The Youngstown Phantoms stole home ice from Green Bay with their 5-3 win Sunday. Green Bay got to Youngstown and stole it back with a 6-3 win over the Phantoms. Green Bay’s equivalent to the NHL’s ‘playoff beard’, was every member of the team dying their hair blond (seriously). The dye paid off, as Green Bay took 32 shots compared to Youngstown’s 20, and Alex Broadhurst scored a trio of shorthanded goals.
“We have been doing the bleach blond hair and dark facial hair for four years and it hasn’t hurt us”, said Broadhurst.
Green Bay started the scoring when Broadhurst intercepted the puck while the Phantoms were on a powerplay. Broadhurst burst into the Phantoms zone on what looked like a penalty shot and snuck the puck past Matt O’Connor just 2:41 into the contest.
The Phantoms tied the game when Todd Koritzinsky connected for his second goal of the playoffs. Koritzinski’s goal came at even-strength with 3:22 left to play in the first. Pat Conte and Chris Bradley (below) picked up assists on the Phantoms goal.
With 25 seconds left in the opening period, Sheldon Dries gave Green Bay a 2-1 lead to take back to the locker room. With 14:42 left in the second period, C. J. Eick increased the Gambler lead to 3-1 when he finished off a 3-on-2 breakaway chance.
The Gamblers offensive onslaught continued as they added another score. Grant Arnold didn’t get all of the slapshot he took between the right faceoff circle and blue line, but O’Connor was screened and the puck bounced and rolled by him. With 8:51 gone in the second, it was suddenly a 4-1 Gamblers lead.
A frustrated Phantoms team racked up ten second period penalty minutes. The one time they had the numbers, Broadhurst again intercepted a puck and gathered his second shorthanded, unassisted goal of the game to make it 5-1. Through two periods, the Phantoms were outshot 27-14.
“Bottom line is that we have no room left to lose”, said Anthony Noreen. “If we do lose, it’s all over and we are not ready for this to end. We will be fighting for our lives tomorrow night.”
In the third period, with 13:39 left in the game, Ryan Belonger broke into the Green Bay Zone and fired a shot from inside the right faceoff circle that trickled through Ryan McKay‘s equipment. Belonger’s goal was unassisted and made it a 5-2 game.
Green Bay is a very good hockey team that can score in waves. But the disturbing thing that showed was how cocky they play. They were chirping in the Phantoms ears every whistle of the game.
The cockiness caught up a bit when Youngstown scored on a powerplay chance. J.T. Stenglein scored with 6:55 left in the game to make it 5-3. Stenglein’s goal was a result of crisp passing and execution on the powerplay. Austin Cangelosi and Mike Ambrosia picked up assists on the goal.
Broadhurst completed his rare shorthanded hat trick at the 13:44 mark of the third period.
“That was my first hat trick in the USHL”, said Broadhurst, a 2011 seventh round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks. “I played hard and felt like I deserved that, they are a good team, so I was happy to get those chances.”
With the win, the Gamblers took a 2-1 series lead and can eliminate the Phantoms with a win Wednesday night at the Covelli Centre.