Team USA turns tables on Phantoms
Dobay scores first goal but Phantoms fall at Covelli Centre
By Greg Gulas
On Military Appreciation Night, even the Youngstown Phantoms had to appreciate the effort of their team Team USA 17-U foes.
Brock Faber’s first goal of the season with 2:49 remaining helped lift the 17-U’s to a 4-3 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms in USHL Eastern Conference action Saturday night at Covelli Centre.
“It was obviously a very good feeling,” Faber said. “It’s something that I have worked 40 games for so to get it at a time when we needed it most was super special.”
One night after allowing the Phantoms a season-high eight goals, the U-17’s (18-14-3-2, 41 points) wasted no time in lighting up the scoreboard first.
Brett Berard found Thomas Bordeleau in front of the Phantoms’ net, allowing Bordeleau to bury his shot in the back of the Phantoms net for his ninth goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
It proved to be all the offense either team could generate in the opening 20 minutes of play as the Phantoms were outshot in the period, 13-8.
Team USA extended their lead to 2-0 in the second period when Matthew Beniers shook the pipes at 11:22 for his fifth goal of the campaign.
“I wasn’t terribly disappointed last night with our play, we just gave up some big chance opportunities and you cannot do that against a team the caliber of the Phantoms and expect to win,” said Team USA head coach Seth Appert. “Credit Brock because he made a mistake that led to their shorthanded goal that tied the game, then came back and delivered the game winner. That’s the mark of a good player.”
With time running down in the second frame, Jayson Dobay could not have picked a more opportunistic time to register his first goal of the year, doing so with an assist from both John Larkin and Jack Malone with 14 ticks left before intermission as the Phantoms (22-17-1-3, 48 points) pulled to within 2-1 heading to the second period.
“I’ve played 40 games and battle with these guys every day, so it was definitely a good feeling to get that first goal,” Dobay said. “Malone battled down low and gave it to Larkin, Larkin then went to me and I was able to bury my shot.”
Working with a sense of urgency to start the final period, it took just 1:09 for Youngstown to knot the game at two goals apiece when Dalton Messina’s shot sailed last Team USA goalie Drew Commesso for his sixth goal of the campaign.
Midway through the period the 17-U’s weathered a two-man disadvantage, but at 14:18 it was Chase Yoder notching the go-ahead goal after his shot snuck past Phantoms goalie Chad Veltri for a 3-2 lead.
The lead was short lived, however, as Youngstown’s Connor MacEachern added a shorthanded goal at 16:35 to knot the game for the second time in the period at 3.
It was MacEachern’s 19th goal.
Not to be outdone by the Phantoms’ Dobay, Faber’s first goal 84 seconds later turned out to be the game winner.
“We battled tonight,” Phantoms head coach Brad Patterson said. “It was a much closer game than last night but tonight I thought they were the better team. Undisciplined penalties hurt us. Credit Jayson because his development curve as far as comfort has been tremendous. He’s playing a lot more minutes and has done really well.”
The Phantoms closed their four-game homestand with a 3-1 mark and are now 6-2 in their last eight games.