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Youngstown Phantoms Press Release

Romeo backstops Phantoms to 5-0 win over Bucs

Updated:

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Youngstown Phantoms grabbed the momentum early Friday night and Sean Romeo made sure the Des Moines Buccaneers never got another whiff of it. The third-year goaltender turned away all 33 shots he faced to backstop the Phantoms to a 5-0 win.

The shutout was Romeo's third of the season, tying him for the USHL lead. The Phantoms (11-13-0, 22 points) got a pair of goals from defenseman Dan Reounf, while first-year forward JJ Piccinich recorded a three-point night, including his first USHL goal. The teams will face off again Saturday night at 8:05 p.m. EST.

The Buccaneers (13-12-1, 27 points) had an early opportunity on the man-advantage but it was the Phantoms that stuck first. Des Moines defenseman Eric Martisson had trouble handling a puck at the blue line and Renouf pounced. The Maine recruit poked the puck free and went in alone on a breakaway, cutting across the crease before shelving a backhand on goaltender Billy Christopoulos to give Youngstown a 1-0 lead just 2:12 in.

John Padulo stretched the Phantoms' lead to 2-0 with 3:09 left in the period when tipped Kyle Connor's wrist shot for his fourth of the season. Connor lofted a wrist for from above the right circle and Padulo got enough of it to change course, clanging off the crossbar and falling over the goal line.

Renouf tallied his second of the night just before the midway point of the second. Piccinich strung a pass across the slot for Renouf, who gathered it at the right-side wall. The blue liner pulled back and fired a wrist shot across the chest of Christopoulos, just inside the far post to give Youngstown a three-goal cushion heading into the third.

Des Moines opened the third period on a brief power play and peppered shots Romeo's way, but the Cary, N.C. native was up to task turning away chance after chance with athletic save after athletic save. With just 5:22 remaining, the Buccaneers coughed the puck up in their defensive zone and Piccinich made them pay, firing a wrist shot home from the right circle.

Then with just 2:47 remaining Piccinich helped put the final nail in the Bucs' coffin. The Boston University commit forced a turnover on the wall and fed Josh Nenadal below the circle, and he barreled his way toward goal, cut across the crease and tucked it inside the far post for his second goal in as many games.

Phantoms by the Numbers

Shots – 37

Saves – 33

Power Play – 0-for-6

Penalty Kill – 4-for-4

Goals – Nenadal, Reounf (2), Padulo, Piccinich

Assists – Kale Bennett, Cangelosi, Connor, Piccinich (2), Sweetman

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