Phantoms' Streak Halted In Green Bay - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown Phantoms Press Release

Phantoms' Streak Halted In Green Bay

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GREEN BAY, Wisconsin – After cruising to five straight wins on home ice, the Youngstown Phantoms hit a bump on the road in Wisconsin Sunday against the Green Bay Gamblers. The Phantoms surrendered a pair of costly goals in the final two minutes of a seesaw second period en route to a 6-4 defeat at the hands of the defending Clark Cup Champions.

Tommy Davis, Nathan Walker, JJ Piccinich and Ryan Lowney all found the back of the net for Youngstown (28-21-0, 56 points), while Nicholas Schilkey led the way for Green Bay (32-17-3, 67 points) with a trio of goals, including an empty-netter. Phantoms Goaltender Sean Romeo turned away 21 shots, but was tagged with the loss, just the second in his last nine starts.

Head coach Anthony Noreen said the defeat was because the Phantoms controlled portions of play – they outshot the Gamblers 11-6 in the third period and 32-27 on the game – but were done in by mental lapses.

"It was really just mental mistakes," he said. "We've all been in this league long enough – played this team enough times – to know that if you make mistakes, they're going to put the puck in the back of the net. They're just too skilled and talented to give them the type of chances we did.

"Overall our game was good. It wasn't great, but by no means are we upset with the effort. We just needed to be sharper on our details."

Davis put the Phantoms in front 7:44 into opening period off a feed from John Padulo. The first-year defenseman came crashing in from the point and fired a wrist shot that rang off the post and in past Green Bay goaltender Richard Ullberg.

Youngstown was forced to kill off a five-minute power play later in the period after Padulo was given a major elbowing penalty and ejected from the game. The Gamblers capitalized toward the end of the five-minute advantage when Sheldon Dries re-directed a point shot from Gustav Olofsson at the 13:42 mark. Schilkey made it 2-1 three minutes later when he tipped a wrist shot out of mid-air just below the cross bar.

Walker knotted it up for Youngstown nearly nine minutes into the second period, with a tip of his own. The Australian winger got his stick on Jimmy Mazza's blast from the point and directed it past Ullberg. Piccinich put the Phantoms in front at the 12:19 mark when he dug a puck out of a cluster in front of the Green Bay net and roofed a backhand shot just behind the crossbar.

The Gamblers answered with three straight goals to close out the period. Alex Kile made it 3-3 at the 17:22 mark when he put in a rebound. Then Kyle Novak scored off a turnover at the 18:44 mark and Schilkey netted his second of the night with just 34 seconds remaining in the period to make it 5-3 heading into the intermission.

"They got two or three tips and a couple breakaway chances. I don't think there were any of those goals that Sean would necessarily have wanted back," Noreen said. "We probably made five mistakes in the game and they scored on four of them."

Schilkey completed his hat trick with an empty-net goal 1:30 remaining, as the Phantoms pressed to tie the game. Lowney scored on a power play with just 13 seconds remaining in the game, but it proved to be little more than consolation.

Despite the setback, Noreen said that he had no concerns that the team will be able to rebound and put in another strong effort Thursday when they take on the Eastern Conference leading Dubuque Fighting Saints.

"The thing I like about our team and the direction we're going in right now is when we lose games, it's not because of our energy or attitude," he said. "That's a staple we feel like is in place with our guys, which has been our goal all along. Stick to that, and you know you're going to compete every game."

Phantoms by the Numbers

Shots – 32

Saves – 21

Power Play – 1-for-4

Penalty Kill – 3-for-4

Goals – Davis, Walker, Piccinich, Lowney

Assists – Sam Anas, Austin Cangelosi, Kyle Connor, Alfred Larsson, Mazza, Padulo, Eric Sweetman

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