SMOLCYNSKI DRAW THREE, ASSIST AS ICE FALL TO PHANTOMS 6-5
A four-point effort night for Drew Smolcynski ends in defeat as the Indiana Ice fell to the Youngstown Phantoms 6-5 at the Covelli Centre.
Smolcynski’s four-point (3G,A) performance marks his second career hat trick. The Hatfield, PA native owns Indy’s last two three-goal regular season games, dating back to early March when he thrice lit the lamp against the Chicago Steel.
Robbie Baillargeon and Tyler Pham both recorded two assists on the night while Josh Shellman logged his first career goal.
Indy maintained solid puck possession throughout the first period, but were unable to capitalize in the shot count, falling on the short end of 9-7 scoring chances.
Physicality was also immediately present in the game as Youngtown’s Markus McCrea took a five-minute major for boarding a mere 39 seconds into the contest. The Ice’s D-corps, already riddled with injuries, lost another body as Alex Smith left the ice after the check.
Indy’s second-ranked power play squad made the Phantoms pay for the penalty when a Smolcynski shot from the point beat Youngstown goaltender Sean Romeo stickside to give the Ice an early 1-0 lead.
The Phantoms controlled the flow of the game in the beginning portion of the second period, limiting Indy to only two scoring opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the stanza. Youngstown took a 2-1 lead in the middle frame off back-to-back goals by Sam Anas and Tommy Davis.
Facing a 2-1 deficit, Shellman evened the tides with his first goal of the season off a wrister in the slot that sailed past Romeo to knot the tilt at 2-2. The scoring play started back in the Ice’s defensive zone after Austin Hervey intercepted a pass and fed it to Tyler Pham in the neutral zone, for the second assist on the goal.
A wrist shot in the slot with 21 seconds remaining in the period gave the Phantoms a 3-2 lead going into the second intermission.
13 shots on net resulted in a combined six goals in the third period, three tallies coming from each team and two of Smolcynski’s three lamp-lighters.
Smolcynski started off the scoring barrage two minutes into the frame when he and Baillargeon played tic-tac-toe in the slot to beat Romeo to tie the game at 3-3. Youngstown quickly answered back with a pair of goals off the tape of Luke Stork and John Padulo for a 5-3 lead with 14 minutes remaining in the period.
Indy answered back with two goals of their own to knot the game midway through the final frame. Rinat Valiev whipped the puck past Romeo for his third goal of the season to slice the Phantoms’ lead in half. Zach Aman and Smolcynski both earned helper’s credit on the tally.
Smolcynski and Ortega lead a 3-on-0 power play breakaway from the neutral zone before another game of tic-tac-toe resulted the game-tying goal and his third of the game.
Youngstown would answer a mere 34 seconds later off a Todd Koritzinsky goal to take a 6-5 lead with just under 10 minutes left in the contest.
After a rough 10-game stretch for Indy, the Ice have the weekend off before returning to the “Circle City” for Bankers Life Fieldhouse Opening Night on Friday, November 9 against the Green Bay Gamblers. The game is presented by BMO Harris Bank and is slated to begin at 7:05 pm.