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Phantoms News & Notes
Phantoms Invite Season Ticket Holders to Blue Rocks Game
Wednesday, August 4, 2004
By Al Cohen
The Phantoms are extending an invitation to all their season ticket holders to be their guests at a Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball game on Sunday, Aug. 22 at 1:35 p.m. Season ticket holders who would like to attend the Blue Rocks game for free just have to RSVP to the Phantoms sales office (215-465-4522) by Friday, Aug. 20. Transportation is not included. The Wilmington Blue Rocks are the Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
ROCHESTER ADDED TO PHANTOMS' 2004-05 SCHEDULE
Due to the Toronto Roadrunners' recent relocation to Edmonton, the Phantoms will now be facing the Rochester Americans twice during the 2004-05 season instead of the Roadrunners. The change looks good on paper for the Phantoms, who are unbeaten in the last 10 regular-season match-ups vs. Rochester and eliminated the Americans from the playoffs in 2001 & 2002.
The entire 2004-05 schedule is expected to be announced next week.
GRATTON SIGNS, FOUR OTHERS TO RETURN IN 2004-05
The 2004-05 Phantoms roster is starting to take shape after the recent addition of free agent left wing Josh Gratton and the re-signing of goaltenders Antero Niittymaki and Chris Houle and centers Ben Stafford and B.J. Abel.
Gratton, 21, signed a two-year contract with the Flyers on July 27 after splitting his rookie season of 2003-04 between the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and San Diego Gulls (ECHL). In 21 games with Cincinnati, he registered four points and 69 PIM. Niittymaki also signed a two-year deal on Aug. 2. The 24-year-old went 24-13-6 last season with a 2.02 GAA and club-record seven shutouts. He was also 3-0 with a 1.00 GAA with the Flyers.
Stafford, Abel and Houle all inked one-year AHL contracts on July 28. Returning for his third full season with the Phantoms, Stafford recorded 32 points (12G, 20A) with a plus-five rating and three game-winning goals in 73 games last year. A rookie out of Minnesota State University Mankato last season, Abel totaled six goals and four assists in 53 games with the Phantoms. Houle split his rookie season between Trenton and Philadelphia, sporting an 0-2 record and 1.63 GAA in four games (one start) as a Phantom.
NIITTYMAKI GETS MARRIED
Congratulations to goaltender Antero Niittymaki, who married Miina Nirkkonen back home in Finland on July 31. The happy couple will be returning to the Philadelphia area later this month.
NEXT CHARITY SOFTBALL GAME ON AUG. 13
Members of the Flyers and Phantoms will be taking on the Gloucester Saints in a charity softball game on Friday, Aug. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The game will take place at the Gloucester County Community Church Field (359 Chapel Heights Road) in Washington Township, N.J. Final plans are being worked out for the remaining charity softball games on Aug. 22 & 28.
PHANTOMS ICE HOCKEY CAMP IN VOORHEES APPROACHING
The 2004 Phantoms Ice Hockey Camp at the Sovereign Bank Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J. is fast approaching! The week-long camp from Aug. 16-20 is geared toward House and Travel hockey players, and provides a meaningful learning experience in a fun and positive atmosphere. Instructors include Phantoms players and coaches. Log on to www.phantomshockey.com to see a camp brochure.
BIALOWAS TO PARTICIPATE IN HOCKEY GLADIATORS
Former Phantoms left wing Frank Bialowas is scheduled to be one of the participants in Hockey Gladiators on Aug. 20 & 21. The first-ever event, taking place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, will pit 32 hockey tough guys against each other for a $100,000 grand prize and the title "Toughest Man On Ice." Other notable players scheduled to take part include Jason Simon, Kent Carlson and Lyndon Byers. The event will be televised live on pay-per-view on Aug. 21 at 7:00 p.m. Bialowas compiled 28 points and 555 PIM in 156 games as a Phantom from 1996-99.
2004-05 SEASON TICKET DEPOSITS NOW BEING ACCEPTED
The Phantoms are currently accepting season ticket and game plan deposits for the 2004-05 season. Log on to www.phantomshockey.com or call 215-465-4522 for more information.