New Middletown family shares job of hosting Phantoms hockey player

NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Sunday was all about football, but the Youngstown Phantoms hockey team is three weeks away from its season.

A lot of the team stays with host families during the season. WKBN 27 First News caught up with a New Middletown family that’s taken in two players.

Meal time at the Deskin house has gotten a lot bigger since Lukas Craggs and Ludvig Larsson moved in. Everyone has the routine down like they’ve been doing it for years, but it’s only been a few weeks.

“They’re just great family and they’re really helping us out a lot by just the overall transition here,” said Lukas Craggs, Youngstown Phantoms player.

Lukas is a first round draft pick and is from Chicago. He’s getting used to Youngstown and loves Handel’s ice cream.

Ludvig is from Sweden and had some insider knowledge about moving here.

“My brother play here last year and the year before,” Larrson said.

The two stay with Lori and Timothy Deskin. Lori’s mom lived with them and passed away. She was big hockey fan. The guys stay in her room.

“She never got to go see a phantoms game, but she is now,” said Lori Deskin, a host family.

The family of five meshes with each other. Lukas and Ludvig now have a sister, Megan Deskin. Dad, Tim likes having guys around.

“Now the ratio is three to two instead of two to one,” said Timothy Deskin, a host family.

The hockey players spend most of their day at practice and like coming home.

“It’s been a huge asset to our club with the host families we do have, we have some great families,” said Brad Patterson, assistant Phantoms coach.

Host families get a stipend to help with expenses. Players stay with them up to seven months. For the Deskin’s it’s a rewarding experience – one they never expected.

“The boys are wonderful,” said Lori Deskin.

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