Phantoms fire 49 shots but Fall to FOrce 4-3 - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Youngstown Phantoms Press Release

Phantoms fire 49 shots but Fall to FOrce 4-3

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Youngstown Phantoms played two of the best periods of hockey seen at the Covelli Centre this season - maybe even since the arena opened eight years ago. Over the final 40 minutes of the game Saturday night, the Phantoms scored three times and outshot the Fargo Force by a 39-9 margin.

Unfortunately for them, the game was decided in the first period when the Force scored four goals on 14 shots and then turned to goaltender Brendan Jensen to keep them in it. The 20-year-old netminder obliged turning away 46 shots to steal a 4-3 win.

"Judging on the last 40 minutes we were unbelievable," said Luke Stork, who notched a goal and an assist in the loss. "Every guy was going. We were hitting and doing things the Phantoms way. If we can just do that for a full 60 minutes, we can be a scary team to play against."

Ryan Schwalbe and Maxim Letunov also scored for the Phantoms (5-10-1, 11 points) while goaltender Colin DeAugustine made 19 saves but was tagged with his second loss.

The Force (4-9-1, 9 points) grabbed the lead less than two minutes into the game when John Baiocco beat DeAugustine with a low wrist shot on the short side. Andrew McDonald made it 2-0 just before the midway point of the period when he fired home a rebound after a Youngstown turnover in the slot.

Garrick Grey redirected a point shot from Josh Elmes at the 13:20 mark to make it 3-0 and Aaron Herdt capped the scoring for Fargo less than 90 seconds later when he tracked down a rebound the in slot and fired it through traffic and right underneath the crossbar.

"One thing we've talked about with this team is learning how to start hockey games and coming prepared to play and ready to do battle from the moment the puck drops," assistant coach Michael Zucker said. "Obviously, that's something we've struggled with and it's ended up costing us games."

The Phantoms broke through on the power play three minutes into the second. Stork won the faceoff and carried the puck behind the net, walked out on the right side and fired a low wrist on Jensen. The Force goaltender made a kick save, but the rebound came right out for Schwalbe on the back door and he fired it in the empty net for his third goal of the season.

Stork would score a power-play goal of his own 31 seconds into the third in the waning seconds of a 4-on-3 advantage for the Phantoms. Tyler Spezia took a shot and the rebound came out to the Ohio State recruit at the right circle and he fired it bar down for his eighth goal of the season.

"Luke certainly delivered," Zucker said. "'Storky' has done all that we've asked of him and we're going to continue to look to him to add that scoring element in the coming weeks."

Youngstown made it a one-goal game with 1:05 left in regulation and DeAugustine on the bench for the extra attacker. JJ Piccinich, who tied for the team lead with seven shots on goal, wristed the puck from the right circle and Letunov got a stick on it in the slot to deflect it past Jensen for his fourth goal of the season.

But Youngstown could not complete the comeback as Jensen bailed out the Force to more than earn his second win of the season.

"He was unbelievable," Stork said. "He robbed me a couple times when I could have buried the puck and should have. He was the best player on the ice and the reason they won."

Phantoms by the Numbers

Shots - 49

Saves - 19

Power Play - 2-for-9

Penalty Kill - 3-for-3

Goals - Letunov (4), Schwalbe (3), Stork (8)

Assists - Conor Lemirande (2), Tommy Parran (1), Piccinich (4), Spezia (6), Stork (2)

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