YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The Youngstown Phantoms look to make their third straight postseason appearance as they kick off their season Saturday.
The Phantoms, who were swept in the first round of the United States Hockey League playoffs last year, face off at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Covelli Centre against the Madison Capitals.
The Phantoms had 77 points in the 2018-2019 season, racking up a 36-21-1-4 record and were third in the Eastern Conference. They missed out on a first-round bye in the playoffs by one point and were swept at home by the Dubuque Fighting Saints.
Last year’s playoff loss came on the heels of an appearance in the 2018 Clark Cup Finals, where the Phantoms lost in four games to the Fargo Force, losing the deciding game on home ice.
Leading the way back for the Phantoms this season up front is forward Trevor Kutnar, a Harvard University commit who put up 36 points last season, including 19 goals.
Also back is forward Ben Schoen, who had 28 points in 55 games last season. He has committed to playing his college hockey at Miami University in Oxford.
Jayson Dobay leads the pack of returning defensemen. He had 18 points last season, compiling two goals and 16 assists. Dobay, has committed to playing in college at the University of Massachussetts.
In goal, the Phantoms are expected to rely on Chicago Blackhawks draft pick Dominic Basse, a native of Alexandria, Va., who is expected to play collegiately at Colorado College.
Basse, who was picked in the sixth round of the 2019 draft by the Blackhawks, is 6’6.
Basse’s backup is McLean Dorr, a native of Pittsburgh.
The Phantoms are coached by Brad Patterson, who is back for his fourth season behind the bench. This season, he was also promoted to general manager.
After Saturday, the Phantoms return to the Covelli Centre ice for back-to-back weekends, first taking on the Muskegon Lumberjacks and then battling the Chicago Steel.
The Phantoms are in their 10th season. They have sent over 100 players to play NCAA hockey and 15 former Phantoms have been drafted into the NHL.