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Nursing a 2-1 lead in the second period, the Mahoning Valley Phantoms erupted for five straight goals on their way to a 8-4 clobbering of the last-place Motor City Machine.

Nick Kenney poured in his second hat trick of the year and adding an assist for a four-point night as the Phantoms tallied their second-highest offensive output of the season.

"Our line of me, Jordy Trottier and Nick Shkreli started clicking again really well," said Kenney, who also scored a hat trick on February 8th. "We had a little trouble there for a while, but we got it back [on Friday] for sure."

Shkreli and Trottier each added a goal and three assists to match their linemate's four-point night.

Shkreli opened the scoring 6:01 into the game, redirecting a Trottier feed on the power play past Motor City goalie Joe Moore for his 10th goal of the year and a 1-0 lead that held through the first intermission.

Trottier tallied his 16th score of the year when he got a wide-open power play rebound off a Kenney shot and buried it past Moore for a 2-0 lead just 2:07 into the second.

Kenney said that the line really benefitted from an extra hour game tape studying on Thursday.

"Watching the game tape helped me be more patient out there," said the Wixom, MI, native. "It gave us a lot to work on and we worked it out well."

Six minutes after Trottier's score, Motor City's Nick Taurence made things interesting with a power play goal in transition past Mahoning Valley's Garrett Bartus with 11:57 left in the second to cut the lead to 2-1.

The Phantoms responded 1:12 later when Kenney notched his first of the night by batting a Shkreli feed out of mid-air past Moore for a 3-1 Phantoms lead.

The goal opened the flood gates for Mahoning Valley, who got goals from Carl Nielsen, Stefan Salituro and Cole Schneider to close the second period with a 6-1 lead over the Machine.

Kenney would score twice in the third period to complete the hat trick.

Jake Friedman, Nate Taurence and Jared Williams added late goals for the Machine for the final 8-4 margin.

The Phantoms finished 5-for-7 on the power play while the Machine went 3-for-6 with the man advantage.

Garrett Bartus picked up his tenth win of the season, making 21 saves on 25 shots for the victory.

The Phantoms (32-12-5, 69 pts) saw their North Division lead grow to nine points over Traverse City (27-14-6, 60 pts); the North Stars fell 6-3 to Alpena on Friday.

The Phantoms and Machine conclude their thirteen-game season series on Saturday night at 7:50 PM at B.F. Yack Arena in Wyandotte, MI.

The game will be broadcast locally on ESPN Radio 1240, WBBW-AM, and worldwide at MVPPhantoms.com via B2 Networks. The pregame show will begin at 7:35 PM.

Phantoms individual game tickets are on sale at the Phantom Box Office at the Ice Zone. Call (330) 965-7500 for more information.
 
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