Posts Tagged ‘Jordan Tibbett’
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.”
The Youngstown Phantoms (15-23-4, 34pts) were unable to win their second game is a many days as the Chicago Steel (9-25-7, 25pts) picked up the 3-2 victory. Jiri Sekac scored in his second consecutive game in the losing effort. Chicago netminder Connor Wilson stood on his head a number of times during the game, denying 26 of the Phantoms 28 shots on goal.
The Phantoms and the Steel each traded opportunities to start the first period and it took 13 minutes of hockey before the first goal was scored. Steel defenseman Peter Hand took a wrist shot from the point that beat Jordan Tibbett to put Chicago up 1-0. Hand capitalized on the screen in front of the Phantoms net for his first goal of the season. The Phantoms were 0 for 2 and the Steel were 0 for 1 with the man advantage after the first period, but Chicago held the one goal lead at the intermission
“I was pleasantly surprised with the how much energy we had coming into tonight’s game,” said Phantoms Head Coach Curtis Carr. “We have had a long week and playing last night I knew we would be a little tired. The guys came out fired up and they really played well tonight.”
The Phantoms went on an early second period power play and Phantoms defenseman Scott Mayfield took advantage on a shot from the point to tie the game at one just five minutes into the middle frame. A minute later Stu Higgins was awarded a penalty shot, the Phantoms second is as many games, but his forehand deke was denied by Chicago netminder Connor Wilson. The Phantoms would add their second power play goal of the period at the 7:26 mark as Sekac tipped in a Chris Bradley slap shot to give the Phantoms their first lead of the contest. Just over three minutes later, Steel forward Alex Kubiak took a pass from Tim Weber in the slot and found the back of the net to tie the game at two. The Phantoms would pressure the Steel late, but Wilson denied Andrew Sinelli and Danny Mattson with two big saves to send both teams into the intermission tied a two.
“We were getting a lot of chances,” said Carr. “We told the guys heading into the third period that we needed to keep doing what we were doing. I thought we controlled the tempo of play and we made sure to keep our guys composed even if the puck was not crossing the line.”
The Phantoms continued to pressure Wilson during the first half of the third period but he was up to the challenge not allowing the Phantoms the go ahead goal. At the 10:05 mark of the third, Kubiak was able to beat Tibbett on the blocker hand side for his second goal of the game. Late in the final frame, Ben Paulides was sent to the penalty box and the Phantoms were forced to pull Tibbett just to return to five-on-five hockey with under a minute to play. The Phantoms could find the equalizer allowing the Steel to take the 3-2 victory, their first over Youngstown this season. Wilson earned third star honors for Chicago, thanks to his exceptional game in net.
“Wilson won the game for them,” said Carr. “He was by far the difference maker in tonight’s game. He stopped a penalty shot, a breakaway and a two-on-one, I don’t think I have seen a performance like his in the past two seasons.”
The Youngstown Phantoms (14-21-4,32pts) skate back to Youngstown with a 4-3 win over the Chicago Steel (7-25-7,21pts). The Phantoms were carried by two goals performances by both Ryan Belonger and Ty Loney.
The Phantoms for the second game in a row scored the game’s first goal to go up 1-0. 6:01 into the first period, Phantoms forward Belonger scored on a rebound opportunity right in front of the Chicago crease after the shot from the point went on net. The goal was Belonger’s tenth of the season and the assists were credited to Stu Higgins and Quinn Smith. Belonger extended the Phantoms lead to two after he took advantage of a neutral zone turnover and a buried the puck over the glove hand on Steel netminder Connor Wilson on a breakaway. The goal came at 13:39 and it was Belonger’s second goal and Smtih’s second assist of the game. With 1:08 left to play in the first period, Loney picked off a pass at the top of the right circle in the offensive zone and put his the shot past Wilson to go up 3-0. It was the first time this season that the Phantoms went into the first intermission leading by three goals.
“We had a good first period,” said Phantoms Head Coach Curtis Carr. “We capitalized on our chances and we picked up the two points with the win.”
The Steel were able to close the gap to two after a shorthanded goal by Tucker Brockett. Tim Weber skated into the Phantoms zone and fed Brockett who finished off the 2-on-1 play with a goal at the 13:00 mark. The Steel continued to pressure the Phantoms but Jordan Tibbett did not allow another goal as the Phantoms went into the intermission up 3-1.
The third period started with the Steel bringing the game within one goal just four minutes into the frame on a goal by Sam Povorozniouk. The Phantoms would extend their lead back to two goals as Loney scored his second of the game off the assist by Cody Strang. A turnover in the Phantoms defensive zone led to a Joel Benson goal that brought Chicago back within one goal with under five minutes left to play. The Steel came within inches of tying the game with 2:30 remaining on the clock but a sprawling save by Tibbett denied the equalizer. Tibbett again denied a tying chance, this time on a shorthanded attempt by Alex Kubiak. A late power play for the Phantoms put them up a skater and even with the empty net the Steel were only able to play 5-on-5 as the Phantoms picked up the one goal victory.
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.”
The inaugural season of the Youngstown Phantoms USHL membership came to a close on Saturday. The Phantoms came out on the short end of the stick, losing to Cedar Rapids, 4-1. Cedar Rapids is a strong team already locked in as a #2 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Phantoms played hard and have nothing to be ashamed of in losing to the Roughriders (38-19-3). In fact, I am sure Cedar Rapids is happy to be leaving Youngstown.
The first period did not produce a score for either team and the Roughriders outshot the Phantoms 11-5. Both teams had powerplay opportunities, but the man advantage would yield no goals either way. Hits were plentiful and the refs were busy in a physical game picking up right where it left off Friday night.
At the 8:10 mark of the second period, the Roughriders took a 1-0 lead. Michael Parks knocked in the puck to record his 11th score of the season. Derek DeBlois recorded an assist on the only even-strength goal of the night.
Stu Wilson, who scored his second goal of the year on Friday, connected again Saturday. Wilson’s goal was assisted by Thomas Fallen and helped the Roughriders capitalize on the two-man advantage powerplay chance. Tibbett could not have done much to stop this goal as he was shielded and leaning the wrong way when Wilson let it rip.
With just 14 seconds elapsed on the goal that made it 2-0 in favor of the visitors, Cedar Rapids connected again to increase their lead to 3-0. Max Bennett tallied at the 12:32 mark from close range. The Roughriders were still on a powerplay, it just turned into a one-man advantage after the Wilson goal.
Jordan Tibbett stepped up and made a diving save, perhaps the save of the year, for the Phantoms. Tibbett was blocked away by a crease camper and picked up on a flying puck coming his way. The reaction to dive across the crease to glove the biscuit and rob Jeff Costello was brilliant.
Ty Loney, in his 17th game for the Phantoms, cut the Cedar Rapids lead to 3-1 with 3:25 left in a busy second period. Dylan Margonari and Nick Czinder picked up assists on the Phantoms powerplay goal.
Cedar Rapids held the attacking Phantoms at bay in the final period. Bryce Aneloski dumped an empty-netter in with ten seconds remaining in the contest to close out the scoring and insure a 4-1 victory for the playoff-bound Roughriders.
After the game, Phantoms Coach Curt Carr reflected on the team’s strong finish. “We will be getting alot of these guys back next year, and these last ten games have shown people what they are capable of. I would give them a grade of B+ over that span.”
The Phantoms finished the season with a 20-36-4 record. After the game, which was donned “Fan Appreciation Night“, a jersey auction was held. As I shook hands with many of the players, some of which will return to Youngstown next season, I realized how it is possible to take young men from all walks of life and geographically distant locations and assimilate their focus to a common goal.
Some, like Jefferson Dahl, will play college hockey next season and will not be back. Dahl enjoyed Youngstown and reflected on the up-and-down season. “It is looking pretty positive here for next season. There is a real good core of guys who will be back next year and there are some leaders, they will do some damage.” Dahl is off to Wisconsin to continue playing hockey while he attends college.
Over a six month stretch, I was never bored at a Phantoms game, not once. The staff and management worked hard to provide wholesome family entertainment. The one complaint was that the attendance was not what I envisioned. Dollar beer night at a Scrappers game packs the house. At a Phantoms ‘bargain beer night’, attendance numbers stayed steady but never exploded. With a beautiful facility to play in, I would only hope for increased attendance next season.
With that being said, thank you to the Zoldans for the access and hospitality. Thank you Bob Mainhardt for all of the great quotes and insight on what to expect at his level. Thank you Curt Carr and good luck with the baby. Thank you Matt Gajtka for being the ultimate professional and a friend at all times. Thank you Richard Young for reminding me that there are consequences when you go on tilt. A big thank you to all of the players and the very best wishes as you pursue your dream.
Cedar Rapids rolled into Youngstown with the #2 seed in their Western Division already locked up. They had a 3-0 record against the Youngstown Phantoms on the season, and the Phantoms were 1-7 in their vibrant orange jerseys. Throw all of the statistical logic out the window and ignore the past. Youngstown physically smacked Cedar Rapids around and did anything but take on the role of a playoff tune-up in beating the Roughriders 4-1.
The game featured everything including a fight at center ice between the two goaltenders, two shorthanded goals on the same two-minute powerplay, seven players who are done for at least the regular season for a fight at the end of the second period, and a new coach, as the “interim” tag was taken away from Curt Carr’s name.
Cedar Rapids struck first as Stu Wilson knocked in his second goal of the year with 5:49 left in the first period. Wilson got assists on the goal from Casey Hohmann and Andy Simpson.
With 3:46 left in the first, Scott Mayfield poked in his tenth goal on the season to tie the contest at one goal each. Ryan Jasinsky was credited with an assist on Mayfield’s even-strength chance.
The Phantoms outshot the Roughriders 14-10 in a first period that went fast and had only one penalty, a two-minute minor.
In the second period, the Phantoms picked up where they left off in Chicago as Adam Berkle scored two consecutive goals. The first Berkle tally came at even-strength and Ben Paulides picked up an assist with 16:39 to go in the second period. Berkle’s second goal came while Cedar Rapids was on a powerplay with 13:33 left in the second, Mayfield was given an assist.
Berkle had a chance for a hat trick but whiffed on a nice centering pass, and he knew it. “It happens”, declared a joyous Berkle after the game. “It felt good, our line has really been playing well. We want to go out the real deal, not an expansion team that is just here to be kicked around.”
Less than a minute later, Paulides connected shorthanded putting Youngstown ahead, 4-1. The two shorthanded goals were only the sixth and seventh given up all year by Cedar Rapids. Youngstown scored two shorthanded at Chicago on Wednesday night. For Ben Paulides, it was goal #3 on the season with an assist from Mayfield, his third point of the game.
As the second period was coming to an end Cody Strang took a cheap shot to the back of the head. Nobody stood still as a chain reaction of fights broke out everywhere, including center ice where Matt Mahalak and Cody Campbell battled in a rare fight between goaltenders (pictured). As soon as Mahalak landed on top two more fights broke out with David Donnellan and Andrew Lamont involved. When the teams were shuffled back to their respective locker rooms, seven players showered and are done for at least the regular season. The Phantoms ejected for fighting were Mahalak, Donnellan, and Lamont. Cedar Rapids lost Campbell, Stephen Collins, Jordan DiGiando, and Nick Lappin.
Mahalak talked about his first fight. “We [he and Campbell] have known each other throughout the years a little bit. There really isn’t too much bad blood. I got knocked into the boards a couple of times, he got rung too. I was looking at him, and he was looking back and we met at center ice. It was a decent fight, he had me tied up and I ended up taking him down.”
Donnellan talked about the fight as well. “At the end of the period, one of their guys hit one of our guys and Mayfield grabbed him. A kid asked me if I wanted to go, so I did. We had to stick up for our teammates and showed the deep character of the team right now.”
The Phantoms (20-35-4) were outshot 41-29 but spent most of the third period in their own zone and played a defensive keep away game with a three-goal lead. Jordan Tibbett did a nice job stepping in and made a few great third period saves to preserve the lead for the rejuvinated Phantoms.
These two teams lock it up in the season finale for Youngstown. The inaugural Phantoms will not make it to the postseason, so they are treating these two games against the Roughriders as a notice server to the rest of the league to beware next year.
As these guys have played their hearts out all year, Saturday’s finale deserves a nice crowd. I encourage all Youngstown hockey fans to come and cheer the Phantoms on because hockey season doesn’t happen again for about six months. Show support to the local team, they have been very active in the community all season.
Shots on goal usually reflect the type of hockey game that was played. On Saturday night, Team USA only took 21 shots on goal. Unfortunately for the Youngstown Phantoms, six of those 21 shots hit the inside of the Phantoms net. Team USA rode their offensive outburst to a 6-2 win in Youngstown. The Phantoms outshot Team USA 28-21, but the quality of the Phantoms shots were mostly routine saves for Team USA goaltender John Gibson.
With 3:39 elapsed in the game, Team USA struck first when Cole Bardreau connected on a shorthanded chance. Austin Wuthrich picked up an assist on the goal which gave the 17-year old version of Team USA the lead for good.
Team USA would tack on another goal with a powerplay score. Alexx Privatera connected from almost straight on beating Jordan Tibbet. Privatera’s shot was from about 15 feet and may have deflected off of Tibbet’s shoulder as it bounced the Gatorade bottle resting on top of the net as the puck hit the inside top for the score. Travis Boyd and Robbie Russo gathered assists on the man-advantage connection.
The Phantoms would cut the margin to 2-1 when Jefferson Dahl scored a shorthanded goal. Dahl’s interception and tally were good for his 16th goal on the year tying him with Tom Serratore and Brett Gensler for the team lead in that category. The noisy crowd of just over 2,500 had little to cheer about after this goal.
In the second period, the Phantoms looked good in killing off a two-man penalty, but failed to score on three consecutive powerplay chances. During the second powerplay, Youngstown did not even get a shot off. Reid Boucher knocked in his tenth goal of the season to put Team USA ahead 3-1 with 4:37 remaining in the period.
Dylan Margonari picked up his third goal in his twentieth game as a Phantom to cut the Team USA lead back to a single goal at 3-2. Margonari found twine with 1:57 left in the period while the Phantoms were enjoying yet another powerplay opportunity.
In the third period, goals by Dan Carlson and Travis Boyd hiked the Team USA lead to 5-2. The two goals were scored less than two minutes apart and put the Phantoms in too big of a hole. Wuthrich would add another goal with 4:46 left in the game to seal the deal for Team USA (25-29-4).
East Palestine native, JT Miller (above), talked about coming home. “It is a pleasure to come home and play in front of my family and friends. We don’t get to come back much during the year, so it is good when we get here. It is a confidence booster to play here and you always want to be accounted as playing hard in front of people you know.” Miller will move up to Team USA 18 year-olds next season saying he likes the two-year developmental program.
The Phantoms dropped to 18-35-5 with the loss. When asked if the last couple of games left in the season were going to be experience builders for the Phantoms rather than trying to actually win, Coach Curt Carr responded, “We are still going to try to win. I think if the guys know that we as a staff are just building for next year, it sends the wrong message, so we will be battling each day as if we were competing for a playoff spot and do everything we can to win.”
Goaltenders are wired a little different. They usually are not the best skaters on the ice and rely on their reflexes to get their jobs done. Jordan Tibbett and Matt Mahalak are the tandem that the Youngstown Phantoms have been using all season. Any hockey fan will vouch that a teams defense makes or breaks a goalie. The more shots faced, the more goals scored, that’s just elementary. Both Phantoms goalies have done well this season but are very different as individuals. In the first-ever Paneech.com dual interview, meet the netminders, Jordan Tibbett and Matt Mahalak.
Paneech: How did you both end up as goaltenders, what was the draw?
Tibbett: I thought the equipment was cool. My dad always wanted to play but never did, so he stuck me on the ice.
Mahalak: For me, when we were playing mytes, we would rotate at goalie. One game I got in there and played pretty well and never got back out.
Paneech: Unique situation, you are on the same team, yet you are in competition for starts. How does that work? Do you get along even though you are competing or does it get competitive?
Tibbett: It gets competitive. Really, through pushing each other we really want the best for each other. The better he [Mahalak] gets, the better I have to get and I have to push myself.
Mahalak: I have learned stuff from Jordan every practice, and I just try to pick up things. We are both going for the same number one job, but we are pushing each other to get better so we can both get to the next level.
Paneech: Is there a little light in your head that goes off when you are not in and you see your counterpart get scored on three times in a period, is there a response mentally, like, “I could have stopped all of those” ?
Tibbett: Whenever I see a goal from the bench, I start to brainstorm and ask myself what he could have done differently to stop a shot. Whenever we get a TV timeout, I can talk to Matt and tell him something I may have noticed. I’m not over there going, ‘Oh Yeah! Matt is getting scored on!’
Mahalak: Same here. I am looking for something that he might not be doing in that game to hopefully help him keep his head on straight. We help each other to regroup to finish the game.
Paneech: How much do both of you rely on the defense in front of you?
Tibbett: It definitely helps. If you see ten shots from the corner of the blue line, it makes your job really easy. If you are seeing ten breakaways a game, it makes your job really difficult. It varies game-to-game. They are doing everything they can to help us out.
Paneech: Why does a coach switch a goalie instead of a defenseman if you are facing forty-plus shots per game?
Mahalak: Switching the goalie is because you are at a turning point in the game. If a goalie is getting lit up, whether its his fault or not, the team will switch just to try to give an extra boost, or to create a turning point.
Paneech: You both have little rituals. When the puck is on the other side of the ice, Jordan, you like to skate across the goal line to the boards. Matt, you usually drink water and then depart on your little trip. What is the reason to leave the crease every dead whistle?
Tibbett: It’s alot of things. Whenever I am moving around when the play is at the other end or there is a whistle, it keeps my blood flowing and helps me to stay loose. At the same time, you are getting mentally prepared. Alot of goaltending is repitition and when you are doing the same thing before every game, and during every game, you go to a familiar spot that puts your mind and body at ease.
Mahalak: I listen to the music and just try to relax. Other times, I try to really get geared up and focus. There is some superstition mixed in with all of the repitition. Doing the same things over and over makes it easier.
Paneech: You clear your head. When the puck is on the other side of the ice, you guys have the best seat in the house. You are still somewhat focused, yet you are now at ease a bit. How often do you guys look around, watch the scoreboard, and take in the atmosphere?
Tibbett: Whenever the play is stopped, I like to look up and see the replays just to get a different angle as to what is going on. It helps me to have more knowledge in the back of my head to make better split-second decisions.
Mahalak: When you get scored on, the replay is played and you see what happened. After the replay, you have to put it behind you and move on. It helps refocus and regain confidence.
Paneech: I have noticed at these USHL games, there are alot of times an opposing player will be crashing the net, stop on a dime, and spray ice flakes all over the goalie. How mad do you get, do you put the hit out when someone does that to you?
Tibbett: Players will do that in hopes of getting you in the eyes so that a puck may have a chance to get by. It is just part of the game and something you have to play through.
Mahalak: I don’t get too upset, I remain pretty calm. Usually it is the defensemen that get upset over that kind of stuff. I brush the snow off and just get back to what I am doing. If they are doing that to me, I know they are trying to get in my head, that just means that I am in their head.
One Word Answers
Favorite Meal: Dinner Pre-game meal
Biggest Phobia: Heighths Spiders
Best Movie: Goonies Surf’s Up
Best All-Time Goalie: Dominic Hasek Terry Sawchuck
What On A Pizza: Meat Lover’s Meat Lover’s
Music: Anything, but Country Anything, Especially Country
Worst Habit: Mumbling Sitting Up In My Butterfly
Soft Drink: Root Beer Anything Bottled
Fast Food: Chik-Fil-A Subway
Worst Thing You Ever Did:
Tibbett: (Laughs) I had a bunch of stickers of bugs and stuck them everywhere and watched my grandfather try to kill them. It was pretty cruel.
Mahalak: I haven’t done anything wrong yet. I am the golden child.
Paneech: Jordan, what do you thin is in Matt’s future in the sport of hockey?
Tibbett: I think he is going to the NHL. His first game in the NHL will be when he is 22.
Paneech: Matt, where does Jordan go?
Mahalak: I think Jordan should be in college right now. I don’t know what he is doing messing around. He has NHL potential and hopefully he can get a scholarship this year.
Jordan Tibbett set a team record with 50 saves on Friday night as the Phantoms won a dramatic 3-2 OT thriller. Tibbett faced another 40 Saturday but was on the wrong end of the 3-2 score 24 hours later. To sum it up, Tibbett stopped 90 shots in two games, seemingly too many.
“It looks like a lot of shots, but we did a good job taking away the prime scoring areas. They [Sioux City] are a team that does not score a lot of goals, and if you look at their shots they were just coming across the blue line and throwing the puck on net”, remarked Coach Curt Carr after the game.
Despite being outshot 17-3 in the first period, the Youngstown Phantoms found themselves in a scoreless game. Credit Tibbett for a couple of nice saves in the opening period.
Brett Gensler got Youngstown on the board first with 16:54 left in the second period. Gensler’s 16th goal, which leads the team, came on a power play. Taylor Holstrom and Tom Serratore picked up assists on the man-advantage tally.
Nick Sorkin snuck the puck past a heavily screened Tibbett with exactly four minutes to go in the second period. Dan Ford picked up an assist on the game-tying power play goal. Sorkin fired from in-between the right face off circle and blue line around moving traffic.
Ryan Jasinsky, who was recently hampered with shoulder problems forcing him to miss several games, attempted to stuff the puck in from close range but was denied by Musketeer Goalee Jake Hildebrand. Jefferson Dahl collected the rebound from close range and knocked it in with 12:14 left in the game. Jasinsky was credited with an assist on the even-strength chance.
With 9:38 left, Adam Schmidt tied the game at 2-2 on a power play goal. Stephan Vigier and Sorkin collected a point each with assists on the goal.
Mitch Zion put the Musketeers ahead 3-2 with 8:09 to go in the game. The even strength goal gave Sioux City their first lead in the game. Zion gathered the puck just outside of the goal crease on a rebound and drove it past Tibbett who was shaded left from the save he had just made. Tommy Olczyk and Matt Paape were credited with assists on the goal.
Time ran out on Youngstown and pulling the goaltender as a last resort neither helped nor hurt the outcome for the Phantoms. Put it in the books, Sioux City 3, Youngstown 2.
Interestingly, Coach Carr opted to start Ty Loney (left) and Dylan Margonari (right), two youngsters who have not been Phantoms very long, over experienced players. “We are walking a fine line right now because we want to continue to perform and win games, but we also have some young guys who can return next year, so we want to make sure we do what we can to develop them for next season. Dylan and Ty played hard and earned the ice time that they are getting.”
The Phantoms dropped to 17-33-3 in their inaugural campaign, while Sioux City improved to 21-23-8 on the season. The Phantoms take to the road next weekend to face Omaha and Sioux City on consecutive nights. Be sure to tune in to AM-1240 to catch Matt Gajtka as he calls the action from afar.
The Youngstown Phantoms returned home after completing a 1-3-1 road trip. The record on that trip failed to show that the Phantoms were in every game against three very good teams. Friday night, Sioux City rolled into town 20-23-7 and barely alive in the playoff hunt, a win was paramount for the Musketeers to stay alive.
Taylor Holstrom sent the audience home after 65 minutes of hockey and an extended shootout when he beat Sioux City Goaltender Matt Skoff on a five-hole shot. The shootout goal came in the seventh round of the tiebreaker. The teams were even at two apiece in the shootout when Brett Gensler tied it up with the last shot setting up Holstrom’s heroics. The end result was the noisiest 1,300 people I have ever heard and a 4-3 Phantoms win.
Tom Serratore got the Phantoms on the scoreboard just 2:05 into the contest. The unassisted goal gave the Phantoms a lead on a Friday night, a good omen considering Youngstown had not won on a Friday game in eight straight chances. The goal was Serratore’s 14th of the season.
Jefferson Dahl pushed the Phantoms lead to 2-0 when he beat Sioux City Goaltender Matt Skoff (pictured making a save). For Dahl, it was the 14th goal on the year. The goal was scored at the 9:17 mark of the first period. Jiri Sekac picked up the assist on the even-strength goal. The Phantoms, who had not won a game at home since January, were playing hard early.
Sioux City got on the board when the Phantoms Adam Berkle picked up a ten-minute major for his role in a fight. The power play opportunity was successful for the Musketeers as Stephan Vigier tallied with assists from Dan Ford and Tommy Olczyk. The goal cut the Phantoms lead to 2-1 and Sioux City kept the one-man advantage because of the major penalty. The Phantoms killed off the remaining six minutes of the Musketeers power play.
With just 1:20 gone in the second period, Sioux City tied the game at two goals apiece. Nick Sorkin scored after taking a pass from Olczyk who picked up his second assist of the game. Richard Zehnal was also given an assist on the game-tying score. The remaining 18:40 of the period went scoreless and the teams remained deadlocked at two goals each.
The Phantoms took a 3-2 lead on Jiri Sekac’s even-strength goal. Dahl and Serratore picked up assists on the go-ahead tally with 13:33 elapsed in the final period. The Sekac goal came amid several flurries in the Musketeer zone over a span of two minutes.
Holstrom had a chance to make it a 4-2 game but he fanned at an open net (above). He would later atone for the whiff and then some.
Vigier snapped in his second power play goal of the evening to tie the game at 3. Vigier beat Jordan Tibbett on a hard-angle wrist shot from the bottom of the right face off circle. Picking up assists on the goal were Adam Schmidt and Sorkin.
At the end of regulation, the teams remained tied at three goals each and overtime would be needed to decide a winner in the contest. After three periods, the Phantoms were out shot by the Musketeers 46-27. Jordan Tibbett made some pretty high-quality saves to keep things tied as the Phantoms who were 2-1 in overtime games this season, pressed onward.
In the overtime session, the Phantoms first since November 27th at home, nobody scored forcing a shootout.
Ryan Carpenter took the first shot for the Musketeers. Wide Right.
Cody Strang had first crack for Youngstown. Wide Right. 0-0
Alex Krushelnyski beat Tibbett high. 1-0 Musketeers.
Jiri Sekac was next. Backhand shot. 1-1.
Richard Zehnal up for Sioux City. Nope. 1-1.
David Donnellan up for the Phantoms. High and Wide Right. 1-1.
Dan Ford, nope.
Andrew Lamont, nope. 1-1.
Final round, Tommy Olczyk good on a sliding move. 2-1, Sioux City.
Brett Gensler, with a chance to tie it, Good! 2-2.
Final shot, Danny Wurden, nope.
Jefferson Dahl, nope.
Seventh round, Nick Sorkin, denied by Tibbett.
Taylor Holstrom beat Matt Skoff with the backhand, Phantoms win!
What a finish! These two teams will lock it up again Saturday.
After the game, Coach Curtis Carr was praiseworthy of his team. “I felt that the guys came out and played really hard. We have a young team and they were stressing when Sioux City tied it up at two, but to their credit, they rebounded and played a great third period. Jordan [Tibbett] is a heck of a goaltender and he came up huge when we needed him to. We were able to regroup which allowed us to come back and win this game.”
Phantoms hero Taylor Holstrom said his game-winning shot was not something he premeditated. “No, I was watching when the other guys shot and kind of noticed the five-hole was open. I think we are finally catching on and playing as a team, we are getting our legs back under us.”