YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown Phantoms are looking to win the first United States Hockey League championship in team history when they head to Muskegon to take on the Lumberjacks in Game 1 of the Clark Cup Playoffs Wednesday.
The Phantoms finished up their final practice at the Covelli Centre Monday night. The Phantoms are the top seed in the USHL overall, while the Lumberjacks are fourth in the Eastern Conference.
The Phantoms team has a talented roster, too. A number of players will one day take the ice in the National Hockey League. But for now, the goal is to be champions of the U.S. Hockey League.
The first round will be a 1-2-1-1 format, with Muskegon hosting games one and four, and the Phantoms hosting games two, three, and five. Each round of the Clark Cup Playoffs is a best-of-five series, with games four and five being played if necessary.
These two sides are no stranger to one another, having met six times in the regular season. The Phantoms posted a 4-1-1 record against the Lumberjacks this season, with four of the six games decided by two goals or fewer.
“Our goal from day one was to win the Clark Cup. Now that playoffs are starting, you get the jitters and the butterflies. We are just excited to get going and get started already,” Phantoms team captain Ryan Lomberg said.”It definitely has a big impact on the game when the Covelli is rocking and it is packed and everyone is loud and excited.”
Tickets are on sale now at the Covelli Centre box office. They start at $10.75. On game day, they will start at $12.75.
“It is not too often that you have a winning team like this. They finished first in the league. Last year, we missed playoffs, so obviously we want to get out here and have a good atmosphere for the guys and get them all pumped up,” Phantoms ticket sales director Adam Bogert said.