YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Central Illinois Flying Aces waited until the last second of the first period to claim their first lead. Then they never looked back.
Newcomer Jamie Armstrong scored the go-ahead tally and rookie Tyler Madden notched a goal and an assist as the Flying Aces opened the re-branded club's fourth USHL season Saturday night with a 4-2 victory over the Youngstown Phantoms at the Covelli Centre.
Four players scored and Zach Stejskal made 20 saves to help first-year head coach Mike Watt win his debut for Central Illinois, which will look for a sweep of the two-game series in Sunday's 4:05 p.m. (Central) faceoff.
After Gianfranco Cassaro put Youngstown ahead just short of halfway through the opening frame, Jakub Lacka scored the first Aces goal of the season with an assist from Sebastian Dirven.
Armstrong then converted an assist from Madden with 19:59 on the clock. Madden made it 3-1 with what proved to be the game-winning goal at 6:40 of the second and Drew Elser extended the lead three minutes later.
The goals by Lacka, Madden and Elser were the first USHL tally for each. Captain Cam Burke, Jeremy Davidson and Max Andreev each had an assist.
Chase Gresock pulled Youngstown within two goals 3½ minutes into the third, but Stejskal made six saves in the third to secure the win. Phantoms goalie Ivan Prosvetov made 21 saves in the loss.