and she hit a 3-pointer with 1:45remaining that gave the Penguins their first lead of the second half. Another triple put YSU ahead 76-72 with 50 seconds left, and she hit two free throws with 6.6 seconds left for the final margin.

Defensively, Middlebrooks had a steal with fewer than 50 seconds left when Akron trailed by four. She also grabbed the defensive rebound off an Akron miss with 23 seconds remaining.

Middlebrooks’ previous career high in scoring was 23 points in February against Valparaiso. She surpassed 20 points for the fourth time in her career and for the second time in 2011-12. The senior guard has made a Horizon League-leading 23 3-pointers.

Middlebrooks and the Penguins will be back in action on Dec. 27 at Stony Brook.

YSU Women Continue Turnaround, Post 78-72 Win At Akron


Kenya Middlebrooks scored 13 of her career-high 27 points in the final four minutes as the Youngstown State women’s basketball team rallied to defeat Akron 78-72 on Sunday afternoon at James A. Rhodes Arena.  The Penguins scored 51 points and shot 60 percent after halftime and overcame a 13-point second-half deficit to improve to 6-4 on the season. They’ve now matched their win total from last season and have won five straight road games for the first time since 1997-98. Akron dropped to 5-6.

Youngstown State trailed 60-47 with nine minutes remaining and by eight with five minutes left. Melissa Thompson hit a 3-pointer at the 4:35 mark to start the rally, and Middlebrooks made two free throws after the media timeout to make the score 67-64. Akron upped its lead to 71-65 after two Taylor Ruper free throws at the 3:30 mark, but YSU closed out the game by outscoring the Zips 13-1.

Brandi Brown‘s 3-pointer cut the deficit in half, and Middlebrooks scored the next five points to give the Penguins a 73-71 lead with 1:45 left. Ti’eshia Stubbs made 1-of-2 from the free-throw line to make the score 73-72 with just over a minute left, but Middlebrooks hit her sixth 3-pointer of the game to push the lead to 76-72 with 50 seconds remaining.

Middlebrooks had a steal on Akron’s next possession, and she rebounded Akron’s miss with just over 20 seconds remaining. She made two free throws with 6.6 seconds left for the final margin.


Brown finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds, including 10 of each in the second half. Thompson added a career-high 12 points after having 11 points total in the first nine games.  Hanna Luburgh had 20 points to lead three players in double figures for Akron.

The Penguins outshot the Zips 43.5 percent to 35.7 percent and held the rebounding edge 44-40. Youngstown State made 13 3-pointers, which was two off of the school record. Ten of those triples came on 16 attempts in the second half.  Macey Nortey and Kelsea Fickiesen combined for 11 of YSU’s 19 assists.

Youngstown State battled through a sloppy first half to only trail by four at halftime. The Penguins scored 10 straight points early in the period but trailed by as many as nine before closing the gap late.  Akron hit a triple on the first possession of the game, but the Penguins scored the next 10 points to take a 10-3 lead on a Middlebrooks trey with 17:15 remaining.  After the fast start, YSU got out of sync offensively and committed eight turnovers in the first nine minutes. Akron used that to its advantage and went on a 12-1 run to go up 15-11 with 8:04 left.

Youngstown State’s next game will be at Stony Brook on Dec. 27 at 7 p.m.  Merry Christmas Lady Penguins!

*Story Courtesy of YSU Sports

YSU Basketball Profiles: DuShawn Brooks


Nobody knew how much of a contributor DuShawn Brooks could be this season.  Last year, Brooks played sparingly as a sixth man and showed flashes of the potential he has stabilized as a senior starter for the 2011-12 Youngstown State Penguins team. Brooks, or DB as he is called by friends, has already been named a Horizon League Conference Player of The Week this season and has really worked hard to get better. The most impressive part about Brooks’ role as a senior is that he puts the team first. The Chicago-area native had plenty to say in our recent interview.

Paneech: You have been called DuShawn, Terrell, and DB.  What should I refer to you as?

Brooks: My name on my birth certificate is DuShawn Terrell Brooks, my sister gave me my name.  On Facebook, I am listed as Terrell, it is what I go by.  Most people call me Shawn or DB.

Paneech: Being raised in a big city presents problems such as pressure to do drugs and join a gang.  Were you able to steer clear of that activity?

Brooks: Growing up, I lived with my grandmother until seventh grade, then I moved back with my mom in the suburbs.  As soon as I got back, she got me involved with a mentor and I started playing basketball around that time.  I really didn’t even have the time to get involved with anything that was bad.  I was either at basketball, in church, or in school.  I never got involved with any of those bad things, I was a pretty good kid.

Paneech: What was it like growing up in Chicago with Michael Jordan images and mentions everywhere?

Brooks: I never wanted to ‘be like Mike‘, I always wanted to play like him though.  You get sucked into it and you want to wear his shoes, you want to dunk over somebody like he used to.  You want to do the stuff he did to accomplish what he has — six rings, MVP awards, scoring titles.  It was fun watching him play.  Michael Jordan was like Batman, and Scottie Pippen was his Robin. It wasn’t always Michael.  If Jordan was having a bad night, Pippen stepped up many times to provide the win.


Paneech: Is the basketball at the high school level in Chicago better than the product the Youngstown area schools put on the courts?

Brooks: I notice a difference when I come up to watch some of the high school games here.  I think to myself ‘this kid wouldn’t get any playing time on my old team’ when I watch.  That isn’t an insult to the area, but Chicago is a much bigger area with many more athletes that are bigger, faster, and stronger.  Everybody plays basketball in Chicago.  Here it is much smoother and a second sport to a lot of the student athletes. In high school, I was the last guy on the bench, never got any praise, and was relied upon to do all of the dirty work.

Paneech: How did you end up at Youngstown State?

Brooks: I started out at a prep school in Cincinnati.  After that, I went to a junior college in Kansas for two years.  We won our conference and regional championships there.  Coach Wernicki showed up down there and told me that Youngstown was interested in me and invited me on a visit.  I liked it here because it was not too big.  A big part of me signing on was that I get to go home and play two games in Chicago.  I never really got to play ball in front of my family until last year, and I really enjoyed it.

Paneech: When you get to Youngstown State, you meet Jerry Slocum.  How is your relationship with him?

Brooks: I came in with an open mind.  I won’t lie, it was very hard sometimes.  Last year, I understood that I had to learn things before I could be given a lot of playing time.  Coach Slocum was very supportive and would tell me not to get frustrated and that my time will come.  He always let me know what I needed to do to get better, and I learned to just go out there and listen to him.  Coming into this season, it has been better in the sense that I knew what to expect from him.  I think he is a great coach and openly lets you know where you are excelling or falling short.


Paneech: What kind of a role do you think you play on this team?

Brooks: Probably doing whatever I have to do to help the team get a win.  I have been scoring a lot lately, but that doesn’t mean it is going to continue.  Sometimes I have to concentrate harder on grabbing rebounds, sometimes I have to dive after a loose ball.  I have to worry about blocking a shot, going for a steal, — really, anything I can do to contribute to the success of this team.  As a senior, I have to step up and do some of the things others may not want to do.  Ash [Ashen Ward] is the leader, and I am going to do whatever I can to help him be a good leader.

Paneech: Coach Slocum has had bad luck taking junior college guys who sometimes put their personal statistics in front of the team.  For him to be as positive as he is this season, he obviously believes in this team.  What is different?

Slocum: None of us like to lose.  Earlier this season, we lost to Wright State by one, and in the locker room after the game, everyone was really mad.  We think we have the best team in the league and want to win the Horizon League.  Everyone has been working hard and when we practice sluggish, coach [Slocum] lets us know we are practicing badly.

Paneech: You are dating a YSU women’s basketball player, Melissa Thompson.  How in the world – between school, travel, and practice schedules do you two ever see each other?

Brooks: (laughs)  She lives in the same building as me, so as soon as I get done or she gets done, we text each other.  Then we can meet up and hang out.  I have been with her for a year now, it has been really fun.


One Word Answers

Favorite Fast Food Order: 10 Honey Barbecue Wings at Sharks in Chicago.

Favorite Drink: Kool-Aid, Any Flavor.

Favorite TV Show: Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, And ESPN.

Closest Thing To Jordan In The NBA: Lebron James.

Best Friend On The Team: Everybody.

Who Would Win On Jeopardy Out of Damian Eargle, Coach Slocum, and Ron Strollo? Probably Damian Eargle because he is very smart.

How Far Can This Team Go? As far as we want to.

One Word Describing Coach Slocum: Tough.

Worst Class You Have Taken At YSU: Child Development.

Best Class Taken At YSU: Deviant Behavior.

Stores You Have To Go To: Foot Locker and Macy’s.

Breakfast Food: I love to cook.  Probably Bacon, Sausage, and Eggs.

Phantoms Offense Clicks Big In 7-4 Victory Over Des Moines


The Youngstown Phantoms followed up a marquee win over first-place Green Bay Friday night with a convincing 7-4 victory over the Des Moines Buccaneers Saturday night to secure the second place slot in the United States Hockey League’s Eastern Conference heading into the holiday break.

The Phantoms (16-4-1, T-second East) got a pair of short-handed goals from Mike Ambrosia and Austin Cangelosi, and five other players – Soren JonzzonDylan MargonariAlex GacekJordan Young and Eric Sweetman – found the back of the net to give them a win in one of the United States Hockey League’s toughest road arenas. Goaltender Matt O’Connor made 33 saves to enter the break with a league-leading 13 wins.

“Before the game, we said, ‘If we are going to get to where we want to get, we’re going to need to win on the road in a hostile environment,’” Head Coach Anthony Noreen said. “[With the break coming up] we wanted to treat this game like a playoff game.”

Jonzzon put Youngtown on the board just 34 seconds into the first period, netting his first goal in a Phantoms uniform.  Des Moines (10-11-1, fifth West) answered just 73 seconds later when Mac Olsen deflected a centering feed from Garret Allen just past O’Connor to knot things up at one apiece.


Margonari retook the lead just 2:19 into the second when Cangelosi fed him in the slot on an odd-man rush. Less than two minutes later – and short-handed to boot – Cangelosi blew past the Des Moines defense and beat Kasdorf with a low wrister on the blocker side to put the Phantoms up 3-1.  But the Buccaneers came roaring back, scoring two unanswered goals to tie it again. Kevin Irwin redirected a puck past O’Connor while short-handed at the 12:35 mark and less than four minutes later, Trent Samuels-Thomas poked one past him in the midst of a scrum to tie the game at 3-3.

The Phantoms found themselves on a short-handed 2-on-1, but Cangelosi sent his shot wide. The puck, however, took a fortuitous bounce off the end boards and floated right onto Ambrosia’s stick, and he threw it on net and past Kasdorf, who was caught out of position, to give the Phantoms the 4-3 advantage heading into the third period.

At the 2:40 mark in the third, Gacek intercepted a failed Buccaneers’ clearing attempt on the right-wing half wall and beat Kasdorf with a wrist shot for his second goal in as many nights. The Buccaneers pulled Kasdorf in favor of backup Christian Frey, but he did not fare much better, and Young beat him with a point shot less than two minutes later to stretch the Phantoms’ lead to 6-3.

Anthony Greco made it a 6-4 game when he beat O’Connor on a 5-on-3 power play at the 6:41 mark, but Sweetman regained the three-goal lead when he beat Frey with a wrist shot from the left point. O’Connor weathered the remaining Buccaneers chances, and the Phantoms skated off with their third straight road win.

The Phantoms resume USHL play on Dec. 28 when they take on the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in Iowa. The puck drops at 8:05 p.m. EST.