Despite dominating the game at even strength, outshooting the visitors by 9, and receiving stellar goaltending from Kyle Chauvette, the Youngstown Phantoms (27-22-6-4, 64 points) couldn’t hold off the Chicago Steel after building a 2-0 lead and fell 3-2 in overtime Friday night at the Covelli Centre. 

Youngstown built a 2-0 lead by the end of the first period, thanks to goals from defensemen Trey Taylor and Nick Williams at 10:54 and 15:06 respectively. Both defensemen scored on shots from the point with tons of traffic in front of Chicago netminder Christian Manz (31 saves). At the other end of the rink, Chauvette made four huge stops on the Steel, including two about a minute before the Taylor goal that helped keep the game scoreless at that point. “I thought it was a really good goaltending duel tonight,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “Both goaltenders were really good.” The goal for Taylor was his 10th of the season, tying him with Dan Renouf and Scott Mayfield for the most goals scored in a season by a defenseman in Phantoms’ history.

Chicago balanced the scoresheet with a pair of power-play goals in the first three-and-a-half minutes of the second period. Jackson Blake broke the ice for Chicago at 1:31, followed shortly by Joe Miller at 3:28, tying the game at 2-2. The Steel had to survive an onslaught from Youngstown in the third, as the Phantoms outshot the Steel 13-6 in the period, but Manz held firm, keeping the game even and sending the contest to overtime.

Just before the halfway point of the bonus frame, Chicago blocked a shot, and the loose puck was corralled by Blake, who went down the ice with Lukas Gustafsson in a 2-on-1 rush. As they entered the Youngstown end and approached the net, Blake converted on his cross-ice pass to Gustafsson, who redirected it behind Chauvette 2:04 into overtime to give Chicago the extra point.

Any sort of win by the Phantoms tomorrow against the Steel would secure a playoff spot and home-ice advantage for Youngstown in the first round of the Clark Cup Playoffs. Chicago and Youngstown wrap up their season series Saturday night at the Covelli Centre.

By the Numbers

Shots – 33

Saves – 21

Power Play – 0/2

Penalty Kill – 1/3

Goals – Taylor, Williams

Assists – Centrella, Machu, Varner (2)

Source:  Youngstown Phantoms