LANCERS VS. PHANTOMS
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The Lancers conclude the final three game week of the season with a Saturday match up with the Youngstown Phantoms. Omaha and Youngstown played to a 4-1 Phantom victory on Friday night in Omaha.
Last Time Out:
Youngstown took the first meeting of the weekend topping the Lancers 4-1 on Friday night. The Phantoms opened the scoring in the first period and didn’t look back tallying the first four goals before Omaha would get on the scoreboard.
Nine different players found their way onto the score sheet for the Phantoms including three former Lancers (Pierce Crawford, Austin Pooley, Jake Gingell). Noah LaLonde recorded Omaha’s lone goal against his former team in the third period with a backhand that found it’s way over Ivan Kulbakov’s right pad.
Omaha finished the night 1-for-5 on the man-advantage. Youngstown was 0-for-5.
Scouting the Phantoms:
Youngstown currently holds the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Phantoms are currently five points ahead of the Green Bay Gamblers with one game in hand. If the Phantoms were to stay in fifth place at seasons end that would set up a potential first round matchup with Chicago in the Clark Cup Playoffs.
Youngstown will have third leading scorer Eric Esposito available on Saturday night after missing Friday’s game due to a suspension. Esposito has recorded 28 points (13g, 15a). Ahead of Esposito on the Phantoms in scoring are Nicholas Werbik (17g, 19a, 36 pts) and Pierce Crawford (16 g, 17a, 33 pts).
The second most penalized team in the USHL the Phantoms have the third and fourth most penalized players on their roster. Eric Esposito (138) and Pierce Crawford (130) lead the team in penalty minutes and are third and fourth respectively in the USHL.
Netminder Ivan Kulbakov has played more minutes than any goaltender in the USHL. The Belarus native has the leagues second best goals-against-average and is tied for second in wins (26).
Scoring for the Other Side:
Friday night four different players recorded a point against the team that they began their USHL careers with. Omaha’s Noah LaLonde, who began his USHL career with Youngstown, as well as the Phantom’s Pierce Crawford, Jake Gingell, and Austin Pooley, who began their careers with the Lancers.
Crawford started the 2016-17 season with Omaha before being traded to Youngstown. Gingell played with the Lancers from 2013-2015, while Pooley spent the 2013-14 season with Omaha before joining the Phantoms two seasons ago.
LaLonde appeared in 45 games for the Phantoms last season, before playing 31 for the team this season prior to being traded to Omaha.