The Youngstown Phantoms responded to a trouncing in their series-opener with three power play goals to help down the Green Bay Gamblers 5-3 Sunday at the Resch Center. The win evened the best-of-five Eastern Conference Semifinal series at 1-1 heading back to Youngstown for Games 3 and 4.
Soren Jonzzon netted a pair of power-play goals and Dylan Margonari bookended the scoring with first-and-third-period tallies. Austin Cangelosi also put one in on the man-advantage as the Phantoms went a perfect 3-for-3 on the power play. Goaltender Matt O’Connor, who was pulled after the first-period of Game 1, was superb between the pipes, turning away 40 of 43 shots, including 24 in the third period.
“It was definitely a bit of an eye-opener last night,” O’Connor said. “Tonight was a must-win game for the team. We knew that going back home down two games would be a big hole to dig ourselves out of and it was a great way to carry some momentum heading back to the Covelli Centre.”
Margonari scored the game’s first goal, and his first of the postseason, 4:49 into the first period. Ryan Lowney led a 2-on-1 rush and picked out Margonari streaking toward the net. The Greensburg, Pa. native quickly corralled the puck and put it past Gamblers goaltender Ryan McKay to put the Phantoms ahead for the first time in the series.
“Hockey’s kind of a game of karma – when you do things the right way, it seems like you get the bounces,” Noreen said. “Last night, we didn’t do things right and honestly, we didn’t deserve any bounces… Tonight our guys had a better approach [to the game] and when you put that sort of effort in, you seem to get those bounces.”
The Phantoms return to the Mahoning Valley for Games 3 and 4 this Tuesday and Wednesday at the Covelli Centre. The puck drops at 7:15 p.m. EST both nights.