Posts Tagged ‘Youngstown Phantoms’

Phantoms Piccinich Earns USHL Offensive Player of The Week Award


JJ Piccinich continued the red-hot start to his sophomore season over the weekend, scoring three goals in a pair of road games in Iowa. The USHL took notice Monday, naming the Youngstown Phantoms forward its CCM Offensive Player.

This is the first time that Piccinich, who is currently ranked second in the USHL with six goals in as many games, has captured the league’s weekly honor.

“This is a tremendous testament to our league and a tremendous testament to JJ and the time he’s put into developing and becoming a better, more complete hockey player,” head coach Anthony Noreen said. “We’ve always known the goal-scoring was there, but his overall game has really developed and I think that’s why we’re seeing the early scoring output.”

Piccinich, 17, racked up three goals and added an assist as the Phantoms went winless over a short two-game road trip, dropping a 4-3 contest to the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Friday and falling to the Waterloo Black Hawks 6-3 Saturday. The Paramus, N.J. native tallied a pair of goals Friday, including his league-leading fourth on the power play in the loss to the rival RoughRiders. The following night, Piccinich picked up the Phantoms’ first tally Saturday and grabbed a helper on rookie Maxim Letunovthird goal of the season later in the game.

Phantoms To Stay At Covelli Centre


The Youngstown Phantoms have reached an agreement to remain at the Covelli Centre for a fifth season, team owner Bruce J. Zoldan announced today. The agreement ensures the Phantoms will continue play and practice at the downtown Youngstown arena through the 2013-14 United States Hockey League season, and lays the groundwork for extending the franchise’s lease at the facility through future seasons.

“We are very excited to reach a resolution and continue moving forward with this season and beyond,” Zoldan said. “I would like to personally thank [Covelli Centre executive director] Eric Ryan and [Youngstown Mayor] Charles Sammarone for their commitment to our franchise, and we are eager to continue working with them as we look to begin negotiations on a new arena lease.

“I would also like to sincerely thank our fans for their unbridled passion and support for hockey in the Mahoning Valley and at the Covelli Centre. Our franchise made tremendous strides this past season and we look forward to taking the next step and bringing the Clark Cup to the city of Youngstown and this top-class facility.”

Last season under second-year head coach Anthony Noreen, the Phantoms set franchise records for wins (37) and home wins (19), and went undefeated at the Covelli Centre during the 2013 playoffs. They came within a game of advancing to the Clark Cup Finals, falling 3-2 to the eventual champion Dubuque Fighting Saints in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Phantoms are currently holding their 2013 Selection Camp to determine their roster for the 2013-14 season at the Ice Zone in Boardman. Intrasquad games will be held Saturday, June 8 through Monday, June 10 and are free and open to the public. Visit for a full game schedule and additional information.

Phantoms Mazza And Romeo Given Weekly USHL Honors, Anas Crashes Sportscenter


Goaltender Sean Romeo and blue liner Jimmy Mazza helped lead a stingy Youngstown Phantoms defense that allowed just three goals over a pair of wins this weekend at the Covelli Centre. The United States Hockey League took notice Monday, naming Romeo its Reebok Goaltender of the Week and Mazza its CCM Defensive Player of the Week.

Perhaps stealing the show, however, was Phantoms F Sam Anas.  The ESPN Top Ten list is usually filled with huge names from mostly nationally televised sporting events.  Anas checked in at #7 with his terrific between his own legs move.  The Youngstown Phantoms even got a little PR out of the clip.

It is a good time for the USHL entry from Youngstown.

“I’m extremely happy for both Sean and Jimmy,” head coach Anthony Noreen said. “Sean did a great job giving us a chance to win and was steady and calm all weekend. And Jimmy, he scores his first goal Friday and was physical and solid defensively both nights.

The Phantoms return to action Wednesday when they host the Chicago Steel in their annual School Day Game. Puck drop is set for 10 a.m. at the Covelli Centre.

Phantoms Tricked But Walk Away With Most Treats In 6-5 Win


The Youngstown Phantoms were tricked a few times but ended up with a majority of the treats against the Indiana Ice.  Youngstown broke a seven-game losing streak and won their first contest since October 6 with a 6-5 triumph on a special Halloween game.

In the first period, Indiana jumped out to a 1-0 lead.  Drew Smolcyski converted a powerplay opportunity into a goal at the 4:51 mark.  Smolcynski’s fifth goal of the season was assisted by Tyler Pham and Robbie Baillargeon.  Phantoms goaltender, Sean Romeo, was beaten on a shot from about ten feet away with slight traffic impairing his vision.

The first period would end with the Phantoms outshooting the Ice, 8-7, but trailing on the scoreboard by a goal.

In the second period, Sam Anas scored his third goal of the season to tie the game.  The game-tying goal was scored 3:15 into the second period.  Anas was assisted by Austin Cangelosi and James Mazza on the goal, the third of the season for Anas.


The Phantoms would grab the lead later in the second period.  Tommy Davis scored his first goal as a Youngstown Phantom.  Eric Sweetman made a nice pass through traffic and Davis was able to redirect the puck enough to beat Dalton Izyk on his stick side to give the Phantoms a 2-1 edge.

The Ice would rally to tie the game on a Woody Hudson goal, but the Phantoms headed into the locker room ahead 3-2 thanks to a JT Stenglein score with just under 30 seconds remaining in the period.  Stenglein notched his sixth goal of the year and was assisted by Luke Stork to vault the Phantoms back into the lead.

In the third, the Ice retaliated quickly.  With 17:33 left in the game, Smolcynski and Baillargeon ran a beautiful give and go with Smolcynski scoring the goal.

The Phantoms, doing all they could to break a seven-game losing streak, scored 1:02 later to reclaim the lead at 4-3.  Stork was the recipient of a gorgeous pass right in front of the goal crease and was able to beat Izyk for a goal.  JJ Piccinich garnered an assist.


The Phantoms then quickly made it a 5-3 lead.  On a powerplay, John Padulo recorded his first goal at the 5:25 mark of the third.  Padulo took a pass from Stenglein  to beat Izyk.  Cangelosi received an assist on the Padulo score.

Indiana would continue the offensive war with 12:13 left in the game when they made it 5-4 in favor of the Phantoms.  Rinat Valiev scored for the Ice to keep the fans on edge as the lead shrunk back to a single goal.

Romeo (above) got beat with 10:23 left on another numbers disadvantage.  The Ice tied the game, 5-5, as the new pest in town, Smolcynski scored again.

The Phantoms went back in front with 9;46 remaining.  Todd Koritzinsky got in on the offensive fireworks,  Koritzinsky took a feed from Stenglein in beating Izyk for his first goal of the season, a recurring theme in the game.


Phantoms Stymied By Stars, 4-1


The Youngstown Phantoms, coming off of a rough road trip, needed to nab a win at home.  The big hurdle to clear to succeed this goal would be to knock off unbeaten Lincoln.  The Phntoms had chances but could not hit the back of the net as often as they would have liked, falling 4-1 to the still undefeated Stars.

In the first period, the Stars jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead.  Daniel Willett scored just 2:06 after the puck was dropped.  It was Willett’s first goal of the season and was unassisted.

The Phantoms showed some life when they tied the game at a goal apiece.  At the 8:21 mark, Luke Stork tallied his third score of the year.  Todd Koritzinsky and JT Stenglein  were credited with assists on the game-tying goal.


The Stars then hit the gas pedal scoring two more goals to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.  Tommy Schutt and Luke Johnson scored the two goals against Phantoms goaltender, Patrick Spano (above).  Sean Romeo would replace Spano to start the second period.

The Phantoms had chances to score in the second period, once on a breakaway, and once on a powerplay.  The Stars had only 18 shots on goal compared to 23 for the Phantoms.  Nobody could hit the twin in the second though, and the Stars retained their 3-1 lead.

Many Phantoms missed the game because of injuries.  Kyle Connor (upper body), Alfred Larsson (hand), John Padulo (hand) and Dan Renouf (wrist) were just a few of the scratches for the Phantoms.  The physical prowess that Padulo and Renouf present on defense was obviously missing.


In the third period, the Phantoms seemed to physically keep up better than the first two periods.  Again, when it seemed the Phantoms would tighten the game up with a goal, the Stars would clamp down on defense.

Lincoln ended up taking less shots (26) than the Phantoms (30), but their shots were easier scoring chances.  Take nothing away from Stars goalee, Jacob Teichroeb, who made some very nice plays between the pipes to preserve the in for the Stars (7-0-0).

Phantoms To Start Earlier Sunday Due To President Obama Visiting Monday

The Youngstown Phantoms Sunday, October 28th game will be played at 2:00 PM due to President Obama’s visit on Monday. “We would like to Thank the Youngstown Phantoms organization and Bruce Zoldan for their cooperation in moving their game time,” Covelli Centre’s Executive Director Eric Ryan said. “We are able to hold a historic event at the Covelli Centre due to their flexibility.”

The Phantoms will take on the Waterloo Blackhawks on Sunday. Doors will open at 2pm and all tickets previously purchased will be honored.

The Covelli Centre box office will be closed on Monday, October 29th along with the concession stands for the Obama Rally.


Phantoms Ice Shavings


With the Youngstown Phantoms off to a 4-2-0 start, a crucial three-game road trip this weekend can help this team form an identity.  Oozing with potential, these Phantoms are digging in at the most crucial times of the game to record wins.

Coach Anthony Noreen would surely rather be in front from wire-to-wire, but the come from behind wins have been exciting to watch.  If you want some inexpensive fun on a weekend, do yourself the favor of checking out one of these games, you will not leave disappointed.

Some fresh news from the ice:

  • Brian Wojtowicz has been named to the position of Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, team owner Bruce J. Zoldan announced today. Wojtowicz, a Canfield native, has been with the Phantoms hockeyfranchise since the Phantoms joined the United States Hockey League in 2009-10 and previously held the title of director of corporate sales.

“I’m very thankful to the Zoldan family for giving me the opportunity to serve as vice president of the Youngstown Phantoms,” Wojtowicz said. “It’s a wonderful organization from the top down, and I am committed to continuing the team’s success both on and off the ice.”

As vice president and COO, Wojtowicz will be responsible for directing the day-to-day business operations of the Phantoms organization and managing the front office. He will also continue to work with the team’s corporate sponsors.

  • Center Austin Cangelosi and left wing JT Stenglein will exchange the Phantoms’ black, orange and purple for the Red, White and Blue in early November. The pair has been chosen to represent Team USA at the 2012 World Junior A Challenge, which will run from Nov. 2-11 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, USA Hockey announced today.

“In my opinion, there’s no greater honor in all of sports than to wear your home country’s flag on your chest,” head coach Anthony Noreen said. “I couldn’t be happier for Austin and JT. It’s a great opportunity for both of them and it speaks volumes for our program.”

It is the second season in a row that Cangelosi, 18, has been named to the U.S. roster. Stenglein, 19, will be representing his country for the first time.

  • The Phantoms will take on the Fargo Force Thursday night and Sioux City Musketeers Friday night before wrapping up Saturday night against the Sioux Falls Stampede.  Both Fargo (3-2-1, 7 points) and Sioux Falls (4-2-0, 8 points) are near the top of the Western Conference standings and undefeated at home this season. The Force have three players in the top 10 in scoring in the league, including Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick Dominic Toninato. The Stampede have a pair among the top 10 scorers as well, led by second-year forward Sam Rothstein, and are the only team that the Phantoms have yet to defeat since joining the USHL in 2009-10.

Phantoms Fall 4-1 To Dubuque, 13 Shots On Goal Not Enough


The Youngstown Phantoms entered Fridays game against Dubuque 4-0-0, and undefeated.  The problem was that the Fighting Saints (3-0-0) also came in unscathed this young USHL season.  Unfortunately for the Youngstown hockey fans, the Phantoms could only get off 13 shots on goal and fell to a very good opponent, 4-1.

Dubuque wasted little time jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first with less than four minutes played.  Frank DiChiara tallied the first goal for the Fighting Saints.  DiChiara was assisted by John Stevens.  Moments later, Jarrid Privitera claimed the second goal just 1:11 later at the 3:58 mark of the first period.  Peter Quenneville notched an assist on Privitera’s first goal of the season.

Phantoms goaltender Sean Romeo (below) buckled down after the rough start and was able to keep the Fighting Saints off of the scoreboard for the rest of the first period.  Dubuque only took five first period shots, and with two resulting in goals, Romeo held a save percentage of .600 through the first period.


In the second period, Dubuque would add to their lead when Alex Fossen connected with his first goal of the season.  The even-strength goal came with 15:18 left to play in the second period and Eric Freschi and Matt Benning were credited with assists.

The Phantoms showed life when they were able make it 3-1 with 11:13 left in the second.  Mac MacSorley recorded his first point of the season when he beat Dubuque netminder Arthur Brea.  First-year Phantom JJ Piccinich also hit the stat sheet for the first time with an assist.

With about a minute left in the second, Phantoms forward Alfred Larsson  and Dubuque defenseman Brandon Carlson dropped the gloves.  Carlson probably wishes he would have reconsidered as Larsson landed about 15 rights.  Both were sent off of the ice with five minute majors and the second period ended shortly after.

JT Stenglein, serving a league-imposed one game suspension for a punch thrown at Cedar Rapids commented on the positive effect of Larsson’s antics.

“That was Larsson just stepping up and being a leader.  The team was kind of down and he went out there and took on one of their tougher guys and wins his first fight, it will lift the team for the third period”, said Stenglein between periods.


In the third period, the Phantoms did their best to recreate the magic they captured two weeks ago on the opening homestand with two dramatic come-from-behind wins.  Unfortunately, Dubuque was up to the challenge in holding off the Youngstown charge.

DiChiara added an empty-net goal to close the scoring at 4-1.

The story of this game was shots on goal.  The Phantoms only took 13 of them and it seemed like 75% of the third period was played on the wrong third of the ice.


Phantoms Stenglein Named USHL Offensive Player Of The Week


JT Stenglein had a career night Friday, netting four goals and adding an assist, as the Youngstown Phantoms captured an impressive road win over the Waterloo Black Hawks. Monday, the United States Hockey League rewarded the third-year winger by being naming him the league’s CCM Offensive Player of the Week.

This is the first time Stenglein, 19, has captured one of the USHL’s weekly honors. He is the second Phantom to earn a player of the week nod from the league this season.

“I’m very happy for JT,” head coach Anthony Noreen said. “Friday night was as complete a hockey game as I’ve seen him play here in three years. Obviously the goals were great to see and helped us win the game, but I thought he was physical, he was involved defensively and he helped on the penalty kill.

“Because of the overall game he played, I thought he was very deserving of the result on the score sheet.”

The Greece, N.Y., native opened the scoring just 1:10 into the game when he intercepted a puck in the neutral zone and scored on a breakaway. He notched his second goal of the night on a power play in the second period and completed the hat trick – the first of his USHL career – with a laser shot from the high slot 8:11 into the third period. He then added an empty-net goal for his fourth of the night and assisted on another to factor in on five of the Phantoms’ goals in the 9-6 win over the defending Western Conference champions.

Dan Renouf Named USHL Defenseman Of The Week


Giving the Youngstown Phantoms some production from the blue line in two dramatic wins, Dan Renouf was named the United States Hockey League’s CCM Defensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday afternoon.

Renouf, 18, scored a pair of game-winning goals and accumulated a plus-5 rating as the Phantoms defeated the Omaha Lancers Friday and Des Moines Buccaneers Saturday to go to 2-0-0 on the young season. This is the first time that Renouf, a Maine commit, has collected the USHL’s weekly honor.

“It’s an honor, not just for Dan, but for the team and all of our defensemen,” head coach Anthony Noreen said. “Danny came back with the expectation from both sides of being in a much bigger role – still being responsible defensively, but also contributing and being productive offensively – and he was rewarded with a good first weekend.”

The two goals over the weekend eclipsed Renouf’s rookie campaign total in 2011-12. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound defensemen recorded 1-14-15 in 58 games last season, with 10 of his points coming over his final 20 games.

The Phantoms hit the road this week, facing the defending Western Conference campion Waterloo Black Hawks on Friday and the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders on Saturday.