Capitols earn series split

Staff report


For the fourth consecutive weekend, the Youngstown Phantoms split a series.

Saturday at the Covelli Centre, the Phantoms (7-9-0-2, 16 points) lost to the Madison Capitols, 2-1.

On Friday, the Phantoms were winners, 4-2, over the Capitols (5-9-1-2, 13 points).

After a scoreless first period, the Capitols took the lead on Anthony Stark’s goal assisted by Alex Mella. The goal was scored almost five minutes into the middle period.

Fourteen minutes later, the Capitols led 2-0 after Kristof Papp’s unassisted goal.

The Phantoms made things interesting in the third period when defenseman Gianfranco Cassaro scored his fourth goal of the season with 7:27 remaining.

Dalton Messina, who scored twice in Friday’s win, assisted on Cassaro’s goal.

Madison goaltender Garrett McKay stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced,

Phantoms goaltender Vincent Purpura, who was making his second straight start, made 24 saves.

Phantoms penalty killers stopped all three power-play opportunities for the Capitols. The Phantoms did not score on their two chances with the man-advantage.

Next up for the Phantoms will be a rematch with the Fargo Force, the USHL’s defending champions and owners of the Clark Cup. In May, the Force and Phantoms met in the USHL’s Finals, a best-of-five series.

They spilt the first two games in Fargo, then the Force won twice at the Covelli Centre to earn the championship trophy.

Fargo will play Youngstown on Thursday and Friday.

The Phantoms have one more road game before Christmas — Dec. 7 at Team USA, Their final three games before the holiday break will be Dec. 14-16 against the Chicago Steel.