Phantoms Open Preseason with 2-Game Set against Team USASeptember 13, 2012 - United States Hockey League (USHL) Youngstown Phantoms
Saturday's game is a 7 p.m. EST start and will be played at St. Mary's Preparatory School in the Detroit suburb of Orchard Lake. The Phantoms and Team USA will meet again Sunday at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube, the National Team's home rink, for 3:30 p.m. puck drop.
The Phantoms wrapped up training camp last week and Anthony Noreen and his staff have been holding highly competitive intrasquad practices at the Ice Zone in Boardman all this week. But the second-year head coach said that his team is ready to take the next step.
"It's going to be nice to get everyone on the same page - the same team - going up against another group," he said. "Camp's great for team camaraderie and getting to know one another but at some point, it get's a little old.
"You want to be able to go out and hit somebody else."
Noreen said his No. 1 concern for the weekend is implementing systems and establishing the team's identity, but was quick note the importance of ensuring players maintain the right mindset.
"Whether it's practice, an exhibition, regular season or a playoff game, at no point is it OK to lose when you're in this organization," he said.
The Phantoms will travel with 24 players - 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders - for the games in Michigan this weekend, as well as the preseason Fall Classic showcase in Sioux City, Iowa, next week. Noreen said that some returning veterans could sit out preseason games in order to give other players chances in big-minute situations like the power play and penalty kill.
With the departure of Matthew O'Connor, the franchise's all-time wins leader, for Boston University, the competition for the starting goaltender's job is expected to be an especially tight one. Noreen said he plans to give returner Sean Romeo, as well as Patrick Spano, a Yale commit, and Jake Moore, who won 21 games last season for the Under-18 Buffalo Jr. Sabres, an equal shot between the pipes, but said he would not show his hand ahead of time.
"All three will play and start games in the preseason," he said. "How that breakdown works out is something we're going to sit down as a staff to figure out."
Season tickets for the 2012-13 season are on sale now starting at the low price of just $7 a game. Benefits include invitations to exclusive season ticket holder events, discounts at the Phantoms Team Shop, playoff priority and much more. Call 330.747.PUCK (7825) for more information or to reserve seats today. For all the latest news, visit www.YoungstownPhantoms.com, follow the Phantoms on Twitter ( @YtownPhantoms ) and "like' them on Facebook ( www.Facebook.com/YoungstownPhantoms ).
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