YOUNGSTOWN PHANTOMS: The U.S. National Under-17 Team concludes the USHL regular season with a final visit to Youngstown after the team split their weekend series against Green Bay.
Youngstown enters the weekend t-2nd in the Eastern Conference and have already clinched a spot, along with a pair of home playoff games, in the Clark Cup Playoffs.
Youngstown and Team USA will be playing for a first-round bye in the playoffs. The U.S. is t-2nd with Youngstown as the two square off in their final games of the season. Team USA owns the tiebreaker between the two and can secure the first-round bye with one win in regulation.
Youngstown has taken four of the six games on the season series and is 3-1 against the U17s when playing on home ice. The last go around between the two happened at USA Hockey Arena as Team USA bounced back from a 7-1 loss with a 6-1 win. Overall, Youngstown has outscored the U17s 25-18 as Team USA has a -6 goal differential inside Covelli Centre.
Youngstown forward Andon Cerbone is the team’s leading scorer with 62 points (23g-39a) and sits in the 12 spot amongst all USHL skaters. Cerbone leads the team in assists and is t-10th overall in the league. Rookie forward William Whitelaw is the leading goal scorer for the Phantoms with 35, is second in the rookie category for goals scored and is third overall in the USHL. With 15 power-play goals, Shane Lachance ranks second in the league in the category.
Blueliner Andrew Strathmann leads the Phantoms back end with 37 points (3g-34a) for t-7th in the USHL and is fourth overall among league defenders with his 34 assists. Defenseman Andrew Centrella, with a +24, leads the team in the +/- category and ranks fourth by blueliners in the league. Chase Pietila leads the back end in goals scored with seven, good for 10th on the team and t-16th in the USHL.
In between the pipes, Jacob Fowler is the USHL’s leading goaltender in several categories in his 38 games played this season. In those games, he has posted a 25-9-3-1 record and is t-1st for most wins by a netminder in the USHL. The Phantoms leading goaltender tops the league in GAA with 2.35, a league-leading .919 SV% and is tied 1st in the USHL with five clean sheets. Colin Winn follows Fowler on the depth chart and has played in 25 games. Overall, Winn has posted an 11-10-1-0 record, a 3.15 GAA and .891 SV%. Fowler and Winn have played three games each against the U17s as Fowler has posted a 3-0-0-0 record with six goals against, while Winn is 1-2-0-0 against Team USA with 12 goals against.