Wild finish goes Youngstown's way
January 5, 2012
Adam Chlapik became the third Lumberjack to score two goals in a game, but a frantic final minutes led to overtime and an eventual Phantoms shootout win
by Matt Gajtka
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Adam Chlapik had two goals and John Keeney made 35 saves, but the Youngstown Phantoms took advantage of late frantic action to tie the game and eventually win 4-3 in a shootout over the Muskegon Lumberjacks Thursday night.
Austin Cangelosi scored his second goal of the game with 3:05 to play and the Phantoms shorthanded, tying the score 3-3 and capping a remarkable three minutes. The Lumberjacks led 2-1 before Richard Zehnal scored with 5:50 to go, and Muskegon jumped back ahead 3-2 when Travis Walsh hammered in a 5-on-3 power play goal with 3:24 left.
Following a scoreless overtime, Youngstown’s Sam Anas converted the only goal of the three-round shootout, Muskegon’s first of the season. Phantoms goalie Matt O’Connor denied Chlapik, Walsh and Dakota Klecha to earn his first win over the Lumberjacks in three tries this season.
Keeney, who earned his seventh straight start Thursday, was a difference-maker Nov. 11 as Muskegon prevailed 2-1. He made a bid for his third win of the season against Youngstown with another strong effort. Keeney stopped Zehnalin the second round of the shootout to give Klecha a chance to extend the game, but it was not to be.
Despite the setback, the Lumberjacks (9-12-2, 20 points) earned a standings point for the third straight game (1-0-2). Muskegon has now played three consecutive overtime games after avoiding extra time through the first 20 contests of the season.
The Phantoms (17-8-2, 36 points) are 11-1-2 when scoring the first goal, and they got another opening salvo Thursday night when Cangelosi connected off a backhand setup from defenseman Daniel Renouf 1:54 into the game.
Chlapik, who was named to the USHL/NHL Top Prospect Game roster earlier in the day along with Jordan Masters, Mark Yanis and Matt DeBlouw, hurriedly turned the game around with a quick pair of goals that put Muskegon in the lead for the first time.
His first, with 9:33 left in the first, was set up beautifully by Rudy Sulmonte after he charged down the left wing and centered to the lurking Chlapik. The Czech product added his sixth of the season 3 ½ minutes later when O’Connor spit out the rebound of Travis Belohrad’s twisting backhand shot to him at the right post.
Another native of the Czech Republic altered the course of the night following 40 minutes of scoreless hockey, as Zehnal, also selected to the Top Prospects Game, tied the score at 2 with just 5:50 left in the third. He collected a loose puck and snapped a quick shot over Keeney’s glove from between the circles.
The Jacks killed an extended two-man Phantoms power play late in the second, and Youngstown returned the favor following Zehnal’s goal, giving Muskegon nearly two minutes of a 5-on-3 advantage.
Assisted by Ryan Bullock, who leads all Jacks defensemen with 12 points, Walsh ripped his first of the season past O’Connor’s blocker hand. The blistering one-timer from 50 feet away gave Muskegon its second lead, but it lasted only 19 seconds before Cangelosi’s dramatic counterpunch.
Click here for complete box score.
The Lumberjacks won’t have to wait long for a rematch with the Phantoms as the two teams will square off again Friday night from Youngstown’s Covelli Centre. The Meijer Pregame Show begins at 6:45 on 92.5 The Outlaw and the puck drops at 7:15 p.m.
The Stanley Cup will be in the house for the Lumberjacks’ next home game, Saturday Jan. 7 against Chicago! It will also be NASCAR Night, with tickets to the Daytona 500 and other valuable racing-related prizes up for grabs. Call the L.C. Walker Arena box office at 231.724.JACK(5225) for Lumberjacks tickets and information, or visit startickets.com or go to your local Meijer.
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud members of the United States Hockey League, the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and the leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States. The Lumberjacks’ organization prides itself on developing not just premier hockey talent, but also exceptional young men outside the arena of sports. For more information, visit muskegonlumberjacks.com.