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MacEachern goal ignites Phantoms win

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Staff report


Connor MacEachern snapped a tie with 43 seconds remaining in the second period, igniting the Phantoms to a 5-2 victory over the Lincoln Stars on Friday night at the Covelli Centre.

With the score tied at 2, MacEachern beat Stars goaltender Samuel Hlavaj to put the Phantoms (20-16-1-3, 44 points) ahead for keeps. Aiden Gallacher and Jack Malone assisted on MacEachern’s 17th goal.

In the third period, the same two assisted on Brett Murray’s 23rd goal. Malone also assisted on Liam Robertson’s power-play goal to close out the scoring. Liam Dennison also assisted.

The win keeps the Phantoms in third place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference standings, two points ahead of the Dubuque Fighting Saints.

With 22 games remaining, the Phantoms trail the second-place Chicago Steel (25-13-1-0, 51 points) by seven points in the race for a first-round playoff bye. The top six teams in each conference qualify for the Robertson Cup Playoffs, with the first-and second-place teams earning first-round byes.

Trevor Kuntar’s 11th goal gave the Phantoms an early 1-0 lead. Joey Abate and Nikolai Jenson assisted.

Kuntar set up Matthew Barnaby Jr. for a 2-0 lead.

Josh Lopina and Tristan Ashbrook scored second-period goals for the Stars (10-26-3-2, 25 points).

Phantoms goaltender Christian Stoever stopped 18 shots for the win.

The Phantoms converted once on their four power-play opportunities. Their penalty killers foiled all three of the Stars’ man-advantage chances.