Posts Tagged ‘Curt Carr’
Scott Mayfield will be headed to Toronto at the end of May to participate in the National Hockey League’s draft combine. Mayfield is the first Phantom and one of twelve current USHL players making the trip across the border.
The trip to the combine is not Mayfield’s first trip to an NHL event held in Toronto. Last season he took part in the NHL’s Research, Development and Orientation Camp (RDO) where he had the opportunity to skate in front of both NHL scouts and general managers.
“I am very excited to head back up to Toronto,” said Mayfield. “It will be a great opportunity to work out with the players I skated with at the RDO camp. It will also be an opportunity to see how I compare off the ice with these players.”
Mayfield dressed in 52 games and tallied seven goals and nine assists (16pts) in his second season with the Phantoms. Half of his point production came when the Phantoms were on a man advantage, three goals and five assists on the power play. Mayfield also finished the season ranked twenty-fourth out of all North American skaters by NHL’s Central Scouting.
“I set a lot of goals for myself this year,” said Mayfield. “Competing at the combine was one of them and I am honored that I was able to reach my goal with this invite. I have watched the combine before and now I am excited to be a part of it.”
The NHL combine is conducted by NHL Central Scouting and it is a series of tests that will provide the NHL teams with more information on the players. There will not be any on-ice sessions, but the players will take part in intense off-ice workouts, be interviewed by NHL teams and undergo medical examinations by independent doctors. Since the end of the season, Mayfield has been back at home in St. Louis preparing for the combine both physically and mentally.
“I have been working out with my trainer Dave Reddy,” said Mayfield, “and we have been working on all of the tests that I will take at the combine. I am trying to get stronger in those specific areas so I can make sure I perform well. I think everyone is going to be nervous with all the teams and media there, but you have to be able to look at it as just another workout. Scouts watched me during my games and I had to block them out so I am going to try and do the same in Toronto.”
Phantoms head coach Curtis Carr is proud of the accomplishment made by his second year defenseman. He was also quick to credit the hard work Mayfield put in during his two seasons in Youngstown.
“We are extremely proud of Scott,” said Carr. “This invitation is a proud moment for both Scott and the organization. Scott is a great player and an even better person who has worked hard both on and off the ice to make himself better. He deserves this opportunity.”
The Youngstown Phantoms (23-30-7,53 pts) did their part by winning their last two games of the season, but unfortunately Waterloo also picked up a win which has eliminated the Phantoms from the playoff picture. On Fan Appreciation Night, the Phantoms defeated the Chicago Steel (9-43-8,26 pts) 8-2 and they were led by Ryan Belonger who recorded the second Phantoms hat trick in as many nights.
Danny Mattson and the Phantoms got on the board first with ten minutes left in the first period after Mattson put a rebound shot past Chicago netminder Connor Wilson to give the Phantoms the early lead. It did not take the Steel long to answer when Joel Benson put a wrist shot in the back of the net to tie the game up at one just two minutes later. After the Benson goal, the Phantoms took control of the game for good. Dylan Margonari scored once and Belonger scored twice for the Phantoms to close out the first period. Youngstown took a 4-1 lead into the first intermission.
“Our guys played well and it was nice to see them get rewarded for their hard work,” said Phantoms head coach Curtis Carr. “We said the whole way that we need to win these two games to give ourselves a chance and unfortunately it just did not work out for us.”
In the second period, only two goals would find the back of the net. Ben Paulides, who has been pushing for a goal this whole season, found the back of the net with a slap shot from the point that beat Wilson low on his glove side. The Steel would come back :44 later and cut the lead back down to three goals as Aiden Cavallini scored on a rebound in front of the Phantoms crease. The Phantoms went into the second intermission leading Chicago 5-2.
In the third period, the Phantoms would add three more goals to bring their total to eight. Chris Bradley scored his first of the night with a slap shot from the point and Margonari would score the Phantoms third power play goal of the game but both would be out done by number 16. Belonger tipped a Justin Stevens slap shot past Colin Brennan to secure his first career hat trick and the Phantoms second trick in as many nights.
“I felt like I was one uped by Ambrosia last night,” said Belonger. “I felt like I had to get him back, he had his three, so I felt like I needed to get my three.”
Unfortunately for the Phantoms, their hard work and scoring prowess will still leave them just shy of the playoff after Waterloo defeated the Dubuque Fighting Saints 2-1. Even in defeat there are still positive lessons for both the returning and graduating Phantoms to take with them as they depart for the summer.
The Youngstown Phantoms (18-24-4, 40pts) scored two goals in the first and two in the third on their way to a 4-1 victory over Team USA. Ty Loney extended his goal scoring streak to four games and Ben Paulides earned his second multi-point game of the season with two assists.
The Phantoms held Team USA to just four shots on goal in the first period and they were able to find the back of the net twice on 12 shots of their own. At 7:53 of the first period, Dylan Margonari skated the puck into the offensive zone and fired a wrist shot from the left circle that went over the glove hand of Jared Rutledge and into the back of the net. Margonari’s goal was his fourth of the season and his first since December 10 against Green Bay. Just three minutes later, Scott Mayfield intercepted a pass at center ice and like Margonari, he put the puck past Rutledge on the glove hand side. Like last night, the Phantoms continued to press Team USA in the neutral zone as they generated turnover after turnover.
“We talked about it before the game,” said Carr. “We knew they would come out pressing on offensive, we knew if we played like we did last night that we could shut them down in the neutral zone. We smothered them at times, forcing the turnovers and generating chances off of them.”
The Phantoms came out in the second period looking to feed off of their momentum from the first but neither team was unable to generate those five-on-five chances because of the six different penalties in the frame. In the middle frame, neither team could capitalize on their power play chances and with a shot total of, 10-8 in favor of Youngstown, there was a clear sense of how the style of the game had changed.
“We told our guys between periods to stay within our systems,” said Carr. “With Team USA trailing by two we knew they would need to change their style in order to climb back into the game. It was very important for us to keep playing our game.”
Going into the third period the game had the same special teams style like the one seen in the second period. A total of seven penalties were issued, but one in particular swung the game further away from Team USA. Austin Wuthrich, was issued a five minute major and a game misconduct for his hit from behind on Margonari. On the ensuing five minute power play, Danny Mattson found the back of the net for his first goal as a Phantom. The power play goal put the Phantoms up 3-0 and five minutes later Loney scored on a feed fromAdam Berkle to put the Phantoms up by four. Team USA would deny Jordan Tibbett his second shutout of the season when Frankie Vatrano scored with just 1:49 left on the clock. The Phantoms 4-1 win was their third straight over Team USA. Paulides tallied his second multi-point game of the season with two assist during tonight’s game.
“Getting the points are great,” said Paulides. “What is even more important is that we picked up two more points in the standings. Tomorrow I will go back to playing my defensive style of hockey and we will hopefully pick up two more points.”
Note to the Youngstown Phantoms scheduling and promo teams… Always schedule a team with a cosmic name like “Stars” on Star Wars Night. The force was with the Phantoms as Youngstown got the best of Lincoln in a hard-fought, shootout, 4-3 victory. Ryan Belonger, the last shooter for the Phantoms made a dazzling move to give the Phantoms the extra point in a great hockey game.
Lincoln scored the lone goal of the first period to take a 1-0 lead into the intermission. John McCarron scored his 13th goal of the season, this one with a man advantage. McCarron’s goal (below) came with just under three minutes remaining in the initial period, and Ryan Dzingel was credited with an assist his team-leading 22nd. The Stars outshot the Phantoms 19-8 in the opening period.
Youngstown was able to tie the game at a goal apiece at the 2:58 mark of the second period when Ryan Belonger scored on a Phantoms man-advantage. For Belonger, it was goal 12 on the season and Mike Ambrosia picked up an assist.
Lincoln did not take long to regain the lead when Garrett Peterson tallied at the 6:27 mark. Peterson took a pass from McCarron to beat Matt O’Connor from a tough angle. Peterson’s 15th goal of the season was an even-strength score.
The Phantoms would score the next two goals of the game to forge ahead, 3-2. Jiri Sekac got into the plus column with his 12th of the season. Ben Paulides gained an assist on Sekac’s game-tying even strength goal which came at the 11:07 mark of the second. The next Phantoms goal would be recorded by Cody Strang, his 13th of the year. Strang gave the Phantoms their first lead of the game at the 14:17 mark of the second.
The fifth goal of the second period was scored by Lincoln’s Brent Tate and tied the game, 3-3 at the 16:36 mark. Tate found the twine unassisted for his ninth goal of the season at even strength. The hamster race that was the second period found Lincoln ahead 31-24 in the shots on goal department.
In the third period, Ambrosia stole a puck right by the Lincoln blue line and was hauled down and awarded a penalty shot. Stars net minder, Lukas Hafner , stoned Ambrosia to keep the game tied at three goals each. The rest of the third period was uneventful for the Phantoms offense, only able to generate four shots on goal. The offensive lapse did not hurt as the Stars were also unableto find the net forcing a five minute overtime period.
In the overtime, no one was able to score, setting up a shootout to determine which team would get one point and which would receive two. Lincoln outshot the Phantoms 47-29 in regulation and overtime. Matt O’Connor had a good game.
This is how the shootout went. Lincoln sent Zachary Aston-Reese out first and he scored. Cody Strang tied it up on the Phantoms first attempt. Peterson was next for the Stars, but before he could unload, O’Connor poke-checked the puck away. The Phantoms then sent Adam Berkle who was stopped. The Stars third shooter was Dominik Shine who went top shelf and scored, 2-1 Stars. Youngstown then sent Jiri Sekac who was stopped. With a 2-1 shootout lead, Lincoln sent Matt Prapavessis, who tried the five-hole and was stopped. Youngstown’s fourth shooter was Ty Loney. Loney tied the shootout at 2 each when he sent a wrister past Hafner. O’Connor would stuff Lincoln’s final shooter, John McCarron. Ryan Belonger then became a hero when he put the game-winner past Hafner giving the Phantoms the big two-point win.
With the win, Youngstown jumped to 15-22-4 and Lincoln fell to 19-16-4. The Phantoms welcome Chicago and muskegon to the Covelli Centre next weekend.
I consider myself fortunate to have met some good people both in Youngstown, and nationally. I couldn’t get a hold of quite a few of them, but was very happy to reach the ones that I did. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers tee it up tomorrow in Super Bowl XLV. Here are predictions from a few folks with some star power on how the game will end.
Will Murray – Howard Stern Show Segment Producer
“I think Green Bay is going to win a very high-scoring game. I will say the Packers beat the Steelers, 31-24. That might be a little low on the score, but I do like the over and the Packers and expect a bunch of points.”
Joe Scalzo – Youngstown Vindicator Sports Reporter
“Green Bay Packers 823 kajillion, Pittsburgh Steelers 0. I wanted to predict that the Steelers would end up with negative points, but I don’t want anyone to think I am biased.”
Donald Jones – Buffalo Bills and Former YSU Receiver
Donald Jones is attending the game in Texas after a stellar rookie season with the Buffalo Bills, where he started the last eight games and expects to play a bigger role in the offense next season. “I think Green Bay is going to win. It should be a good game and it is really great being a part of this atmosphere. It’s a different world, just crazy down here. I’ll say the final score will be Green Bay 28, Pittsburgh 21.
Larry Snyder – Voice of The Phantoms
I think the Steelers will beat the Packers, 24-21. The Packers will make it close in the second half, but ultimately, the clock will be their enemy as Pittsburgh holds them off to get the close win.
Curt Carr – Head Coach of The Youngstown Phantoms
“Everybody wrote the Packers off when Aaron Rodgers got hurt. I think he will lead his Green Bay Packer team to a 24-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in a close game. It’s a really tough prediction, but they are the hot team.”
Trevor Parks – YSU Sports Information Director
“Packers 27, Steeelers 21. Charles Woodson will be named the MVP at the end of the game for the Pack.”
Jack Loew– Southside Boxing, Trainer of Kelly Pavlik
“My wife likes Pittsburgh, so I will say that Green Bay wins 24-17.”
Anthony Paneech – Owner / Editor of Paneech.com
Pittsburgh has a great defense, but the Packers have a great linebacker. Clay Matthews is the best linebacker in the league right now. I know Steelers fans will haggle that Troy Polamalu was the NFL Defensive Player of The Year, but linebackers have bigger impacts on the majority of the plays from scrimmage. Having kicked the outcome around for a few days, the prediction here is Green Bay 30, Pittsburgh 20. Clay Matthews will have at least two sacks.
The Youngstown Phantoms have acquired former Chicago Steel forward Danny Mattson in a trade that was completed last night. The Phantoms exchanged their sixth round pick with conditions to become a fourth round selection to acquire the Bemidji State University commit.
Mattson is a native of Minneapolis, MN and in 23 games with the Steel he has tallied five goals and seven assists for a total of 12 points. Mattson is in his second year in the USHL and his career has been split between the Omaha Lancers and Chicago.
“We traded for Danny because of his age and experience in the league,” said Phantom head coach Curtis Carr. “He is a twenty-year old in the league and we feel that since he is getting ready to go to college a playoff run will be the perfect thing to motivate him. He also gives us some veteran experience with his time spent in the USHL.”
Mattson brings experience to the Phantoms locker room but he also brings a knack for scoring to the Youngstown line-up. The Phantoms top line of Jiri Sekac, Cody Strang and Ty Loney has put up consistent numbers all season. For the Phantoms other forward lines, Mattson has the opportunity to come in and give the Phantoms scoring depth beyond that first line.
“He is a half a point a game producer,” said Carr. “With a lot of our close games he could be a guy that plays a role in any outcome. We do not expect him to come in as ‘the guy’ but he can help our top six by adding a little firepower.”
During his senior year of high school Mattson established a new career points record of 213 points at Holy Angels and during that season he produced 76 points (25g,51a) for the Stars. He was also a finalist for the Mr. Hockey Award, given to the top high school player in the state of Minnesota.
“We feel that we have not had someone step up on our second line and dominate the way we would like,” said Carr. “It is nothing against our players but Danny comes in proving he can put up consistent offensive numbers.”
Mattson will make his debut with the Phantoms this Saturday when he and his new teammates take on the visiting Dubuque Fighting Saints. Mattson is traveling from Chicago and the winter weather that hit that region has slowed the forwards move here to Youngstown.
The Youngstown Phantoms welcomed an old friend back into the crease. Jordan Tibbett (above) has not played a game for the Phantoms since last season, has not even played in a hockey game since October, but popped up on the roster Friday night. Even more fascinating, he started the game looking like a rent-a-goalie with his #41 shirt, no name, and green shorts that would make the Irish jealous on St. Patrick’s Day.
Unfortunately for the Phantoms, Tri-City’s Scott Diebold (below) was also “locked” in. The two goaltenders combined to stop 48 shots through the first two periods of a scoreless game. Through those first two periods of the game, Youngstown had more shots (25) than Tri-City (23) but nobody could slip the puck past either net minder in a classic defensive battle. Tri-City mustered two third period goals to get a 2-0 win on this night behind a great effort from Diebold.
The Phantoms did not put a shot on goal in the third period until the 12:53. It seemed like so much of this game was spent in transition from one side of the rink to the other and neither squad was getting a second chance to get a shot off and the action progressed to the other end, very tennis-like. Andrew Sinelli picked up a two-minute minor to put the Storm on the power play. At the very tail-end of that man advantage, Tri-City got the first score of the game with 10:28 remaining. Alex Carpenter connected unassisted just to the left of Tibbett’s crease and the puck appeared to deflect in off of Tibbett.
Brian Ward gave Tri-City a 2-0 lead when he struck gold on a quick takeaway from short range. Danill Zharkov was credited with an assist on Ward’s third goal of the season with 6:58 left in the game.
The Phantoms only managed to take seven shots in the third period, and five of those were in the last 1:30 of the game.
With the win, Tri-City improved to 16-13-7. Diebold posted the shutout for the Storm and did nothing to hurt his goals against average or his save percentage stopping all 33 Phantoms shots he faced. The Phantoms dipped to 13-20-4 and played well for the most part.
After the game, Coach Carr commented on the lack of offensive production. “I thought we came out really strong in the first period, it almost felt too easy. In the third period, we panicked and made some costly mistakes. Jordan played well enough to give us a chance to win but we couldn’t do much offensively in the third period.”
Carr explained why Tibbett is back and what happened to Greg Lewis. “We activated Jordan based on his experience. Greg played exceptionally well with us but we sent him away to develop hoping he will return next year with more experience.”
Ty Loney is still learning how to put on a serious face when he has to. His father, Troy Loney, was a member of the great Pittsburgh Penguins championship teams of the 1990’s. Loney, like his team, has been through an emotional circus this season. He missed some games when he was injured, but says he is healthy and ready to go. Don’t think Ty is getting a chance to skate at this level because of his last name, he is good on his own merits. College scouts, pay attention, he is unsigned. The thing someone who doesn’t spend much time around Loney would notice is that he battles not to smile. I got to catch up with Ty after a recent practice at the Ice Zone.
Paneech: Do you have a college in mind, or are you open to whoever offers?
Loney: Not really. Obviously, the big name schools are in the back of your mind. It is all pretty much based on what the school is looking for at that time. I am talking to schools, it’s not like anything isn’t happening. Hopefully, within the next couple of months, I will know more. If I don’t get a scholarship this year, I would probably keep playing in the USHL.
Paneech: Do you think scouts are waiting to see if you can play a healthy stretch?
Loney: I guess, yeah. I have been under the radar a little bit, so I have to keep playing hard. As long as the team is playing well and we can keep winning, that would be the best thing for me.
Paneech: You are on a real productive line with Jiri Sekac and Cody Strang. Is the chemistry natural or do you guys work hard at practice to be in sync?
Loney: It is chemistry. On and off the ice, me, Strang, and Jiri gel really well together. The coaches help us out a lot and I think we all gain confidence by feeding off of each others energy.
Paneech: Your father was an NHL All-Star in Pittsburgh. Does he push hockey or college on you, and what is he doing these days?
Loney: My father is in pharmaceutical management. He is still around the game and coaches my little brother. He coached me all of my life. As far as the education part goes, I don’t know. I might get involved in marketing or teaching, I’m really pretty wide-open. My goal is to get the best education at the best possible hockey school.
Paneech: All of those big names: Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Kevin Stevens, Mark Recchi… Who did you get to like out of those guys?
Loney: Well, I was about two years old whenever that happened. I skate with the alumni guys and have gotten to know a lot of them pretty well. Bryan Trottier, um Mr. Trottier is a really nice guy. He is a lot of fun to be around and is very energetic and he was a great player. He has been very fun to skate with at the alumni practices.
Paneech: Current NHL Hockey, are you a fan and do you watch? Who do you like?
Loney: Yeah, I watch all the time. My favorite player has got to be Rick Nash or Jerome Iginla. I have always loved Iginla ever since he started in the league. Both of my parents are from Alberta, and the Flames were the Alberta team, so I grew up on Iginla. He is a hard worker and a goal-scorer, just a great guy to be around too. I was lucky enough to meet him when I was younger.
Paneech: What has been your favorite part about Youngstown?
Loney: I love doing the community service stuff. Me and Dylan [Margonari] were talking about it and we both really enjoy that. We helped out at a school the other day, and it was just fantastic. We would do as much of that stuff as we had the chance to. As far as what we do when we aren’t tied up with hockey stuff, we just all like to hang out. I’m 18 years old, so it’s not like we go hang out in bars as we are not old enough, nor really want to. We will go eat, hang out at the mall, or play some video games.
Paneech: What is life on the road like?
Loney: I love the bus. I don’t know what it is, but as soon as I get situated, I pass out on that thing. I hit my bunk and it’s over. Jiri [Sekac] doesn’t like the bus much. He is right across from me and gets bored watching me sleep. I don’t mind the bus trips at all.
Paneech: What has it been like playing for Coach Carr?
Loney: He is a great coach and a great guy. He wants the best out of all of us and even when it seems he is being hard on us, he is always right. He is fun to be around and gets serious when he needs to be serious. All of the coaches we have are positive role models trying to put us in the right direction.
Paneech: Who are the people on the team you are closest to, and conversely, who have you had problems with?
Loney: I get along really well with Jiri [Sekac]. We are both jokesters and like to have some fun when the time is right. Me and [Ben] Paulides have some battles. We are good friends, so everything always ends up fine.
One Word Answers
Favorite Meat: Steak.
Favorite Fast Food: Chik-Fil-A.
Toppings On A Pizza: Pepperoni.
Favorite Movie Ever: Anything with Will Smith. iRobot.
Ultimate Statistical Goal: A point per game.
Favorite Cereal: Captain Crunch.
Favorite Cartoon Character: Goofy or Bugs Bunny.
Favorite Season: Winter.
Sport You Played Other Than Hockey, Position: Baseball, Shortstop.
Whats Worse, Dentist Or Doctor? Doctor.
A Fruit You Absolutely Hate: Bananas.
The Youngstown Phantoms (9-17-1,19pts) could not finish the year 2010 with a win as they lost a tough one to the Indiana Ice (13-10-2,28pts) by the score of 5-4. Mike Ambrosia recorded an assist extending his point streak to four games in the losing effort.
After a quiet ten minutes to start the first period, Phantoms forward John Fritsche was sent to the penalty box for tripping at 10:22. The power play was killed off by the Phantoms but the momentum gained while on the man advantage gave the Ice they edge they needed. David Johnstone tipped a pass from Ferlin behind Matthew O’Connor to take the 1-0 lead. Just over four minutes later on a Phantoms power play, Cody Strang banged home an Adam Berkle rebound for his sixth goal of the season. The secondary assist on the tying goal was credited to Jiri Sekac.
Forty-one seconds after the Phantoms goal, forward Ryan Belonger took advantage of a misplayed puck by Ice netminder Casey DeSmith to put the Phantoms up 2-1. The goal was unassisted and it was Belonger’s ninth goal of the season. With 1:42 remaining in the first period, Berkle was issued a two minute penalty for elbowing. Before the Phantoms touched the puck to stop play, Ice forward Will Aide dropped the gloves with Berkle in response to his thrown elbow. On the ensuing Ice power play, Ferlin was able to tie the game at two right off the faceoff in the Phantoms zone. The goal was Ferlin’s second point of the first period and it was assisted by Blake Coleman. At the end of the first, the two teams were tied at two but the Phantoms were able to outshoot Indiana 14-9.
“We responded really well tonight,” said Head Coach Curtis Carr. “After a tough game after the break and the game against Des Moines our guys came out ready to play tonight. It was a tough day of travel and to play a hot Indiana team they way we did, there is nothing but positive things to say after this one.”
Tempers continued to flare as the Phantoms and Ice moved toward the midway point of the second period. With Indiana outshooting the Phantoms 8-5 with 11:35 remaining in the period, Andrew Sinelli dropped the gloves with Ice forward Chris Martin. The Phantoms were a post away from taking the lead when Quinn Smith took a feed from JT Stenglein and made a fantastic move around an Ice defender. Smtih’s shot rang off the far post leaving the game tied at two.
About a minute later on a Phantoms power play, DeSmith made a great save to deny Sekac and on the ensuing dump into the Phantoms zone O’Connor played the puck right to the stick of Ice forward Coleman. With O’Connor out of the net and up around the hash marks, Coleman had a wide open net to shoot at as he gave Indiana a 3-2 lead on the shorthanded goal. Responding to what could have been a back breaking goal Phantoms forward Ty Loney scored to tie the game at three. The Phantoms goal was assisted by Sekac giving him his second assist of the night. The second period ended with the Phantoms on the power play giving them thirty seconds of carry over time. The Phantoms again outshot the Ice 15-10 giving them a two period advantage of 29-19.
The Phantoms could not capitalize on their carry over power play but on their second man advantage of the period Stu Higgins put a one timer in the back of the net to give the Phantoms a 4-3 lead. Ambrosia and Ben Paulides were credited with the assists on Higgins’fifth goal of the year. Eleven seconds later Daniil Tarasov beat O’Connor to tie the game back up at four. Tarasov benefited from a fluky bounce in front of the net as the puck made its way across the line. The Ice were then able to take the lead on their own power play as Tarasov scored his second of the game to give the Ice a 5-4 lead with six minutes to play. Like the fourth goal, the puck this time bounced off of a Phantoms player in front of the net before it crossed the line. The Phantoms pulled O’Connor with under a minute to play but the equalizer was never found as the comeback effort was spoiled by Indiana. The Phantoms were outshot in the third period 14-8 but held the advantage at the end of the game 37-33. The Phantoms recent history repeated itself against the Ice as three of the five Indiana goals came off of bad bounces on its way into the net.
“I have never seen so many bad bounces against one team,” said Carr. “In my entire hockey career I have never seen this many bounce in one season. We are not making excuses but it would be nice if one or two or those bounces would go our way.”
The Phantoms return to the Covelli Centre on January 7 and 8 for games against the Sioux City Musketeers and the Muskegon Lumberjacks. January 7 is Mac ‘N’ Cheese Night sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley and January 8 is Military Appreciation Night. Both games start at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available by calling 330-747-7825.
Embarrassment. It is a word that humbles, but has an upside in the way of motivation sometimes. The Youngstown Phantoms, coming off of a 7-2 loss to Indiana were embarrassed. Des Moines warded off an early flurry of goals and kept their composure to beat the Phantoms, 5-4. It should be noted that Youngstown played much, much better against Des Moines than they did against Indiana one night earlier. No embarrassment on this night, just a very hard-fought loss.
The opening face-off usually starts the “feeling out” period of a hockey game. Teams will often try to detect the strengths and weaknesses of an opponent. Just 33 seconds into this game, the Phantoms were done feeling out Des Moines. Mike Ambrosia connected from close range for his fifth goal of the season to put the Phantoms up early. Ryan Belonger fed Ambrosia for an assist and the puck had just enough on it to scoot past Buccaneer goaltender, Michael Shibrowski (next photo down).
Less than three minutes later, Cody Strang got himself in on the action for the Phantoms. Jiri Sekac, who missed last night’s contest due to inclement weather, picked up an assist when he set Strang up for his fifth of the season. The goal, just 3:12 into the game, put the Phantoms ahead 2-0.
Youngstown stayed hot and got a third even-strength first period goal. Ty Loney took the team lead with his ninth goal of the year to put the Phantoms ahead 3-0. Loney’s unassisted goal came at the 15:32 mark of the first, and the Phantoms looked to have things under control. Before the period ended, Des Moines found the scoreboard when Kevin Irwin scored unassisted to cut the score at intermission to 3-1.
In the second period, Des Moines continued to fight back when Irwin recorded his second goal of the game, this time on the powerplay, something the Phantoms have really struggled against, to cut the lead to 3-2 in favor of the host Phantoms. later in the second, the Buccaneers tied the game when Mitch Cain scored at the 10:47 mark of the second period. Cain’s sixth goal was assisted by Justin Selman and Peter Stoykewych.
The Phantoms finally cashed in on a powerplay with just 39.2 seconds left in the second period. Sekac took a beautiful pass from Strang to score from close range just outside of the goal crease. Jordan Young also picked up his seventh assist of the season on the goal that gave Youngstown a 4-3 lead heading into intermission.
In the third period, Des Moines scored a pair of quick goals to claim a 5-4 lead. The first was a Doug Clifford powerplay goal. Clifford got assists from Ethan Prow and Austin Coldwell. The game-tying goal was scored 2:02 into the final period. Cain picked up his second goal of the game, also a powerplay opportunity. Chris Joyaux and Kevin Irwin claimed assists on the go-ahead goal for the Buccaneers.
The Phantoms got a two-man advantage in the last few minutes of the game and another one-man advantage to end the contest, but were unable to capitalize and tie the game. With the 5-4 loss, Youngstown fell to 9-16-1 and lost their sixth in a row. Des Moines improved to 11-8-2. The Phantoms outshot the Buccaneers 32-28. Give the home team credit for a better effort and really leaving it all on the ice.