Youngstown, OH (WYTV) – The Youngstown Phantoms held their annual media day Thursday at the Covelli Centre, in anticipation for their first home game on October 11th against Bloomington.
“I have no doubt that this town is going to be proud of this team,” said head coach Anthony Noreen.
The positive vibes are flowing from the Youngstown Phantoms, especially for a team coming off of a last place finish in the USHL Eastern Conference standings.
“We are really frustrated from last season,” said forward Max Letunov. “We remember what happened and we do not want to let it happen again.”
“Everyone is just motivated more than last year,” said defenseman Matt Miller. “We have new guys that have something to prove in the league. and all of the returning veterans have a chip on their shoulder from last year with how it ended, it was not acceptable and we all know that.”
The Phantoms are coming off one of their most successful off-seasons, in which forwards Kyle Connor and Chase Pearson were named to the All-American prospect game, featuring the 42 best american draft eligible players.
And forward Max Letunov returns to the team after being drafted by the St. Louis Blues this summer.
“When there is a lot of expectations you have to bring it everyday,” said Noreen. “We know guys are going to zero in on Kyle Connor, Max Letunov and Chase Pearson because of status they have achieved at this young of an age. That is going to tell a lot about their character and what type of players they are, and what kind of team we have here.”
In addition to Connor, Pearson and Letunov, the team features 17 players committed to Division 1 hockey programs and Noreen says they will bring a playing style that will represent what our Valley is all about.
“This is a blue collar, working mentality type of town.,” said Noreen. “We want to reflect that. we want to be a team that brings their hard hats to the rink everyday. and that people from this town can come out and watch and say those are the type of guys we can rally around, win lose or draw they are going to work, they are going to make us proud.”
“We have the group to do that,” said Connor. “Just in practice, skill and potential is through the roof and the sky is the limit here.”