In front of a raucous crowd of more than 4,000, the Youngstown Phantoms (27-15-4-1, 59 points) put on quite the performance at the Covelli Centre Wednesday morning, downing the Green Bay Gamblers 2-1 in the annual School Day Game.

"(The crowd) was awesome," said Phantoms Head Coach Ryan Ward. "It was a different environment. When (the Covelli Centre) is packed, and Youngstown is roaring, it's an awesome atmosphere; there's not a better place to play in the league. We're super thankful for all the fan support and everyone that came out today and made today a great day."

The crowd was treated to something to cheer about early as Andrew Strathmann, and Chase Pietila sandwiched a Green Bay skater on the opening shift, but the Gamblers quieted the crowd moments later when they tallied the opening marker. Jayden Davis fired home a one-timer off the glove of Jacob Fowler (24 saves) on a blast from the inside edge of the right circle just 2:07 into regulation. It was Davis' seventh of the season and staked the Gamblers to a 1-0 lead.

Youngstown wasted no time tying the game, as Brandon Svoboda tipped a Jake Rozzi pass through the five-hole of Kristoffer Eberly (34 saves) at 6:03, leveling the game at 1. It was Svoboda's 12th of the season and third in the last three games.

The game stayed 1-1 through the first intermission and until the final minute of the second period when Kenta Isogai scored on the breakaway with just 13.2 seconds remaining in the period to put the Phantoms ahead. Isogai made a great move to dance around a Green Bay defender at the blue line and came in on Eberly, using a deke to open Eberly's five-hole before sliding the shot through. It was Isogai's 12th of the season, extending his career high. Youngstown poured on the offense in the second period, outshooting Green Bay 20-6 in the frame.

William Whitelaw almost extended the Youngstown lead early in the third, but his shot rang off the crossbar. Isogai had a great scoring chance in the third as well but was denied by Eberly. Fowler made an outstanding save on Matt DiMarsico late in the third to preserve the Phantom's lead. Due to intense offensive pressure from Youngstown, Green Bay could not get Eberly to the bench for the extra attacker in the final minute of regulation, preserving the victory.

With the win, Youngstown now leads Green Bay by 4 points in the Eastern Conference standings and jumps over idle-Team USA for second place with 59 points. The Phantoms' magic number to clinch a playoff spot dropped to 16. Youngstown and Green Bay will play twice more this week, with puck drop scheduled for 6:05 p.m. eastern on Thursday and 7:05 p.m. eastern on Friday.

By the Numbers

Shots – 36

Saves – 24

Power Play – 0/2

Penalty Kill – 3/3

Goals – Isogai, Svoboda

Assists – Cerbone, Perkins, Rozzi, Williams


Source:  Youngstown Phantoms