YOUNGSTOWN, OH – The Madison Capitols edged the Youngstown Phantoms, 3-2, in front of 845 fans at the Covelli Center on Saturday night.
Madison (2-2-0-) is tied for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with four points. Youngstown (3-2-0) is tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with six points.
“I was very proud of the way the boys responded,” said Capitols’ Head Coach and General Manager Garrett Suter. “As a coaching staff, we made it clear that the effort from yesterday was unacceptable, and we challenged them, especially our leaders, to step up tonight and they did. We were disciplined in all aspects of the game. The effort was there and our leaders led the charge. The line of Fadyeyev, Sadlocha, and Messner stepped up big tonight to lead our offensive push.
‘Konur Peterson was in the line-up tonight for the first time this season. It created a lot of energy and he was rewarded with his first goal in the USHL. It was also Eugene’s birthday today, and I was really happy for the boys to get the win, and him to come out with a couple of points as well. Again, I was very proud of the boys tonight with their response and this game will serve as a blueprint of how we need to play consistently to give ourselves a chance to win every night.”
Forward Eugene Fadyeyev gave the Capitols the 3-2 lead at 17:35 of the middle frame. Forward Kamil Sadlocha collected the puck high in the Phantoms’ zone, and found Fadyeyev in the left face-off circle. Fadyeyev fired a one-timer into the top right corner of the net behind Youngstown goaltender Darion Hanson. Defenseman Robby Fosdick earned an assist on Fadyeyev’s first career game-winning-goal.
Forward Alex Esposito opened the scoring and put the Phantoms on the board at 8:52 of the first period. Esposito wristed a shot from the right doorstep that snuck between the legs of Capitols’ goaltender Dryden McKay. Forwards Brett Murray and Nicolas Werbik picked up assists on the goal.
The Capitols tied the game at 1-1 with Sadlocha’s first USHL goal at the 17-minute mark of the opening frame. Fadyeyev collected the puck from a scrum of players in the right corner and carried it behind the net. Fadyeyev fed a pass to Sadlocha from behind the net and the rookie one-timed the puck past Hanson.
At 13:01 of the middle stanza, forward Konur Peterson gave the Capitols a 2-1 advantage and became the second Madison player of the night to tally his first career USHL goal. Forward Billy Jerry carried the bouncing puck to between the hash marks and tried to toss it on net. Peterson was able to get his stick on the puck and flipped a backhand shot into the back of the net. Defenseman Cole Hults was also credited with an assist on the play.
The Phantoms evened the score at 2-2 with Esposito’s second goal of the game. McKay stopped the puck behind the net, but lost control and Werbik stole the puck. Werbik found Esposito in the slot for the one-timer that beat McKay just as he made it back into the net at 16:58 of the second period.
McKay (1-0-0-0) earned his first win of the season stopping 29-of-31 shots. Hanson (1-2-0-0) took his second loss of the season making 14 saves on 17 shots.
Madison and Youngstown both went 0-for-3 on the power play.
Notables – The Capitols 2-2-0-0 is the best start to a season in franchise history…Goaltender Dryden McKay is the second netminder in franchise history to win his first start; goaltender Daniel Lebedeff was the first…Forwards Eugene Fadyeyev, Mick Messner, and Kamil Sadlocha all lead the team with one goal and three assists for four points in four games…Sadlocha and forward Konur Peterson recorded their first USHL goals tonight.
The Capitols will return home to drop the puck on their third season at Veterans Memorial Coliseum with their Home Opener, presented by Alliant Energy, against the Green Bay Gamblers on Friday, October 14. Season tickets, 10-Game Pick ‘Em packages, Flex Packs, and Group tickets are now available! For more information, call the Capitols at (608) 257-CAPS, or visit www.MADCAPSHOCKEY.com.