Saturday, January 17, 2015

First @MadCapsHockey/@YTownPhantoms Matchup Goes To The Caps

If hitting the post was what counted, the Youngstown Phantoms knocked of the expansion Capitols 2-0 on Friday night at the Covelli Centre.

Unfortunately, for the home team, the sound of iron was as close to a goal as the Eastern Conference's 4th place team would get against Madison's Garrett Metcalf. The 6'3" goaltender would turn away 35 Youngstown shots on goal en route to his first USHL shutout, a 4-0 victory.

In the opening period, the teams played fairly evenly on the score sheet, as the period ended 1-0 with Madison's Haralds Egle going roof against Chris Birdsall for his 10th goal of the season at 17:19. Assists were awarded to Mitch Hults and Charlie Gerard.

The Capitols continued a relentless forecheck throughout the end of the first and the entirety of the second period, taking it to the home team. The Phantoms had trouble responding to the aggressive style and found themselves unable to find enough open passing lanes to sustain any kind of regular pressure, despite earning some brief quality chances.

Freddy Gerard:
2 G (1 SHG)
Midway through that second stanza, Freddy Gerard would pot his first of two goals on the night.

In the third, Youngstown came to life. Madison, however, was ready for them.

Indicating just how the night was going, Youngstown went on the power play just 33 seconds into the final period of play as Madison's Tyler Nanne was called for roughing in his goaltender's crease, only to give up a short-handed goal to Freddy Gerard, his 12th goal of the season, just over a minute later. Marco Richter would round out the scoring for the Capitols - and the game - at 7:30, scoring his seventh.

Then the Unsportsmanlike Conducts came.

Garrett Metcalf: 1st USHL shutout
Ryan Lomberg was first up, earning a match penalty at 11:06. Twenty-two seconds later, Matt Miller (YNG) and Guillaume Leclerc (MAD) followed up with their own, 2 minutes each. At 17:34, Kevin Conley and Chase Pearson of Youngstown added to the count, with Pearson receiving an additional match penalty along with Madison's Leclerc. Josh Nenadal of the Phantoms would get called for the final Misconduct of the night, getting sent to the locker room with just 1:11 left in the game.

With the loss, the Phantoms fall to a record of 17-10-5 (39 pts) and remain in 4th place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Madison with a record of 16-10-5 (37 pts).

With one game in hand, fourth place on the line and momentum clearly on their side, Madison should be highly motivated for tonight's rematch at 7:05 PM at Covelli Center in downtown Youngstown.

Official Phantoms Press Release:


Youngstown Shutout for the First Time this Season despite Registering 35 Shots on Goal
YOUNGSTOWN, OH- The Youngstown Phantoms (17-10-5) suffered their first shutout loss of the season, dropping a 4-0 decision to the Madison Capitols on Friday night. Goaltender Chris Birdsall made 21 saves on the night for the Phantoms, who had their four-game home winning streak snapped.
The Phantoms had a number of scoring chances early in the opening period, and even managed to hit a couple of posts, however they were not able to find the back of the net.
The Capitols opened up the scoring late in the first, when forward Haralds Egle picked off a Phantoms clearing attempt, and fired a shot from the low slot past Birdsall, putting Madison up, 1-0, after 20 minutes.
Youngstown continued to get a plethora of chances in the second, however it was the Capitols who managed to push their lead to 2-0 after the second, when forward Freddy Gerard beat Birdsall, 13:20 into the frame.
Madison struck twice more in the third, on the second of the game from Gerard 1:13 into the frame, and a tally from forward Marco Richter at 7:30, sealing the 4-0 win for the Capitols.
“They were able to get a lead on us because we couldn’t bury our chances,” remarked Phantoms Head Coach Anthony Noreen. “We hit the post a couple of times and let a good team get a lead, and I think we’ve taken for granted the fact that we’ve been able to get back into those games where we had a slow start.”
The Phantoms outshot Madison on the night, 35-25, while the power play went 0-for-3. The two sides wrap up their two-game weekend series on Saturday night at 7:05.

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