Posts Tagged ‘Austin Cangelosi’

Phantoms Outplay Opponent, But Lose, 4-2


Since 2009, the Phantoms have been playing hockey without having much postseason experience.  Finding themselves in an unfamiliar position, contending for a playoff spot, the Phantoms outshot, outhit, and looked sharper a majority of the game, but lost 4-2 to the Chicago Steel.  Unlucky would be a soft adjective.  Cursed would be closer to the truth.

The Steel put the first goal of the game up in less than a minute.  At the 26 second mark of the game, Phillip Marinaccio snuck the puck past Phantoms goaltender, Matt O’Connor.  The goal was the second of the season for Chicago’s best kept offensive secret. Andrew Miller was credited with an assist on the initial goal.  Before the smoke even cleared from the pregame fireworks, the Phantoms trailed.

After the early goal, O’Connor buckled down and made some good saves.  After two periods, the Phantoms still trailed 1-0.  In the second period, at least 70% of the action took place in the Chicago zone, but the Phantoms could not capitalize on the good looks they were getting.  The Steel had three less shots, 16,  than the Phantoms, who let it fly 19 times.  Steel goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos either must have felt like he hit the lottery, or he should go buy a few tickets after the game because the Phantoms had chances in the second period but were their own worst enemies with the puck.


In the third and final period, the Phantoms let a couple more chances get away.  Sam Anas was turned away right at the doorstep early in the period.  Chicago made the Phantoms pay when they scored a goal shortly after to take a 2-0 lead.  Canon Pieper recorded his goal of the season at even-strength.  Pieper was hanging out by the net when Jaccob Slavin rocketed a nice pass in front of O’Connor from the top of the right faceoff circle. Just outside of the goal crease on O’Connor’s glove side sat Pieper who tapped in the puck from short range for the goal with just over 16 minutes left in the game.

Chicago would strike again with 10:36 remaining in the game.  The Steel had just killed a penalty and the puck was still in their zone when Marinaccio and Ali Thomas broke out with the puck forming a timely two-on-one break.  Marinaccio carried the puck across the line and headed toward O’Connor before giving it up at the last second where Thomas was able to push it into the net for a 3-0 lead.


With 4:04 left in the game, the Phantoms ruined Sakellaropoulos’ perfect night.  Alex Gacek beat the Steel netminder glove side to make it a 4-1 game.  Austin Cangelosi and Dylan Margonari picked up assists on the even-strength chance.

With 59 seconds to go in the contest, the Phantoms again scored.  This time, Anas was able to light the lamp for the 12th time this season.  Cangelosi and Mike Ambrosia recorded assists.  However, too little too late was a proper adage on thos night for the Phantoms.

The Phantoms (24-14-3) took 31 shots and the Steel (14-27-1) got off 23 shots.

Youngstown Phantoms Profiles: Austin Cangelosi


This kid is a player.  Having covered the Phantoms for every season they have played, I have not seen a burst, a nose for the puck, or a natural ability to make something happen in any situation like I have from Austin Cangelosi.  The youngster who wears #9 for the Phantoms has a bright future in the sport of hockey and will, without a doubt, be wearing an NHL uniform.  He is a huge Devils fan, but the average hockey fan would see more Sidney Crosby in him than any Devil.

Paneech: You are an elite goal scorer at this level, what do you attribute your success to?

Cangelosi: I would say that the success comes from my speed.  I carry the puck into the zone and keep my feet moving and also going hard to the net.  My linemates finding my stick which helps me find the back of the net.

Paneech: Speaking of the line you are on, how would it aid or hurt you to be switched to a less productive line to help boost the teams chances to win?

Cangelosi: I definitely feel as though I am blessed to be on a great line.  I’m very comfortable with the guys and without even looking, I just know where they are going to be and they can find me.  Mike Ambrosia and Ryan Belonger have been great to play with.


Paneech: When you first got into playing hockey, was it something that was forced on you by your father, or did you pester your parents to let you try to play?

Cangelosi: I moved to Florida when I was seven years old and thought maybe I was going to play golf or tennis.  It just so happened that there was a rink five minutes from my house.  I went and checked it out and one of the coaches asked me if I would like to play, so I said ‘sure, why not‘.  From there, it just kicked off.  After my eighth grade year, we moved to Massachusetts and played at a prep school called Northfield Mount Herman.  I went there my freshman and sophomore years, and now I am here.

Paneech: Florida and Youngstown are very different.  Besides the obvious things like climate, you had Disney and came to an economically pressed valley struggling to breathe at times, what is the biggest difference to you?

Cangelosi: The people here are really friendly, the people are very positive.  At school and around the town, everybody has been great and there is a positive energy. It’s hard to keep on top of the schoolwork moving around so much, but I am doing the best that I can to stay on top of it.  I’m struggling with Algebra II, I have terrible math skills and I’m struggling with history.  I’m doing ok in Spanish and I really like my English class at Ursuline.  I like reading and analyzing stories.

Paneech: If you do not make it in hockey, what will you do?

Cangelosi: I haven’t got a clue.  Maybe if I don’t make it in hockey as a professional, I can run camps or something.  I do not want to be behind a desk in the future, I want to be moving.


Paneech: What kind of upbringing did you have?

Cangelosi: My dad was in business and was in sales.  My mother never really worked a job at all.  I have one brother, he is 21, and is playing Division III hockey in Connecticut.  My parents have been to a game, and I keep in touch.  I call my brother too.  I went home over Christmas break and won’t get back until the end of the season.

Paneech: Your name, for some reason unknown to me, did not appear on the NHL’s Top Prospects sheet.  Does that omission bum you out or force you to work harder?

Cangelosi: That sheet is just people’s opinions.  I can’t look at that as something I should take personally.  People pick who they think are the best, and if my name did not appear on their list, so be it.  I will continue to play hard and have fun out there, regardless of what other people think of my play.

Paneech: During a game, what situation do you excel in?

Cangelosi: I think I do good shorthanded because of my speed.  I get a lot of my chances by pressuring the puck when the opponent is on the powerplay.  They want us to be aggressive on the penalty kill.  We don’t want to sit back and let them control the tempo of the game.

Paneech:  Coach Noreen takes great pride in saying that he wants to outhit everybody.  How much pressure is there on you and someone like Sam Anas, two smaller guys, to live up to that expectation?

Cangelosi: We want to contribute to the hits to keep the identity of this team as a blue collar team.  We try to get at least three good hits a game.

Paneech: Favorite NHL team and player, and why?

Cangelosi: My favorite team is the New Jersey Devils and my favorite players are Zach Parise and Nathan Gerbe.  Gerbe plays for the Sabres and is 5’5″ and is one of the smallest guys in the league.  He plays with a chip on his shoulder and goes into the corner, bangs bodies, and scores goals.  I don’t like the Rangers because they always beat the Devils.  I’ve always been a Devils fan.


Paneech: How has it been playing for Coach Noreen?

Cangelosi: We go out there and execute what he tells us to do.  We have a lot of respect for him and for all of our coaches.  Our whole staff is pretty down to earth and they are easy to relate to because they are younger, but also because they have good heads on their shoulders and are always looking out for our best interests.

Paneech: There are a lot of Italians on the team.  Did you guys form a brotherhood or anything?

Cangelosi: (laughs) Uh, no.  We eat pasta every day on the road.  Not because of the Italians on the team, but because it has the most carbs and they feel it is the best thing to eat.

Paneech: If God got a hold of you and said, “Austin, I have bad news, there will be no more hockey.  You can participate in boxing, MMA, or golf.”  Which would you choose?

Cangelosi: I would pick golf.  My mother helps out at a golf shop, so we get all of the free golf we want.  Usually, my brother and I go play golf.  I shoot about a 90 for eighteen holes.


One Word Answers With Austin Cangelosi

Favorite Breakfast: Frosted Flakes And Bananas.

Favorite Drink: Ginger Ale.

Favorite Movie: Mystery Alaska.

Video Games: Call of Duty on the XBox, but mostly NHL Live 2012.

Music Preference: Big Taylor Swift fan.

Favorite Color:  Red.

Favorite Fast Food Order: Wendy’s.  I get Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers, a Chicken Sandwich, Fries, and a Frosty.  I dip the fries and the burger into the Frosty.

Favorite Olympic Sport Other Than Hockey: Soccer.

Favorite Teams: Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, and Rafael Nadal.

Cartoon: Tom And Jerry.

Pets: We have four cats.  Panda and Bear are twins, and Chloe and White Socks.  I am allergic to cats, so when I am home, I get all clogged up and my eyes get all red and itchy.

Phantoms Cangelosi Earns USHL Player of The Week Honors


Youngstown Phantoms center Austin Cangelosi has been named the USHL’s co-CCM Offensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday.  Cangelosi, 17, scored three goals and added two assists last week as the Phantoms (23-13-3, T-third East) went 2-1-0, including a pair of road wins over the Dubuque Fighting Saints and the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.

This is the first time that Cangelosi, who is committed to Boston College, has captured the USHL’s weekly award. He is the seventh different Phantoms player to do so this season.

“I was actually a bit surprised it hadn’t happened yet,” Head Coach Anthony Noreen said of the announcement. “It’s something that’s definitely been a long time coming and something that is well-deserved. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Cangelosi, an Estero, Fla., native, netted the lone goal for the Phantoms in a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Steel Wednesday morning. On Friday, he scored the game-winning goal and added a pair of assists as the Phantoms downed the defending Clark Cup champion Fighting Saints 5-3. Then on Saturday, he got the scoring started off as the Phantoms captured the franchise’s first victory at the Stable in Cedar Rapids with a 4-3 win.

“His motor never stops. His speed, quickness and ability to create separation allow him to create chances just about every time he’s on the ice. He’s also very mature for his age and has probably handled the jump to junior hockey as well as anyone has, especially considering he’s the youngest guy on our team.”

Having recently interviewed Cangelosi, I will be putting up an extensive piece on him this weekend.

Phantoms Get Big 3-2 Win Over Dubuque In Front Of Good Crowd


The Youngstown Phantoms have been pining for an audience to support them for three seasons now.  Friday night, thanks to ‘YSU night’, a winning record, and some good promotions, the Zoldan family got a taste of what the potential can be.  Matt O’Connor turned away 40 shots and the Youngstown Phantoms dazzled a crowd of well over 3,500 with a 3-2 win.  The crowd was loud for most of the game and made a big adrenaline push for the home team.

“Having the big crowd was awesome”, commented Phantoms coach Anthony Noreen.  “We fed off of them and they fed off of us and it is the kind of crowd we would like to duplicate.  I always tell people that watching a game on TV does the sport of hockey no justice and to see a game live.”

In the first period, Dubuque (20-11-3) scored 7:42 into the game.  Jono Davis beat O’Connor to put the Fighting Saints ahead 1-0.  Davis gathered the puck in front of the crease and basically danced around O’Connor beating him glove side with a nifty move.

The Phantoms retaliated when Austin Cangelosi found the back of the net for his 16th goal of the season.  Michael Gunn and Mike Ambrosia picked up assists.  Cangelosi received a real nice feed as they broke into the Dubuque zone and made Fighting Saints goaltender, Matt Morris, pay by beating him.  The game-tying goal came with 4:58 left in the first period.


In the second period, the Phantoms offense came to life.  Todd Koritzinsky broke out of the Phantoms zone and fired about ten feet beyond the blue line to beat Morris and give the Phantoms a 2-1 lead.  Koritzinsky’s goal was unassisted and was his fourth of the season.

The Phantoms increased their lead to 3-1 when Ryan Belonger scored at close range with exactly three minutes left to play in the third period.  Koritzinsky, having a very productive night, notched his second point of the game with an assist on the even-strength goal.

The stat that no one would believe was that after two periods, the Phantoms had three goals on just 12 shots.  The Fighting Saints had 33 shots and only one goal.  O’ Connor really made some tremendous saves for the Phantoms during the second period.


In the third period, the Phantoms (21-12-3) killed a couple of penalties.  In fact, Dubuque only had one shot on goal through both man advantages, the defense and special teams really stepped it up.  The Phantoms seemed content to work the clock as they were offensively dumping and chasing in the Dubuque zone.  The Fighting Saints were scurrying around and taking urgent chances and cut the deficit to 3-2, but got no closer.  Dubuque outshot Youngstown, 42-21.

“This probably wouldn’t even be in the top half of the games we have played this season”, said Noreen.  “Matt [O’Connor] was unbelievable and on a night that we didn’t give him a ton of offensive support, he was able to put this team on his back and won the game.”

USHL / NHL Top Prospects Game To Be Webcast Free


The United States Hockey League has announced that there will be a free online broadcast of the 2012 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, presented by CCM, delivered live on FASTHockey, the USHL’s exclusive online broadcast provider. The game is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 24 at the L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Mich., beginning at 7:15 p.m. EST.

The game, which is the first of its kind for the USHL, will showcase many of the top USHL players eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. A total of 30 players selected are in their first year of eligibility for the NHL Entry Draft. Seven of the players are draft-eligible for the second time this year. In addition, the USHL will showcase three players who are eligible to be drafted by NHL teams in 2013.

The Youngstown Phantoms will be sending three players to the event: center Austin Cangelosi, center Richard Zehnal and defenseman Chris Bradley. Additionally, Phantoms play-by-play announcer Bart Logan will be part of the FASTHockey broadcast team.

Viewers can watch the webcast live via multiple formats – the USHL’s Facebook page, through a previously established FASTHockey account, or Roku users can watch the game on the platform’s USHL channel.

Phantoms Use Every Axe In The House Chopping Lumberjacks, 7-3


The Youngstown Phantoms, powered by a four-goal outburst in the first period, looked as good as they have all year in defeating the Muskegon Lumberjacks, 7-3.  Matt O’Connor is too good of a goaltender to give that kind of lead to, and he and the Phantoms defense and special teams held up their end of the bargain in the win. O’Connor turned away 21 of 22 shots in notching his 15th win of the season.

The first period of the game featured four goals from the hometown Phantoms. Richard Zehnal got the party started with his fifth goal of the season just 1:43 after the start of the game.  Sam Anas earned an assist on Zehnal’s momentum-starting goal.  The Phantoms then broke an 0-23 powerplay drought when Dylan Margonari found the back of the net with a man advantage with 11:45 to go in the first period. Margonari’s ninth goal of the season was assisted by Stephen Collins.

The Phantoms showed no slowing up and Anas nabbed a goal of his own scarfing up a loose puck that was batted around the Muskegon crease for what seemed like hours, stuffing the puck past Lumberjack netminder John Keeney. Anas’ goal was also a powerplay chance in which Chris Bradley and Margonari were credited with assists. To put an exclamation point on a grand first period, another powerplay goal was recorded by the Phantoms. J.T. Stenglein notched goal number 15 with a man advantage. Austin Cangelosi and Mike Ambrosia earned assists. All that on just ten first period shots.

“There was a big scrum on that powerplay in front of the net”, said Anas.  “Eventually the puck trickled out toward me and I shot it high and it went in.”

Anas picked up a two-minute minor for roughing in the third period.  The scrappy Phantom possesses great skills and is about half the size as many of the other skaters the ice.  This penalty was hard to figure out though as Anas was in a headlock on the side of the net while the refs chased down other problems developing elsewhere.

“I have had penalties before, even picked up a roughing in Green Bay.”


The second period featured a frustrated Lumberjack team unable to convert on their powerplay opportunities.  Lots of pushing and shoving (26 penalty minutes combined on 12 penalties), lots of smack talk, but no goals for either team.  Muskegon pulled starting goaltender Keeney and inserted Paul Berrafato between the pipes.  The Phantoms held a 21-12 advantage in shots after two and handled their four-goal lead with care.

“We don’t like to judge on results”, said Anthony Noreen when asked about breaking the 0-23 powerplay drought.  “I thought we did a really good job protecting the puck. We watched films and told the guys to just keep it simple tonight.  Our powerplay has been good, we just weren’t scoring.  Tonight, after we got one, it was contagious and we popped a couple more in.”

In the third,  the Lumberjacks snuck one past O’Connor to make it 4-1 in favor of the Phantoms.  With 16:15 to go in the game, the Phantoms got that goal right back.  Mike Ambrosia connected for the ninth time this season.  Ambrosia’s goal was unassisted and swung the pendulum back toward the Phantoms.

With 9:56 left to go in the game, the Phantoms threw more wood on the fire as Stephen Collins made it 6-1.  Collins’ second goal of the season was of the even-strength variety and Michael Gunn nabbed an assist.


In picking up his 15th win of the season, O’Connor turned away 21 shots.  He was replaced by Sean Romeo with about five minutes left in the game.  Romeo gave up two goals, but to his defense, he was pretty well shielded from seeing what was coming on the Lumberjack’s first score.  Ryan Bullock got the unassisted score to make it 6-2.  Less than a minute later John Padulo beat Romeo on a rebounded shot that clanked the post.

The Phantoms (18-8-2) put the final nail in the coffin with Collins getting a second goal on the evening to make it a 7-3 game.  The goal came with 2:51 remaining and closed the door on the scoring.  Fights and tempers were plentiful and frequent in this one.  Carve it out any way you want to:  with an axe, like a Lumberjack, or a chainsaw, like a Phantom.

“We tell these guys to stay urgent and not pay attention to the scoreboard”, said Noreen.  “They did a pretty good job staying focused and executing.”

Phantoms Lose To The Flu (And The Ice), 3-0


The Youngstown Phantoms were battling more than just the Indiana Ice this weekend and it showed. The Phantoms (16-8-2, fourth East) fell 3-0 Saturday – shutout for just the second time all season – while nearly a third of the team was fighting the flu as well.

“We’re not very healthy right now. We had about six or eight guys who were cleared medically, but were probably at about 60 percent,” Head Coach Anthony Noreen said. “Obviously Austin Cangelosiwas one of those. He played last night but was just physically unable to do anything [tonight]. That’s why he was out of the lineup, the same with Zach Tatrn.  But give [the Ice] credit. They had their chances and they put them in the back of the net. We had ours and we didn’t.””

The Ice (17-7-4, second East) jumped out a one-goal lead before the two-minute mark in the first period when Sean Kuraly spun a backhand pass to John Doherty on an odd-man rush and the former Dubuque Fighting Saint put it past Matt O’Connor. Then, after two straight checking from behind calls against the Phantoms, the Ice were given a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:25 and the league’s top-ranked power play capitalized. Robert Polesello got a stick on a Daniil Tarasov one-timer and redirected into the net to stretch the lead to 2-0 at the 14:29 mark.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second, thanks to some terrific goaltending on both ends. About halfway through the period Todd Koritzinsky found Sam Anas undetected in front of the net and the Potomac, Md. native pulled the puck on his forehand and tried to stuff it in, but Ice goaltender Jon Gillies stretched his 6-foot-5 frame to get a glove up and make the save.

“Jon Gillies – if there’s a better goaltender in the league, I’d like to see him,” Noreen said. “He was phenomenal tonight.”

Then after a failed 3-on-1 attempt for the Phantoms, Polesello found Tarasov, who was floating around the Youngstown blue line, with a homerun pass. Tarasov went in on his own and faked backhand before bringing it to his forehand for the shot but O’Connor read him the whole way and denied the reigning USHL goal-scoring leader on the breakaway to give the Phantoms something to build on heading into the final period.

“In no way, shape or form should Matt have any blame tonight,” Noreen said. “He gave us the chance to win.”

Unfortunately, it was not to be. An overaggressive forecheck gave the Ice a 4-on-2 going the other way and Kuraly beat O’Connor with a one-timer from the right circle to stretch the lead to 3-0 with 12:55 left in regulation and it was more than enough.

“That third goal was kind of the way the weekend went for us,” Noreen said. “We made one mistake and it ended up in the back of our net.”

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.

Phantoms Knock Off Top Dog Green Bay, 5-3


Earlier this week, Youngstown Phantoms right wing Ryan Belonger said the team might need a lucky bounce to beat the first-place Green Bay Gamblers. On Friday night, the Green Bay native provided that bounce.  Belonger redirected a rocket point shot from Mike Gunn off of his skate with 13:06 remaining in the third period to give the Phantoms (15-6-1, T-second East) a 4-3 lead en route to an eventual 5-3 win over the Gamblers (19-4-1, first East) in the Resch Center. Luck, however, had little to do with it.

Mike Ambrosia had a pair of goals to go along with an assist, while JT Stenglein and Alex Gacek also scored for the Phantoms. Austin Cangelosi added a pair of helpers on both of Ambrosia’s goals while Matthew O’Connor made 26 saves to secure his 12th win of the season.

“Is it nice to get a win going against what’s probably the best team in the league? Absolutely,” Head Coach Anthony Noreen said. “But I don’t think we treated it very different from any other game.”


“It was a good confidence builder to know we have the ability to do it, but it took 20 guys going hard for 60 minutes to do it”, said Noreen.

The Phantoms did not take long to get on the board, taking a 1-0 lead just 2:23 into the first period off of Gacek’s fifth of the season. Daniel Renouf stepped into a slap shot from the top of the right circle and the rebound caromed to Gacek on the backdoor. The Miami University commit got it on his backhand, spun around to bring it on his forehand and threw it past Green Bay goaltender Ryan McKay into an open net.

The Gamblers tied it up a little more than three minutes later when Alex Kile found Sheldon Dries alone in the front of the Youngstown goal after a failed Phantoms clearing attempt. Grigory Dikushin put Green Bay up 2-1 at the 12:41 mark on an odd-man rush after a great feed from Peter Maric.

Belonger nearly tied it up with 15 seconds left when Cangelosi dropped it to him in the slot, but the Green Bay native’s backhand was knocked away by McKay and the Gamblers carried that lead into the first intermission.


Stenglein knotted things up on the power play 7:50 into the second period. The Greece, N.Y., native walked around the Gamblers defenseman to go in alone on McKay and then reached around the netminder to push the puck into the back of the net.

“He just willed that puck in,” Noreen said. “He had a bad angle coming in and his only chance to score was to walk around the goalie and he did that and put it in with one hand.”

Alexander Dahl earned a penalty shot when he was hauled down by Jordan Schmaltz after sneaking past the Green Bay blue-liner, but McKay made the save on his backhand attempt to preserve the tie.

Green Bay then retook the lead on a power play with 6:51 to go in the second. The Gamblers simply outmanned the Phantoms down low in front of the net and Sam Herr dug it out of a scrum and swept it past O’Connor. But just 79 seconds later, Ambrosia tied it once again. Cangelosi put a puck in Ambrosia’s wheelhouse and the Phantoms captain’s shot deflected off a defender’s stick past McKay. The teams ended the second period locked at 3-3.

After Belonger’s goal gave the Phantoms the lead, Ambrosia sealed the game with his second of the night. Cangelosi fed it to him on the half wall and he fired it low and past McKay to make give the Phantoms the two-goal cushion.

“I tell the guys all the time that if they want to know what our team is all about, just look at No. 14,” Noreen said. “Just the way he acts off the ice, watch the way he plays the game and watch what he does in crucial situations down near the end. Then, to hear him after the game in the locker room say, ‘this is what we expect to do, it’s no big deal’ – that’s the reason he’s our captain.”

Phantoms Finish 2011 Home Schedule With 3-1 Win


The Youngstown Phantoms created memories for more than just their fans Saturday night at the Covelli Centre. The Phantoms (14-6-1, T-second East) defeated the Chicago Steel 3-1 and gathered nearly 700 stuffed animals to donate to Akron Children’s Hospital of Mahoning Valley from their third annual Teddy Bear Toss.

JT Stenglein scored two goals and Ryan Belonger netted one as well while Mike Ambrosia andAustin Cangelosi both added a pair of assists. Goaltender Matthew O’Connor turned away 24 of 25 shots to record his 11th win of the season.

“I can’t remember seeing him give up one rebound the entire night,” Head Coach Anthony Noreen said of his goaltender. “He ate up everything.”

Chicago (7-14-1, eighth East) took the lead on the power play just under 11 minutes into the first period with Stenglein in the box for interference. Michael Fallon grabbed the puck off a failed clearing attempt, skated it in and wristed it past O’Connor.


But less than seven minutes later, Stenglein redeemed himself on the man-advantage.  Cangelosi handed it to Ambrosia on the half-wall and the Princeton commit skated it in the corner, drew the Chicago defense, then backhanded a pass through a miniscule opening and Stenglein punched it in on the backdoor.

The goal triggered a downpour of hundreds of stuffed animals from the stands that halted play for nearly five minutes as staff and players cleared the ice. When it was all said and done 681 stuffed animals were collected and the Phantoms and Steel entered the first intermission tied at one.

Stenglein found the back of the net again at the 12:08 mark in the second to put Youngstown up 2-1. Cangelosi skated the puck out of his zone and moved it over to Ambrosia, who got the puck on net from the left side. The rebound caromed out into the high slot where Stenglein was trailing and quickly wristed it back toward goal for his 12th of the season.

Belonger, who left the ice in the first period after a collision with Chicago’s Patrick Polino, stretched the lead to two goals 2:13 into the third. Steel defenseman Ryan Trentz lost the puck behind his net and Belonger got it on the goal line and beat Mathias Dahlstrom from the nearly impossible angle – especially for a right-handed shooter – to cap the scoring.

“It was a bit scary for us when Ryan got banged up in the first period,” Noreen said. “But he got cleared and goes out and scores a goal. Maybe that hit cleared him up a bit.”