YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Calen Kiefiuk scored a pair of goals to help the Central Illinois Flying Aces answer three separate two-goal deficits and earn a point in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Youngstown Phantoms on Tuesday night at the Covelli Centre.
In its fourth game in seven days, Central Illinois (12-24-5, 29 points) trailed 4-2 in the last six minutes of the third period but scored twice in a four-minute span to force overtime in the season series finale with the Phantoms (20-15-5, 45 points).
After Youngstown’s Nicholas Cardelli tallied a power-play goal to stretch Youngstown’s lead back to two with 7:16 to play, the Flying Aces bounced back to knot the game at four. Aces rookie forward Bradley Marek (Michigan State University) started the final push with his fourth goal of the season, beating Youngstown goaltender Wouter Peeters with a shot from the left wing at the 14:07 mark of the final period.
With less than two minutes to play, Kiefiuk (University of Michigan) then tied the game with his second score of the night. Max Andreev (Cornell University) helped create the game-tying goal, as he started the rush into the offensive zone. After he nearly lost the puck, Andreev picked it back up along the left-wing wall and curled to the high slot. From there, he located Kiefiuk standing at the side of the net, and Kiefiuk buzzed a shot upstairs for his 12th goal of the season.
Youngstown’s Tommy Parrottino potted the game-winning goal with two minutes to play in overtime to give the Phantoms their second overtime or shootout win of the six-game season series.
The Phantoms scored the first two goals of the game, but Central Illinois responded and tallied four of the last six goals. Kiefiuk got the Flying Aces on the board by tapping in a rebound on the power-play at the 11:21 mark of the second period to make it 2-1. Former Phantom Zach Metsa (Quinnipiac University) registered one of the two assists on the play along with Jeremy Davidson (University of Massachusetts).
Following a Youngstown goal just 1:12 into the third period, Jamie Armstrong (Northeastern University) batted a loose puck past Peeters to cut the deficit to one again with seven minutes, three seconds gone in the third. Armstrong’s goal was his first since returning from an 11-game injury absence last Friday.
Central Illinois peppered Peeters with 42 shots in the game and finished with 16 more shots than the Phantoms.
The Flying Aces play their fifth game in a stretch of seven tilts in 12 days on Wednesday night against the Muskegon Lumberjacks. Faceoff is slated for 6:15 p.m. (CST) at L.C. Walker Arena in Muskegon, Michigan.
Known as the Bloomington Thunder from 2014-17, the newly-rebranded Central Illinois Flying Aces are a member of the top junior hockey league in the United States, the United States Hockey League (USHL). The only Tier I junior hockey league in the country, the USHL has become renowned for developing the next stars of both Division I college hockey and the NHL. At the start of the 2017-18 season, there were 128 active USHL alumni on NHL rosters, with at least one USHL alumnus playing for each of the 31 teams. In total, there have been 253 USHL players who have gone onto NHL careers, including Patrick Sharp, David Backes, Johnny Gaudreau, and Joe Pavelski, among others. The players in the USHL range in age from 16-20 years old, 95 percent of whom will go on to play college hockey at the Division I level. For more information, visit flyingaceshockey.com or ushl.com or download the USHL Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.