Phantoms make it 4 In a row - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Youngstown Phantoms Press Release

Phantoms make it 4 In a row

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Austin Cangelosi returned to the lineup Wednesday against the Chicago Steel and promptly scored a trio of goals as the Youngstown Phantoms cruised to a 4-0 win. Friday night, the Youngstown captain closed out the two-game set with Chicago in the third round of the shootout, beating goaltender Chris Nell with a wrist shot over the glove to clinch a 3-2 victory.

The win was the fourth in a row for the Phantoms (27-20-0, 54 points), who improved to a perfect 4-0-0 vs. Steel (19-25-4, 42 points) this season and 5-0 in the shootout. Defenseman Eric Sweetman scored a short-handed marker and right wing Sam Anas tallied his team-leading 24th goal of the season for Youngstown.

Between the pipes, Sean Romeo turned away 25 shots and went 2-of-3 in the shootout to seal his 23rd victory of the season, and remain tied with Omaha's Alex Lyon for second in wins in the United State's Hockey League.

"No matter what the ending would have been, we liked the way we played tonight," head coach Anthony Noreen said. "We played a pretty complete game and were good from the goalie out to our defenseman and our forwards."

After going fruitless on seven power play attempts in Wednesday morning's loss, the Steel struck on their first chance Friday. Charlie O'Connor found Alex Roos at the left circle and he wristed a shot just over Romeo's blocker to put Chicago up 1-0 at the 7:15 mark.

Cam Brown nearly knotted it up with five minutes remaining in the first when Anas found him at the left dot but Nell, who got the nod in favor of No. 1 netminder Alex Sakellaropoulos and turned away 37 shots in the loss, caught a piece of the one-timer with his blocker, and the post got the rest.

Sweetman tied the game with a short-handed goal two minutes into the second period. Nathan Walker put a pass out into space and Sweetman skated it down, split the Chicago defensemen at the blue line and fired it top shelf for his sixth goal of the season.

"I saw Walker with the puck and I saw an opening so I thought I'd go for it," Sweetman said. "I was thinking about the Anas between-the-legs (move), but I decided to just shoot it," he joked.

Anas put the Phantoms in front 2-1 just past the midway point of the period. Dan Renouf got a pass from Alexander Dahl in his own corner and embarked on an end-to-end rush before sending a saucer pass to to Anas in the slot. The Potomac. Md., native batted the bouncing puck out of mid-air and it slipped between Nell's legs.

"It was a really underrated play – how much patience Dan had with the puck waiting for the play to develop and the ‘D' to step up," Anas said.

"If it's any other player but Sammy, you'd be in shock and awe," Noreen said of Anas' hand-eye coordination. "He's so skilled. It's kind of crazy that we're used to seeing those plays and it doesn't seem that amazing."

Chicago tied it with 6:20 remaining in the third period when O'Connor snuck a wraparound shot inside the right post. The Steel had the opportunity to win it in overtime when Sweetman was penalized for tripping, but the Phantoms killed off the 4-on-3 advantage with defenseman Ryan Lowney, who was out for all two minutes, clearing the puck from his knees to finish it off.

Anas went first in the shootout for Youngstown, pivoting from forward-to-backward-to-forward at the circle before beating Nell five-hole, but the puck got lodged in the goaltender's pad before crossing the line. Ray Pigozzi came down in the second round and fired a wrist shot at the top right corner, but Romeo deflected the puck straight up and then reached behind to bat it away with his glove.

Kyle Connor went next for Youngstown, beating Nell between the legs again. This one, however, made it all the way through, putting the pressure on Drew Smolcynski to extend Chicago's chance, but the former Indiana Ice forward put a backand shot past Romeo to tie it heading into the bottom of the third round for Cangelosi. With his parents and grandparents watching from the stands, the Estero, Fla., native closed the book.

"I wanted to end it," Cangelosi said. "I just cleared my mind and just took what I was given. I didn't really come up with anything really special – just saw the net and shot it."

Phantoms by the Numbers

Shots – 40

Saves – 25

Power Play – 0-for-6

Penalty Kill – 5-for-6

Goals – Anas, Sweetman

Assists – Brown, Dahl, Renouf, Walker

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