Posts Tagged ‘Ryan Belonger’
The Youngstown Phantoms stole home ice from Green Bay with their 5-3 win Sunday. Green Bay got to Youngstown and stole it back with a 6-3 win over the Phantoms. Green Bay’s equivalent to the NHL’s ‘playoff beard’, was every member of the team dying their hair blond (seriously). The dye paid off, as Green Bay took 32 shots compared to Youngstown’s 20, and Alex Broadhurst scored a trio of shorthanded goals.
“We have been doing the bleach blond hair and dark facial hair for four years and it hasn’t hurt us”, said Broadhurst.
Green Bay started the scoring when Broadhurst intercepted the puck while the Phantoms were on a powerplay. Broadhurst burst into the Phantoms zone on what looked like a penalty shot and snuck the puck past Matt O’Connor just 2:41 into the contest.
The Phantoms tied the game when Todd Koritzinsky connected for his second goal of the playoffs. Koritzinski’s goal came at even-strength with 3:22 left to play in the first. Pat Conte and Chris Bradley (below) picked up assists on the Phantoms goal.
With 25 seconds left in the opening period, Sheldon Dries gave Green Bay a 2-1 lead to take back to the locker room. With 14:42 left in the second period, C. J. Eick increased the Gambler lead to 3-1 when he finished off a 3-on-2 breakaway chance.
The Gamblers offensive onslaught continued as they added another score. Grant Arnold didn’t get all of the slapshot he took between the right faceoff circle and blue line, but O’Connor was screened and the puck bounced and rolled by him. With 8:51 gone in the second, it was suddenly a 4-1 Gamblers lead.
A frustrated Phantoms team racked up ten second period penalty minutes. The one time they had the numbers, Broadhurst again intercepted a puck and gathered his second shorthanded, unassisted goal of the game to make it 5-1. Through two periods, the Phantoms were outshot 27-14.
“Bottom line is that we have no room left to lose”, said Anthony Noreen. “If we do lose, it’s all over and we are not ready for this to end. We will be fighting for our lives tomorrow night.”
In the third period, with 13:39 left in the game, Ryan Belonger broke into the Green Bay Zone and fired a shot from inside the right faceoff circle that trickled through Ryan McKay‘s equipment. Belonger’s goal was unassisted and made it a 5-2 game.
Green Bay is a very good hockey team that can score in waves. But the disturbing thing that showed was how cocky they play. They were chirping in the Phantoms ears every whistle of the game.
The cockiness caught up a bit when Youngstown scored on a powerplay chance. J.T. Stenglein scored with 6:55 left in the game to make it 5-3. Stenglein’s goal was a result of crisp passing and execution on the powerplay. Austin Cangelosi and Mike Ambrosia picked up assists on the goal.
Broadhurst completed his rare shorthanded hat trick at the 13:44 mark of the third period.
“That was my first hat trick in the USHL”, said Broadhurst, a 2011 seventh round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks. “I played hard and felt like I deserved that, they are a good team, so I was happy to get those chances.”
With the win, the Gamblers took a 2-1 series lead and can eliminate the Phantoms with a win Wednesday night at the Covelli Centre.
The Youngstown Phantoms closed out their best-of-three series against Cedar Rapids as they posted a 6-2 triumph. Alex Gacek had a pair of second period goals and an empty-netter that vaulted the third-year franchise into the next round of the Clark Cup Playoffs. Quite an accomplishment for a third-year franchise with a first-year coach.
Who the Phantoms play next, Indiana or Green Bay, will be decided by the outcome of the Team USA – Dubuque series. Either way, the next round is a best-of-five series and the Phantoms will be the lower seed. That means they will probably play games one and two of the new series on the road. In all probability, the second round matchup will start on Friday at Green bay.
Todd Koritzinsky gave the Phantoms a lead when he scored the first goal of the game 12:11 into the first period. Pat Conte and Ryan Lowney earned assists on Koritzinsky’s goal. Koritzinsky got the puck past Cedar Rapids goaltender Jake Hildebrand.
The lead was short-lived for the Phantoms. Exactly 3:32 later, the Rough Riders were able to tie the contest. Davey Middleton snuck the puck past Matt O’Connor on an even-strength rush. Stu Wilson and Riley Bourbonnais were credited with assists on the play.
In the second period, Gacek got control of the puck just outside of the left face-off circle and burst toward the net. As Gacek roared forward, Cedar Rapids goaltender Hildebrand unsuccessfully tried to play a puck that whistled past and through. Gacek hit the puck so hard, that it stuck in the back of the net. The goal came at the 4:55 mark and put the Phantoms ahead 2-1. Gacek also earned a two-minute charging penalty as he collided with Hildebrand after the puck squirted through.
Gacek, sporting the Tom Selleck playoff moustache, would factor into the outcome to a larger degree. With 9:21 left in the second, the Miami of Ohio-bound forward notched his second goal of the period, game, and series. Gacek scooped up a puck that hit the side of the net to Hildebrand’s left, and rifled it past to make it a 3-1 game.
Meanwhile, O’Connor (above) and the defense kept the Rough Riders looking for clues. When Cedar Rapids managed to get a good look, #1 was there to pour water on the fire and preserve the lead. Through two periods, the Phantoms had 28 shots, the Rough Riders managed 19.
With 9:42 left in the game, Cedar Rapids cut the deficit to 3-2 capitalizing on a powerplay chance. Gerald Mayhew took a nice feed from behind the net that O’Connor never really had a chance to make a play on. It was one of the few times all night that Cedar Rapids made more than one pass before attempting a shot.
The Phantoms answered 1:28 later when Soren Jonzzon hung around the crease long enough to gather in a nice pass from Ryan Belonger and redirect the puck to the right side of the post. Austin Cangelosi and Gacek added empty-netters to punctuate the win.
O’Connor stopped 32 shots in the win.
The Youngstown Phantoms closed out their regular season with a bang on Saturday night. The Green Bay Gamblers, defending Clark Cup champions from last season, were playing their final game before getting almost a full week off to prepare for their playoff start. The Phantoms were trying to gain momentum heading into their Monday playoff series with Cedar Rapids.
It took a shootout to determine a winner and when the smoke cleared, Sam Anas and Soren Jonzzon lifted the home team to a thrilling 2-1 shootout victory that gave the Phantoms a 4-3 win against the best in the game.
“My goal was inspired by the New Jersey Devils Patrick Kane”, said Anas. “I saw him do that and I worked on it and gave it a try tonight and it worked.”
“I saw Sam’s goal and noticed that Rotolo was beatable through the five-hole”, said Jonzzen. “I faked, pulled the puck back and beat him there [five-hole] for the goal.
In the first period, the Phantoms put the puck in the cage to take an early 1-0 lead. Alexander Dahl nabbed his third goal of the season just 4:39 into the game. Ryan Belonger and Jonzzon were credited with assists on Dahl’s goal.
Mike Ambrosia increased the Phantoms lead to 2-0 at the 12:06 mark of the first. Ambrosia beat Michael Rotolo for his 18th score of the year. Chris Bradley and Anas earned assists on the powerplay strike.
Before the first period ended, Green Bay got on the scoreboard. Grant Arnold trickled a shot off of the glove of Sean Romeo that fluttered into the net.
In the second period, Green Bay tied the contest at two goals apiece when Arnold collected his second goal of the night and seventh of the season. Arnold’s goal came 3:52 into the second period.
Green Bay entered the contest with a 47-9-3 record and would have about six days rest securing a first round USHL playoff bye. By no means were they playing a softer brand of hockey. Conversely, the Phantoms had a few notable scratches as Kevin Liss, Richard Zehnal, and Dylan Morganari watched the game in the stands.
The intensity kicked up a notch with just over a minute left in the second period. Phantoms forward Todd Korizinsky caught a high stick to the face and staggered toward the Phantom bench. However, Zach Evancho, a Phantom, was whistled for a too many men on the ice infraction which sent Anthony Noreen into a frenzy.
“I was concerned about Korizinsky’s safety because he was holding his face and wanted to make sure he could get to the bench”, said Noreen. “I wasn’t upset with the call that the refs made.”
The Phantoms took a 3-2 lead when Daniel Renouf fired the puck on net and Jonzzon redirected it past Rotolo. The goal was scored at the 1:31 mark of the third period.
Noreen opted to let Matt O’Connor play the third period. Romeo’s full two periods were pretty good, as he faced 22 shots and stopped 20 of them.
With 4:49 left in the game and the Phantoms just killing off a penalty, Arnold beat O’Connor for his third goal of the game. The Gambler forward nearly doubled his entire output for the 2011-12 season as he entered the game with just five goals.
Commenting on the hat trick by Arnold, Noreen showed a lot of class. “He [Arnold] is a captain and always plays hard. He deserved to have that type of game.”
With nobody scoring in the overtime session, the teams went to a shootout. Green Bay got a goal from Alex Kile. The Phantoms got shootout goals from Anas and Jonzzon to gain the win.
“I challenged our guys to use this game to build momentum going into the playoffs”, remarked Noreen. “It is a nice win against a very talented team.”
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.
Probably the hardest thing that Anthony Noreen has to deal with in his day-to-day operations with the Youngstown Phantoms is consistency. The Phantoms just didn’t look like themselves on Friday night, falling to Team USA, 2-1. The Phantoms played much better after being handled rather easily by Team USA in earlier games this season, but just couldn’t get untracked with the puck.
“It’s extremely hard to be consistent in this league”, remarked Noreen. “They are playing in this league to learn that consistency. The difference between our guys and guys who play 82 games in the NHL, is that they are always executing and competing, night in and night out.”
In the first period, Youngstown raced out to an early 1-0 lead. Managing only six shots in the first period, the Phantoms snuck the second of those shots past Team USA’s netminder, Curtis Frye. Scoring his first goal as a Phantom was Zach Tatrn at the 5:31 mark. J. T. Stenglein recorded an assist. Team USA would respond on a Tyler Motte goal to tie the game after the first period.
The physicality of the game took shape in the second period as both teams pushed the pace and delivered some bone-crushing hits. Matt O’Connor and Frye held their ground between the pipes and nobody recorded a goal in the second period. Through two, the Phantoms recorded eleven shots on goal and Team USA posted 17. Despite the lack of offensive fireworks, the game was entertaining because both teams were well-coached and highly skilled.
“We are used to winning games when they are close”, remarked Noreen. “However, we came much closer to winning tonight than we have in our other games against them [Team USA]. Our work ethic was ok tonight, but not good enough to beat an elite team like that.”
In the third period, much of the action was taking place in the Phantoms zone. Team USA seemed like they could take the lead on several different occasions, but O’Connor and the defense responded with each rush by getting just enough of the puck to stop the threat or delay the process. With just under nine minutes left in the game, Ryan Belonger stole the puck and got behind the defense, but never really got a chance to pull the trigger.
With 7:13 left in the game, Tyler Kelleher took the puck on the left side of the goal crease and quickly circled behind the net to beat O’Connor on a wraparound. Kelleher’s goal was his sixth of the season and came on a rebound of a Connor Chatham shot.
“There aren’t many goalies in the league that could have stopped that shot, he [Kelleher] is one of their best players and that was really the first open seam they saw in the third period”, said Noreen.
The Phantoms (18-10-2) turned up the heat on offense the last five minutes of the game. The home team finished with 17 shots on goal, while Team USA (12-10-3) had 27 chances.
These two teams meet again Saturday night.
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.”
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.”
The Youngstown Phantoms seem to have more gusto in their step than in years past. JT Stenglein and Ryan Belonger both scored twice to vault the Phantoms to a very physical 5-4 win over Sioux City. Despite being outshot 26-19, the Phantoms were able to push the puck when it counted. The win was the fourth in a row for the Phantoms (12-5-0).
Ryan Belonger got the Phantoms on the board first. Belonger, crashing in from his right wing position, beat Matt Skoff (above) from just outside the goal crease. The action started when Mike Ambrosia put a shot on net that deflected out to Austin Cangelosi who fired back in toward the goal. Cangelosi was credited with an assist on Belonger’s seventh goal of the season coming with 5:48 left in the opening frame.
Sioux City responded with 2:46 left in the first to tie the game at a goal apiece. Kyle Criscuolo netted his fourth goal of the season beating Matt O’Connor. The goal was scored at even-strength and Cliff Watson earned an assist for the Musketeers. The first period ended without further scoring and the Phantoms outshot Sioux City, 8-5.
The Phantoms did well killing off a two-man penalty about halfway through the second. Dan Molenaar picked up a slashing penalty putting the Phantoms in a powerplay opportunity. JT Stenglein made the Musketeers pay at the 13:11 mark as he found the net for the eighth time. Jordan Young gathered an assist on the go-ahead goal.
“I told our guys that if we could kill that 5-on-3 penalty that we were going to win. We went out there and drew up in practice how we were going to kill a 5-on-3, and to our guys credit, they executed it. I don’t even think that they [Sioux Falls] had a great shot at scoring during the penalty“, said Coach Anthony Noreen. “From a pure effort standpoint, that was the best effort we had all season.”
The opportunistic Phantoms went up 3-1 when they got an extra attacker on the ice awaiting a delayed penalty call. The strategy worked to perfection as Richard Zehnal became the third different Phantom to put one between the pipes on the evening. Zehnal’s goal was his third and came with 2:50 left in the second. Young was credited with his second assist of the game. Sioux City cut the lead to 3-2 when Brad Robbins went top shelf on O’Connors glove side with just 15.3 seconds remaining in the period.
With 16:37 remaining in the third period, David Henry gathered a rebound off of a Jackson Leef shot that O’connor blocked. Call it a bad luck goal that tied the game, 3-3.
Stenglein gave the Phantoms the lead at 4-3 with 6:49 left in the game on an unassisted goal, his second. Stenglein wound up from the top of the right face off circle and his shot tapped the post and went in. The Phantoms added an empty-netter with 51 seconds left in the game. Belonger got the freebee to push the lead to 5-3. The Musketeers wouldn’t go away without a fight. With 34.5 seconds left, the Musketeers scored to make it 5-4. O’Connor and the defense survived the onslaught of offense in the final half minute to secure the win.
“It was definitely two of the bigger goals in my career”, said Stenglein. “The coaches are putting us in position where we can make a lot of plays and my line has been playing really good.”
“Everything has been going my way lately. You kind of are getting to a point in the season where you know that your line mates are going to be in certain spots. We aren’t invincible, but we do expect to win, and we have a will to win. It doesn’t matter whether we are down by five or up by five, we are going to stay even keel“, added Stenglein.
The Youngstown Phantoms and Muskegon Lumberjacks do not like each other much. In a very physical hockey game, the Phantoms battled hard, but came out on the wrong end of a 2-1 score. Guy Fieri dropped the puck, but the Phantoms were unable to get much cooking offensively for most of the game.
Nobody scored in the first period and the Lumberjacks had the majority of the chances putting 15 shots on net compared to the Phantoms ten. The Phantoms could not capitalize on a two-man advantage. During the two-man advantage, the Phantoms hit the post, but the puck caromed the wrong way.
The Lumberjacks put a goal up with 16:43 to go in the second period. Ryan Lomberg got his fourth goal of the season for the Lumberjacks. Max Shuart was given an assist as Lomberg beat Matt O’Connor from close range. The Phantoms had their fourth unsuccessful powerplay chance late in the second period, but came up empty. With a man advantage, the Phantoms extended a drought of twenty-one straight penalty chances without a score.
“Our penalty killing units did well, but our powerplay was not very good tonight. The powerplay should be a momentum swing and goals are a bonus. We could not hold the momentum tonight”, said Coach Anthony Noreen.
In the final 20 minutes, the Phantoms scored with 7:57 left in the game to tie the game at 1-1. Ryan Belonger found the twine on a very hard angled shot. For Belonger, the goal was his fifth. Jordan Young and Mike Ambrosia were credited with assists. Exactly one minute later, Muskegon reclaimed the lead when Joseph Cox picked the puck out near the blue line and skated the length of the ice letting a shot fly from the top of the right faceoff circle that went over O’Connor’s right shoulder and into the net.
The Phantoms biggest scoring weapon, Austin Cangelosi, was not in uniform and participating with the US National Junior Select Team for the entire three-game home stand. Defenseman Chris Bradley is also in British Columbia with Cangelosi playing in the World Junior Challenge.
“We missed Bradley and Cangelosi tonight”, said Noreen after the game. “They are on our first powerplay and Bradley runs it. This is a team sport though and we should be able to do more from a team standpoint, and we just weren’t able to convert tonight.”
The difference in this one was the Phantoms inability to capitalize on powerplays and untimely penalties. Even Guy Fieri’s presence and a loud crowd, by far the biggest this season at the Covelli Centre, were not enough to propel the home team to a victory.
The Phantoms were outshot 35-26 and looked out of sync on offense for a good part of this game.
Dubuque, the defending champions, will face the Phantoms Saturday and Sunday at the Covelli Centre.
The Youngstown Phantoms saw their four-game winning streak come to an end Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich., when they fell 5-4 to Team USA. The Phantoms got a pair of goals from Austin Cangelosi and Ryan Belonger with the net empty, but ran out of time and USA skated off with its first win in five games.
“I think if there were a few minutes left in the game, we would’ve had a chance to tie it,” Head Coach Anthony Noreen said. “That’s not an excuse though. That’s why you need to take care of business within the 60-minute frame.”
It was a back-and-fourth first period that saw the Phantoms take the lead twice only to have Team USA knot it back up. Defenseman Kevin Liss opened up the scoring 6:58 into the period when he knocked in a rebound off a Mike Ambrosia shot. USA tied it up on the power play less than two minutes later when Anthony Louis snuck one low past goaltender Matthew O’Connor, who was screened.
Ambrosia regained the lead for the Phantoms on a fluke play minutes later. The Chatham, N.J. native got the puck in from center ice wound up and knocked it deep toward net for a line change but USA goaltender Hunter Miska was caught off guard. He mishandled it and the puck bounced past him and into the net to put Youngstown up once again.
“You’re going to get them both ways – lucky bounces and unlucky bounces – but that was fortunate for us,” Ambrosia said. “We’ve got to manufacture goals, so it’s whatever it takes.”
But with 5:19 remaining in the period, Connor Chatham found Evan Allen open on the back door and he had no trouble popping it in to make it 2-2 heading into the first intermission.
The second period belonged to Team USA, which took full advantage of a four-minute double minor to Mike Gunn. Defenseman Keaton Thompson scored a pair of power-play goals – the first by knocking in the puck after a bad bounce off the glass behind the net, and the second via a screened shot from the point – to give Team USA a two-goal cushion after 40 minutes.
Connor Clifton put Team USA up 5-2 near the midpoint of the third off a shot from inside the blue line that O’Connor couldn’t handle. Then, with 3:41 remaining, Team USA center Tyler Kelleher was boxed for tripping and Noreen elected to pull the goalie to make it a 6-on-4 power play. Team USA was able to kill off the penalty but the Phantoms retained possession and Cangelosi was able to knock in a rebound from a Chris Bradley point-shot to cut the lead to two with 1:32 remaining.
With the net empty again, Belonger shoved a puck five hole on Miska to make it a one-goal game with 25 seconds left, but the Phantoms ran out of time and Team USA skated off with the win.
“I think we showed that we’re not going to stop until the final buzzer,” Ambrosia said. “But we didn’t bring it for the full 60 minutes tonight. It’s disappointing but we’re still 4-2”