The Youngstown Phantoms, in front of one of the biggest crowds of the year, fell prey to the Indiana Ice, 5-2. The start of the game was pushed back almost an hour because the bus carrying the Indiana team broke down somewhere en route to the Covelli Centre. The way this game went, the Phantoms would have hoped that the spare would have been flat too.
In the first period, no one could get the puck into the net. Solid goaltending by Matt O’Connor for the Phantoms and Jon Gillies for the Ice saw a couple of zeroes at the end of the first twenty minutes. The two netminders combined to stop 26 shots.
Indiana broke the “Ice” on the scoreless game when Danill Tarasov recorded his 38th goal of the season beating O’Connor glove side. Tarasov’s goal was unassisted and came with 17:39 to go in the second period.
The Phantoms were able to tie the game at a goal apiece briefly. Austin Cangelosi (above) recorded his 26th goal of the season with 15:59 remaining in the second. Cangelosi gathered a Mike Ambrosia shot that bounced off of Gillies and stuffed it back into the net. Ambrosia was given an assist on Cangelosi’s even-strength goal.
The Ice (32-14-7) would then explode for a couple of quick goals to take a 3-1 lead. Ryan Obuchowski scored the first with 14:58 to play in the second period. A few minutes later, Tarasov connected again, sneaking the puck past O’Connor with both teams playing a man down. The Ice took a commanding three goal lead with 2:30 remaining in the second period when Emil Romig connected in a high-traffic situation in front of a crowded goal crease.
In the third period, the Ice tacked on another goal to make it 5-1 when Robert Polesello took a pass from behind the net and drilled it past O’Connor. Obuchowski and Nieves were credited assists on the goal.
The Phantoms (30-17-7) had a few chances to tighten the game in the third period, but failed to make it happen until Eric Sweetman connected with 4:29 left to play to make it 5-2. Sweetman went high on the glove side for his fourth goal of the season.
The Ice took 55 shots compared to the Phantoms 37.