MUSKEGON, MI- The Youngstown Phantoms raced out to a 3-0 lead and held on late, ousting the Muskegon Lumberjacks 6-5 on Friday night.
After falling behind 3-0 less than 13 minutes into the game, Muskegon twice climbed back within one, but Youngstown and goaltender Mattias Sholl were able to fend off a late Muskegon charge.
The Jacks trailed 5-4 with 15:54 to play after Cristophe Tellier’s second goal of the night. However, Youngstown’s Yusaku Ando’s power-play goal with 10:19 remaining proved to be too much to overcome.
Quinn Hutson again trimmed the lead to one with 2:08 remaining in regulation, but Muskegon couldn’t find the late equalizer, and their five-game win streak is snapped.
Tellier and Hutson were both phenomenal in the loss, with Tellier notching his first-career four-point night (2+2). Hutson scored twice and added an assist.
After Youngstown built the early lead, starting netminder Jan Skorpik was pulled from the game. Nate Reid came on in relief and was charged with the loss, making 12 saves on 15 Youngstown shots. Unfortunately for Reid, the game-winning goal scored by Ando was banked in off of Reid’s own teammate, Davis Pennington, who was down on one knee in the crease attempting to block the passing lane.
The Jacks poured 44 shots on goal compared to just 24 for Youngstown, but Sholl made some excellent stops, including an incredible left-pad stop on Danil Gushchin late in the game.
Special teams were a big factor for the Phantoms, who got the game-winner from Ando on the power-play and also led the scoring off with a shorthanded goal just six minutes in. Overall on the series, Youngstown’s penalty kill is 5/5 with a goal scored.
Muskegon will rematch with Youngstown tomorrow for the third-straight night. Each team has won one game in the series heading into the finale.
Muskegon goals: Owen Mehlenbacher (7), Hutson (11,12), Tellier (16,17)
Muskegon assists: Dylan Wendt (22), Davis Pennington (21,22), Jack Williams (16,17), Hutson (15), Tellier (24,25)