YOUNGSTOWN, OH- The Youngstown Phantoms fell to the Bloomington Thunder by a final score of 2-1 Friday night at the Covelli Centre. The Phantoms were 0-7 on the power play, including a pair of five on three opportunities.
“Words don’t describe how disappointed I am, especially with the guys who were out there during the five on threes. Now we’re in a position where we have to salvage a split this weekend,” said Phantoms Head Coach John Wroblewski.
Bloomington drew first blood, when Captain Jake Slaker deflected a shot past Phantoms netminder Ryan Bednard in the final minutes of the first period. The power play tally was Slaker’s 12th goal of the season.
The teams would play the next 30 minutes scoreless thanks to some great saves by both goaltenders. Youngstown finally broke through just over three minutes into the final frame, when Matt Miller blasted a shot over the blocker of Hayden Lavigne for his 6th tally of the year.
Both teams played back and forth hockey for the next 10-plus minutes, each having excellent scoring chances denied by big saves.
The Thunder would eventually pull ahead once again after a tough break for the Phantoms. After a poor neutral zone turnover, Jake Durflinger took a wrist shot that deflected off of Bednard’s glove and into the net.
Youngstown pulled Bednard in the final minutes and had a couple of quality scoring chances, but Lavigne was strong to every challenge.
“We beat ourselves tonight. We preach accountability every day, and tonight our power play wasn’t accountable,” said Phantoms Captain Matt Alvaro.
With the win, Bloomington is now three points ahead of Youngstown for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The two teams will meet again Saturday night in Youngstown. It will be the Phantoms annual Crowd the Covelli night to benefit Akron Children’s Hospital of the Mahoning Valley.
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