A Decade of Youngstown Phantoms Hockey

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Youngstown Phantoms hockey team is celebrating its 10th year with the USHL. The organization, which is co-owned by local businessman Bruce Zoldan and Black Bear Sports Group Inc., supports numerous community projects.

Last year, when the team wasn’t on the ice for its 30 games from October to April, players were in schools promoting the Hockey for Health initiative which educates students about nutrition, the importance of education, the value of exercise, the dangers of nicotine, alcohol and drug use and how to take care for your body to reduce the possibility of injuries, says Andrew Goldman, president. The team also spent time discussing the impact that bullying has on a child’s mental health and how important it is to treat all classmates with respect.

A portion of tickets sold to games funds the team’s give program, which includes a 50/50 raffle during the game, jersey auction fundraisers and promotions that exchange future game vouchers for donations of canned goods or winter coats. 

“All of these components strengthen our ties to the community and help many of the worthy nonprofit organizations we have here in the Valley,” Goldman says.

In the last two NHL drafts, four picks are former Phantoms, including Curtis Hall (Boston Bruins), Michael Callahan (Arizona Coyotes), Ivan Prosvetov (Arizona Coyotes) and Jack Malone (Vancouver Canucks). The USHL is a Tier 1 Junior Hockey League for players age 16 to 20 and boasts the most draft pics in the NHL than any other league in the world for the last four years.

Note: On March 12, the USHL announced it was suspending play until further notice.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.