ANN ARBOR, Mich. Team USA peppered Sean Romeo with shots Thursday night but the Youngstown Phantoms goaltender was more than up to task. Unfortunately, the Phantoms struggled to capitalize on chances at the other end and, despite a third-period push, fell to the U.S. National Under-18 Team 3-2.
Romeo finished the night with 41 saves off 44 shots and turned away a penalty shot, but was saddled with the loss. Assistant captain Sam Anas remained red-hot netting his eighth goal in the last six games, and Markus McCrea also scored as the Phantoms (19-18-0, 38 points) dropped the opener for their three-game road swing.
Team USA (10-23-4, 24 points) came out of the gates flying, racking up shots, but the Youngstown did an excellent job of limiting high-quality chances. Whenever he was needed, Romeo stepped up with the save and finish.
"Sean was a rock back there. We've almost just gotten used to it," Noreen said. "He made some great saves that probably should've gone in and kept us in early and when we started to turn around he gave us every chance in the world to win."
The Phantoms are right back at it Friday when they take on Muskegon.