Muskegon edges Phantoms 5-2 - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Muskegon edges Phantoms 5-2

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MUSKEGON, Michigan - Coach Anthony Noreen loved the Phantoms' effort against the Muskegon Lumberjacks for 50 minutes on Friday night. Unfortunately, the other ten proved to be the difference in the hockey game.

Fueled by four goals over the latter half of the first period, three of which came on the power play, Muskegon edged Youngstown by a 5-2 final at the L.C. Walker Arena.

"I liked our game in the first ten minutes, and I liked our game in the last 40. Bottom line, that's hockey at this level. A ten-minute lapse can't happen, and it did," said Noreen.

The Lumberjacks were aided by several penalties committed by the Phantoms, including two extended sequences of five-on-three time. The Phantoms did well to kill off the entirety of the first five-on-three, but Matt Iacopelli scored right after Bo Pellah emerged from the box to open the scoring.

"I wouldn't even fault our penalty killers," continued Noreen. "The first five-on-three, we kill it off, but they score when they get it to a five-on-four. I wouldn't say our killers did a bad job, but you can't go to the well that many times that often, especially that early in the game."

The game's pivotal moment came at the 15:48 mark of the first, when Truman Reed was whistled for a five-minute roughing major and a game misconduct. The resulting unlimited five-minute power play saw the Jacks score twice, including once on a five-on-three after Alfred Larsson was called for a minor infraction while killing Reed's major.

"Credit their power play, and credit them for burying their chances," said Noreen. "It's pretty difficult not to score when you get two full two-minute, five-on-three power plays. We had a good first ten minutes; I liked our game. Bottom line, it shifted on those [penalties].

"[Truman Reed's major] is a penalty. Truman deserved every bit of the five minutes he got; it was uncalled for, unnecessary, and unwarranted on his part... That's the difference in the game. When you give teams at this level extended five-on-three power plays, and five-minute power plays, that's what's going to happen."

The Phantoms replaced goaltender Sean Romeo with Colin DeAugustine to start the second period, and for the second consecutive appearance, DeAugustine looked great, stopping 29 of 30 shots in relief.

"We have confidence in both [goaltenders]. There's no doubt," said Noreen. "You can't blame Sean for that first period, again, five-on-three goals, power play goals, and the one kind of squeaked through him. I don't think we're blaming him; we were kind of pulling him more as relief. Colin comes in with a hard job, and I thought he did very well from the point he went in."

While DeAugustine provided a boost in the defensive end of the rink, the Phantoms could not beat Muskegon netminder Jordan Uhelski through 40 minutes of play-at the time, it marked eight straight periods without a goal. In the third, however, JJ Piccinich and Kiefer Sherwood changed that, each scoring with well-placed shots to break Youngstown's scoreless streak, big for the team's confidence headed into Des Moines tomorrow. Still, the latter half of the first period created a mountain too big for the Phantoms to climb.

"We had a ton of chances there late, but it wasn't enough," said Noreen. "We need to generate more chances, and we need to put them away. At the same point, we can't give a team that good the type of chances that we did in the first period."

Phantoms by the Numbers

Shots - 38

Saves - 40

Power Play - 0/4

Penalty Kill - 4/7

Goals - Piccinich (23), Sherwood (10)

Assists - Pellah 2 (18, 19), Connor (32)

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