‘Jacks jump on Phantoms, take weekend's 1st game 6-2 - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Youngstown Phantoms Press Release

‘Jacks jump on Phantoms, take weekend's 1st game 6-2

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Muskegon Lumberjacks were devastatingly efficient Friday night potting six goals on just 19 shots to hand the Youngstown Phantoms a 6-2 loss in the first of two-game set at the Covelli Centre. The teams meet again Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. EST.

The Phantoms (13-16-0, 26 points) sprayed Muskegon goaltender Kevin Lindskoug with 33 shots, but could only solve him on two occasions – a first-period tally from Markus McCrea and Cam Brown's first goal with Youngstown, coming with just 8 seconds left in regulation. The Lumberjacks (19-10-3, 41 points) went 2-for-2 on the man-advantage to open the game, and made short work on their other opportunities.

"We did a good job of limiting their shots, but we didn't do a good job of limiting their grade-A chances," head coach Anthony Noreen said. "On the flipside of things, when you get a chance against a team that good, you've got to put the puck in the net, ‘cause you might not get another one."

Ben Foster put Muskegon in front on the power play when he walked out of the corner unabated and muscled a shot past goaltender Sean Romeo at the 9:01 mark in the first. The Phantoms wasted no time responding as McCrea tied things up a minute later. Lindskoug kicked Luke Stork's shot out to the top of the left circle and McCrea fired it right back through a screen and in.

The Lumberjacks re-took the lead on the power play at the 13:41 mark when a defensive zone breakdown allowed Tyler Heinonen to navigate his way to the slot for clean shot on Romeo. Carter Foguth made it 3-1 with a short-handed goal less than three minutes into the second. Campbell Elynuik made it 4-1 with a backdoor tap-in eight minutes later, on only Muskegon's 11th shot of the game.

At that point, Noreen elected to swap goaltenders, bringing in Jake Moore to make his USHL debut in relief of Romeo.

"We pulled Sean out just to try and chance the momentum," Noreen said. "In no way was it Sean or Jake's fault tonight. We needed to be better in front of both of them."

Matt Mendelson gave Muskegon a four-goal cushion 12 minutes into the third when he won a race for a puck at the point and beat Moore on a partial breakaway. Heinonen notched his second of the night a minute later on an odd-man rush. Moore made the initial save, but the momentum slid him – and the puck – over the goal line.

The Phantoms would not go down easy and JJ Piccinich, who along with linemates Stork and Zach Evancho provided a spark for Youngstown every time they took the ice, set up Brown for the game's final goal. The Natick, Mass. native zipped a snap shot through traffic and past Lindskoug to set a tone for the rematch Saturday.

"One thing we always talk about is looking forward and not quitting," Noreen said. "Obviously for JJ Piccinich, there was quit in him, no matter how much time was left in that game. And for Cam Brown, hopefully it's the first of many more down the stretch here."

Phantoms by the Numbers

Shots – 33

Saves – 13

Power Play – 0-for-7

Penalty Kill – 2-for-4

Goals – Brown, McCrea

Assists – Connor, Piccinich, Stork

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