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Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson Promoted to General Manager

By Phantoms Staff 05/29/2019, 6:30pm EDT

Patterson, Potter, Peruzzi earn new titles

Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson has been promoted to Head Coach and General Manager, adding the General Manager duties to his existing Head Coach role. Patterson has been the head coach of the Phantoms for the past three seasons posting a 103-61-11-7 (W-L-OTL-SOL) record with a playoff berth in each season. The Phantoms advanced to the Clark Cup Finals in the 2017-18 season. Patterson replaced former General Manager, Jason Koehler.

Patterson's first task in his expanded role will be selecting the initial 30-man roster for the 2019-20 season. The main player selection camp is scheduled to begin June 12th in Pittsburgh, PA, where 100+ skilled players will compete against returning veteran players and the Phantoms' USHL draft picks for roster spots. Patterson will be joined in Pittsburgh by his coaching staff, Jeff Potter and Nick Peruzzi. Jeff Potter has been promoted to Associate Head Coach and Director of Player Personnel, and Nick Peruzzi has been promoted to Director of Scouting and Assistant Coach.

"I'm excited to take this next step in my career with the Phantoms organization.  The past 10 years with the Phantoms have been tremendous, and I look forward to building on them," said Patterson. "I am thrilled that Jeff Potter and Nick Peruzzi will continue to play an integral role with the team as we prepare for main camp next month to begin to finalize next season’s roster."

“Brad is an exemplary coach and leader,” said Murry Gunty, co-owner of the Phantoms and CEO of Black Bear Sports Group. “Both Bruce Zoldan and I believe that Brad is the right person to lead our organization.”

“Brad Patterson has developed into a first rate coach during his time with the Phantoms,” said Bruce J. Zoldan.  “He is a true gentleman, and the Phantoms are lucky to have him on our team.  We hope Brad leads our team for many years to come.”

Patterson joined the Phantoms coaching staff in 2009 following a collegiate and professional career that included two seasons with the Youngstown Steelhounds (Central Hockey League).

The Youngstown Phantoms are a member of the United States Hockey League, the nation’s only Tier-I junior hockey league. The Phantoms have seen over 100 players commit to NCAA Division I schools, and 15 players have been drafted into the NHL. The Youngstown Phantoms are co-owned by Bruce Zoldan, CEO of Phantom Fireworks, America’s largest retail fireworks company; and Black Bear Sports Group, a privately held company formed by Murry Gunty in 2015 that seeks investments in sports and entertainment facilities, teams and youth sports events. Black Bear currently owns and operates eleven arenas across the United States with a total of 20 sheets of indoor ice, two indoor turf fields, two youth hockey clubs and junior hockey franchises in the USHL, NAHL and EHL.


Phantoms Announce Tryout Dates

By Staff 05/09/2019, 12:15pm EDT

Phantoms to host 3 open camps searching for top talent

The Youngstown Phantoms announced the dates and locations of three regional tryout camps during May and early June that will advance players into their main camp on June 12th in Pittsburgh, PA. The Phantoms will be holding open camps for free agents in Chicago, IL, Princeton, NJ, and New Haven CT, searching for talented players aged 16-20 (1999 through 2003 birth years). A minimum of five skaters and three goalies will be invited from each open camp to attend main camp. The camp dates and locations are as follows: 

Chicago, IL - May 24th-26th at Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge, IL

Princeton / Trenton, NJ - May 31-June 2nd at Ice Land Center in Hamilton Township, NJ

New Haven, CT - June 7th-9th at Milford Ice Pavilion in Milford, CT

MAIN CAMP (INVITE ONLY) Pittsburgh, PA - June 12th-16th at Printscape Arena at Southpointe in Canonsburg, PA

 Please refer to the tryouts page on the website for more information and registration.


By Matthew Lipcsak 04/14/2019, 12:00am EDT




YOUNGSTOWN, OH – A three-goal second period helped boost the Youngstown Phantoms (36-21-1-4, 77 points) to a 4-1 win over the United States National Team Development Program’s U17 squad Saturday night at the Covelli Centre.

“I thought it was a good game,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “I thought we got better as time went, really started to wear them down if you will. (Team USA is) a heck of a hockey team…that’s a really good club, so I’m proud of our guys for showing up, and we’re going to need that again on Monday.”

Team USA scored their only goal of the night just before the halfway point of the first period. After a turnover just inside their own blueline, the Nationals broke back down the ice in a 4-on-2 rush towards the Youngstown end. Puck carrier Hunter McKown dropped a pass for the trailer Owen Gallatin, and Gallatin snapped a wrister past the blocker of Chad Veltri (25 saves) to give the NTDP a 1-0 lead 9:38 into the first period.

Youngstown tied the game on Gianfranco Cassaro’s powerplay goal at the 4:21 of the second period. Cassaro’s wrist shot from the left circle tucked just under the crossbar and past the glove of Drew Commesso (23 saves) to tie the game. Matt DeMelis gave the Phantoms the lead for good at 12:17, sneaking behind the USA defense and beating Commesso with a backhand-forehand deke. Brett Murray rounded out his record-setting regular season and secured the USHL’s goal scoring crown with his 41st goal of the season at 17:55, giving Youngstown a 3-1 lead at the end of the second period. Connor MacEachern sneaked a 20-foot backhander through Commesso’s five hole at 9:50 of the third period to round out the scoring.

A win and a regulation loss by the Chicago Steel would have moved the Phantoms into second place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference and earned them a first-round bye, but the Steel knocked off the Muskegon Lumberjacks 8-1, keeping Youngstown in the third spot and matching them up with the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Game One of the best-of-three series will be Monday April 15 at the Covelli Centre at 7:05pm Eastern. Game Two will be Tuesday April 16 at 7:05pm Eastern, and Game Three, if necessary, will be Wednesday April 17 at 7:05pm Eastern. All games will be broadcast on HockeyTV and Western Reserve Radio.




By the Numbers

Shots – 27

Saves – 25

Power Play – 1/5

Penalty Kill – 6/6

Goals – Cassaro, DeMelis, MacEachern, Murray

Assists – Abate, MacEachern (2), Malone, Messina, Murray, Schoen, Urup

Fan Appreciation Night

By Matt Houk 04/08/2019, 9:45am EDT

Saturday, April 13th @ 7:05 PM

Wear Phantoms gear get $5 ticket voucher for playoffs or 2019/2020 Home Opener!

AMAZING giveaways throughout the night!


By Matthew Lipcsak 04/07/2019, 12:45am EDT




YOUNGSTOWN, OH – After a lackluster performance Friday night, the Youngstown Phantoms (34-21-1-4, 73 points) bounced back in a big way Saturday night, shutting out the Sioux Falls Stampede 3-0 at the Covelli Centre.

“Night and day when you make a comparison to last night,” said Phantoms Head Coach Brad Patterson. “We were frustrated after the game (last night) because we knew we could correct it. We knew we could be better in different areas, and those areas we were: we were simple, we moved our feet, we hunted pucks, and those were areas of our game last night I thought we were stagnant.”

Youngstown opened the scoring at 8:36 of the first period. Dalton Messina put home his own rebound for his ninth goal of the season, giving the Phantoms a 1-0 lead. “Dalton’s been great,” said Patterson. “He’s a leader by nature. He’s hard to play against. He chips in offensively.”

Sioux Falls almost tied the game a few minutes later while Messina was in the box for roughing, one of eight penalties that Phantoms had to kill on the night, but just as the puck started to trickle across the goal line, Youngstown netminder Christian Stoever reached out with his left glove and pulled it back, keeping the Phantoms in the lead. Stoever recorded 27 saves while recording his first shutout in the USHL. “It’s a great feeling to have when you can put either goalie in the net and know you’re going to get a (great) performance,” said Patterson. “I’m really happy for Christian he’s been battling really hard. It shows the work he’s put in. It shows the confidence our guys have in him when we needed him. Pivotal saves at pivotal times for us. I’m very, very happy for him.”

The Phantoms doubled their lead in the final minute of the second period. With Liam Robertson in the box for high sticking, the Phantoms got a clear down to the Sioux Falls end. Starting goaltender Alec Calvaruso (17 saves) stopped the puck behind his net, but Brett Murray came in from the strong side, stole the puck from Calvaruso, and wrapped it into the net before Calvaruso could get back into position. The shorthanded goal came with 30.4 seconds left in the second and gave Youngstown a 2-0 lead. The goal was Murray’s 40th, making him the first Phantoms to accrue 40 goals in a season as he continues to stretch out his ownership of the team record for most goals in a season. Calvaruso was shaken up on the play and would not return.

The final goal of the night came off the stick of Gianfranco Cassaro. Cassaro blasted a one-timer off the crossbar and in for his eight goal of the season, beating backup goaltender Jaxson Stauber (7 saves) at 16:06 of the third period.

The victory allowed Youngstown to gain ground on second place Chicago, who lost to Dubuque this evening, as well as keep pace with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. Cedar Rapids downed the Anderson Cup-champion Tri-City Storm, and still have a game in hand on the Phantoms. Both teams are tied with 73 points as the season heads to its final week and trail Chicago by just one point.

Youngstown wraps up their regular season with a home-and-home series against the U17’s, starting in Plymouth Friday night before concluding the regular season at home on Saturday. Puck drop at USA Hockey Arena is scheduled for 7:00pm Eastern Friday night, and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV.




By the Numbers

Shots – 27

Saves – 27

Power Play – 0/4

Penalty Kill – 8/8

Goals – Cassaro, Messina, Murray

Assists – Dobay, MacEachern, Malone, Needham


By Matthew Lipcsak 04/06/2019, 12:00am EDT




YOUNGSTOWN, OH – One goal was all the offense the Youngstown Phantoms (33-21-1-4, 71 points) were able to muster on Friday night, but the Sioux Falls Stampede got a pair of goals from Carl Berglund and 17 saves from Alec Calvaruso as part of a 4-1 win for the visitors at the Covelli Centre.

“I thought (Sioux Falls) hunted pucks,” said Phantoms head coach Brad Patterson. “I thought they touched first a lot. Those little things that we talk about all the time that we build our team on, I felt (Sioux Falls) won that battle tonight.”

Youngstown did get on the board first, scoring a powerplay goal 3:58 into the game. Ben Schoen found some space between the circles and snapped a wrist shot past Calvaruso for his fifth goal of the season, giving the Phantoms a 1-0 lead. “Ben has been great,” said Patterson. “I really like the fact that he’s firing pucks whereas at the start of the year I think he’s maybe looking to pass a little bit more, and he’s tremendous at that, but I just filtering pucks towards the net you’re going to get rewarded.” Schoen’s goal, however, was just one of three Youngstown shots for the entire first period, a frame that saw the Phantoms get outshot 13-3.

Sioux Falls tied the game before the end of the period on Jared Westcott’s tap-in at 17:13, and took the lead on Berglund’s first of the game at 5:46 of the second period. Berglund beat Youngstown netminder Chad Veltri (24 saves) with a wrist shot from the left circle just as time expired on a 4-on-4, giving Berglund credit for a shorthanded goal. Berglund scored again just 29 seconds into the third period. Berglund’s shot from between the circles was initially blocked by Nikolai Jenson, but the shot ramped up Jenson’s stick into the air and fell over Veltri’s shoulder into the net. Veltri had come five feet out of the crease to challenge Berglund’s shot and fell victim to the lucky bounce. Sioux Falls added a fourth goal when Blake Bride scored on the empty net with 29.3 seconds remaining in regulation.

The loss cost Youngstown the opportunity to separate themselves from the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders for third place in the USHL’s Eastern Conference, as Cedar Rapids also lost so both teams remain tied with 71 points apiece. The Phantoms also lost the opportunity to remain within a point of the Chicago Steel, who were victorious tonight. Sioux Falls benefitted from the victory and the Waterloo Black Hawks’ loss to Chicago and moved into second place in the Western Conference. Youngstown and Sioux Falls wrap up their series tomorrow night at the Covelli Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05pm Eastern and the game will be broadcast on HockeyTV and Western Reserve Radio.




By the Numbers

Shots – 17

Saves – 24

Power Play – 1/6

Penalty Kill – 6/6

Goals – Schoen

Assists – MacEachern, Murray

Pittsburgh Penguins Night!

By Matt Houk 04/04/2019, 10:30am EDT

During Orange Out Night! April 5th - 7:05 PM

Guns and Hoses Night! $5 Ticket to all first responders!

By Matt Houk 04/04/2019, 9:30am EDT

April 6 @ 7:05 PM

$5 ticket to all first responders!

Wear orange get a $5 ticket voucher for an upcoming game!

By Matt Houk 04/04/2019, 9:15am EDT

Game start 7:05 PM

Wear orange get a $5 ticket voucher for an upcoming game!