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Youngstown Phantoms Press Release

DeAugustine backstops Phantoms to 1st win in Sioux City

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa - In four seasons in the USHL, the Youngstown Phantoms had never beaten the Sioux City Musketeers on their home ice. That changed Saturday night.

Zach Evancho put the Youngstown in front less than two minutes into the second and Colin DeAugustine put on arguably his best performance of the season to backstop the Phantoms to a 4-1 win at Tyson Events Center. Josh Nenadal, Kyle Connor and Josh Nenadal also scored as Youngstown (7-11-2, 16 points) picked up its second road win of the campaign.

"This should build our confidence. I should show us what we're capable of," head coach Anthony Noreen said. "We challenged our guys today and they responded very well. We got some great goaltending and some secondary scoring. All the pieces are here to get the job done. It's just a matter of putting it together."

The Phantoms and Musketeers (11-6-1, 23 points) were knotted up a 1-1 after 20 minutes, but Evancho broke through just 1:32 into the second. Conor Lemirande was able to dig a puck loose on the forecheck and handed it off to Josh Melnick in the near side corner. As the Sioux City defense collapse on him, he found Evancho unguarded between the circles and the Derby, N.Y., native paused and whipped a wrist shot into the top corner for his third goal of the season.

"When I got the puck I was kind of surprised at how much time I had," Evancho said. "I'm in a grade-A spot. And there's no one around me. I just took my time and got to pick my spot for the first time this year.

Noreen said the goal was the byproduct of the trio's work ethic that has been on display for weeks.

"That line of Melnick, Evancho and Lemirande has been excellent lately," he said. "The only thing they haven't really been doing is scoring, so it's nice to see them get on the board tonight. It's something they really deserve after the way they've been playing."

Connor put he Phantoms up two goals 10 minutes later. Tyler Spezia hit him with a pass in stride at center ice and the 16-year-old dashed across the blue line went in on a 1-on-1. Connor used the defenseman to screen goaltender Kyle Hayton and fired a wrist shot top shelf to extend his scoring streak to four straight games.

Piccinich put the nail in the coffin with 3:34 left in the third when Lemirande banked a puck on the wall to him in the neutral zone. The Paramus, N.J., native skated in and wristed it over Hayton's blocker-side shoulder for his team-leading 10th goal of the season, snapping a seven-game goalless skid.

Both Nenadal and Luke Stork were whistled for penalties in the dying minutes, giving the Musketeers third-ranked power play a golden opportunity to cut into the lead. But even with Hayton pulled for the extra attacker, giving Sioux City a three-man advantage, DeAugustine slammed the door shut to pick up his fifth win of the season.

"I was actually more of a fan of the 6-on-3," DeAugustine said. "My guys were actually screening me a bit [on the 6-on-4] so I could see the puck a bit more.

"It was great [to turn them away]. There were some really big blocks late too from our forwards and 'D.'"

Nenadal opened up the scoring Youngstown less than four minutes into the contest. The second-year winger drove wide down the right wall and lobbed a shot on net that caught a Sioux City back-checker and deflected past Hayton unsuspecting for his second goal of the season.

The Musketeers would tie it up with 4:34 remaining in the period when Nik Olsson fired an odd shot from the left point through traffic and past DeAugustine.

"It's a great confidence booster [to beat Sioux City]," Nenadal said. "We're going to enjoy it for about 15 or 20 minutes and then focus our attention on beating Indy Wednesday to try to close out the break."

Phantoms by the Numbers

Shots - 20

Saves - 28

Power Play - 0-for-3

Penalty Kill - 3-for-3

Goals - Connor (9), Evancho (3), Nenadal (2), Piccinich (10)

Assists - Lemirande (4,5), Melnick (7), Tommy Parran (2), Piccinich (8), Spezia (8)

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