YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Youngstown Phantoms battled injuries and the rigors of the road last week, falling in three straight games at the hands of the Fargo Force, Sioux City Musketeers and Sioux Falls Stampede. The Phantoms (4-5-0, 8 points) will look to reverse their fortunes vs. the Western Conference this week on home ice when they face Lincoln Stars Friday night and the Waterloo Black Hawks Sunday afternoon.
The Week In Review
Game No. 7: Force Foil Phantoms, 2-1
Goaltender Sean Romeo put on an outstanding performance between the pipes Thursday night in Scheels Arena, but it was not enough to put the Phantoms back on the winning track. The Force (4-3-2, 10 points) beat Romeo just twice - both within a span of three minutes in the second period - on 39 shots and were able hold the Phantoms off for a 2-1 win. First-year center Kyle Connor scored the lone goal for Youngstown.
Game No. 8: Phantoms Stall In Sioux City
The Phantoms' road woes continued Friday night against the Musketeers (2-2-3, 7 points). Despite coming out of the gates with great energy, Youngstown surrendered a pair of goals in the first period and it snowballed into a 5-1 loss. Second-year center Alexander Dahl scored the only goal for the Phantoms, his first of the season. Patrick Spano got the start between the pipes and played admirably, but was overwhelmed by the unrelenting Musketeers attack.
Game No. 9: Depleted Phantoms Overrun By Stampede
Playing their third game in as many days and battling injuries to key players, the Phantoms did their best put up a fight Saturday in Sioux Falls, but it was not enough. They were outmanned and outmatched by Stampede (5-3-0, 10 points) and lost 4-0, shut out for the first time on the young season. Goaltender Romeo, who started the opening game of the road trip for Youngstown and came on in relief Friday, did a yeoman's work in net turning away 29 shots behind the depleted lineup.
-- The Phantoms left for their three-game western swing already down a pair of forwards - Alfred Larsson and John Padulo - due to injury. By game's end Saturday at Sioux Falls Arena, they were on life support with four more out - leading scorer Austin Cangelosi, center Kyle Connor, and wingers Mac MacSorley and Markus McCrea.
-- Sean Romeo was a bright spot between the pipes for the Phantoms out west. The 17-year-old goaltender played more than 140 minutes over the three-game road trip - he started two games and added a relief appearance - and turned away 82 of 87 shots he faced for a .943 save percentage and 2.10 goals against average.
-- With Saturday's loss, Youngstown's record dropped below the .500-mark for the first time in more than a year. The last time the Phantoms' record was below .500 was after their loss to Team USA in the 2011-12 season-opener.
The Week Ahead
Game No. 10: Friday, Oct. 26 at 7:15 p.m. EST - Phantoms vs. Lincoln
The best in the west roll into the Covelli Centre Friday. After finishing atop the USHL's Western Conference standings last season, the Stars (6-0-0, 12 points) have not missed a beat this season, going undefeated through their first six games. Just one of those wins, however, came away from the Ice Box in Lincoln, and if history is any indicator, they are in for a hard fought game in Youngstown. Although the Stars hold a slight edge in the all-time series against the Phantoms each of the teams' seven meetings have been decided by only one goal with five requiring overtime.
Game No. 11: Sunday, Oct. 28 at 4:00 p.m. EST - Phantoms vs. Waterloo
The Phantoms and Black Hawks (6-1-0, 12 points) meet for the second and final time of the season this Sunday afternoon in the Covelli Centre. The two teams combined for 15 goals when they met earlier this season - a 9-6 barnburner of a win for Youngstown at Waterloo's Young Arena. The loss was the first and only of the season thus far for the Black Hawks, who outscored Sioux Falls and Team USA 9-2 in a pair of wins last weekend. The Hawks have five players averaging more than a point per-game, led by Minnesota recruit Justin Kloos, while goaltender Eamon McAdam, a top 2013 NHL draft prospect, has surrendered just four goals in three starts between the pipes.
They Said It
"We had eight forwards out by the end and I'll tell you what - this is as honest as I can shoot it - it was by far the best effort we've given all year. It's one of those games where you feel bad because the guys deserved better."
-- Phantoms head coach Anthony Noreen after his team's loss in Sioux Falls.
Points: Austin Cangelosi (5-6-11, T-second in USHL)
Goals: Cangelosi, JT Stenglein (5, T-fifth in USHL)
Assists: Cangelosi, John Padulo (6, T-fifth in USHL)
Power-Play Goals: Cangelosi, Stenglein, Eric Sweetman (1)
Short-Handed Goals: Cangelosi, Ryan Lowney (1, T-third in USHL)
Plus/Minus: Cangelosi, Dan Renouf (plus-8, T-fourth in USHL)
Penalty Minutes: Stenglein (48, first in USHL)
Points by a Defenseman: Renouf (3-1-4)
Wins: Sean Romeo, Patrick Spano (2)
Goals Against Average: Romeo (3.16)
Save Percentage: Romeo (.898)
Phantoms Alumni Watch
-- Bentley forward Brett Gensler (2009-10) tallied a goal and an assist as the Falcons fell to 6-3 to No. 6 Michigan last Friday.
-- Denver forward Ty Loney (2010-11) scored a goal and added an assist as the No. 5 Pioneers downed No. 11 UMass Lowell 5-1 last Friday.
-- Nebraska - Omaha defenseman Andrej Sustr (2009-10) had his second multi-point night of the season notching a goal and an assist as the Mavericks defeated Northern Michigan 5-3 last Friday.
-- Minnesota State forward Dylan Margonari (2010-12) scored his first career NCAA goal as Mavericks beat Rensselaer 4-3 in overtime last Saturday.
-- Denver defenseman Scott Mayfield (2009-11) registered an assist as the Pioneers downed Air Force 5-2 last Saturday.
-- Bowling Green forward Adam Berkle (2009-11) added an assist as the Falcons upset Colgate 3-1 last Friday.
Events and Promotions
Friday, Oct. 26: Value Menu Night
Come down to the Covelli Centre this Friday as the Phantoms take on the Stars for the first Value Menu Night of the season. The value menu includes a 16-oz. Phantoms Power Play Beer for $3, a 12-oz. value soda for $2, a 24-oz. large soda for $3, popcorn for $2, hot dogs for $2.25 and pizza by the slice for $3.25.
Sunday, Oct. 28: "Hounds For Hockey" Game
The Covelli Centre will be howling next Sunday when the Youngstown Phantoms take the ice against the Waterloo Black Hawks. The Phantoms are teaming up with Athena Animal Advocacy Group for their first ever "Hounds For Hockey" game on Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. EST. Dog owners are encouraged to bring their four-legged friends to the Covelli Centre to cheer on the Phantoms in what is sure to be one of the most memorable Sunday matinees of the season.
Ticket packages start at just $10 with $5 from each package going to support Athena Animal Advocacy Group's work throughout the Mahoning Valley and there will also be a postgame skate on the Covelli Centre ice for fans with select skates available for rental from the Ice Zone. Owners who would like to bring their dog to the game must pre-order their tickets by Thursday, Oct. 25 through the Phantoms Office. Call the Phantoms Office at 330.747.PUCK (7825) or visit YoungstownPhantoms.com for more information.
Season tickets for the 2012-13 season are on sale now starting at the low price of just $7 a game. Benefits include invitations to exclusive season ticket holder events, discounts at the Phantoms Team Shop, playoff priority and much more. Call 330.747.PUCK (7825) for more information or to reserve seats today. For all the latest news, visit www.YoungstownPhantoms.com, follow the Phantoms on Twitter (@YtownPhantoms) and 'like' them on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/YoungstownPhantoms).
Headquartered in Chicago, the USHL celebrated its 10th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2011-12. With 28 picks during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and more than 280 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL has emerged as the world's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com.
It's not just hockey. It's the USHL.
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