Saturday, April 6, 2019
Veltri, Urup face off against former teammates in reunion at Covelli Centre
By Tom Williams
The flukiest goal at the Covelli Centre since the stanchion deflection in last May’s Clark Cup Finals helped the Sioux Falls Stampede defeat the Youngstown Phantoms, 4-1, on Friday.
Carl Berglund’s second goal of the game made it 3-1 29 seconds into the third period. Berglund’s shot from the high slot hit a Phantoms defenseman’s stick and popped high over goaltender Chad Veltri.
“I was looking for it because I knew it got tipped,” said Veltri, who was with the Stampede last fall and joined the Phantoms in December. “When I look up, I see it’s behind my head and falling toward the net.”
The puck landed behind Veltri and rolled into the net.
“I reached back but I couldn’t get [it],” said Veltri who has emerged as the Phantoms’ top netminder.
Veltri said his preparation didn’t change even though he was facing his old teammates for the first time.
“[I had] definitely the same approach,” said Veltri, whose hometown in Fox Chapel near Pittsburgh, adding that he tried to make it “just another game for me.”
Phantoms defenseman Jeppe Urup, who also was with the Stampede at the start of the season, said, “I tried not to think too much about [the reunion].”
The Denmark native joined the Phantoms in late January and has blossomed into one of their top defenders.
“It’s a little bit in the back of your head,” admitted Urup, who will skate for Sacred Heart in Connecticut in the fall. “I tried to play like I do for a normal game.”
Berglund’s first goal also stung as he snapped a 1-1 tie in the second period with a shorthanded goal. The Phantoms skated off the first 2:47 of Connor MacEachern’s four-minute high-sticking penalty when Sioux Falls’ Anthony Romano was whistled for high-sticking.
A few seconds before he was sprung, Berglund scored on assists from Max Crozier and Cade Borchardt.
“They won a lot of races tonight, they touched the puck first a lot,” Phantoms head coach Brad Patterson said of the Stampede. “Usually when you do that, you get generous bounces.
“We gave them too much time and space. They are a very good team and they are going to make you pay.”
Ben Schoen’s power-play goal gave the Phantoms a 1-0 lead four minutes into the game. Brett Murray and Craig Needham assisted on Schoen’s fifth goal of the season and second in four games.
“[Murray] chipped it out to my backhand. Coming across the slot, a fake shot got the [defenseman] to go down and I shot it at [goaltender Alec Calvaruso’s] high blocker.”
With fewer than three minutes remaining in the opening frame, Jared Wescott tied the game, taking a pass from Borchardt along the boards into the slot, where he beat Veltri with a quick shot.
Midway through the game, the Stampede had a 17-4 edge in shots. Then the Phantoms surged late in the second period, generating several scoring chances.
The Phantoms skated off all six Stampede power plays. Veltri made 24 saves and Calvaruso 17.
Josh DeLuca completed his two-game suspension stemming from the March 30 game-ending brawl against Team USA. Forward Joey Abate and defenseman Liam Dennison sat out and are expected to be healthy enough to play next weekend.
The Phantoms (33-21-1-4, 71 points) remain tied for third place with Cedar Rapids in the USHL’s Eastern Conference. Both are three points behind Chicago which defeated Waterloo.