North Showcase set for this month
by By Paul Teeple
The Mahoning Valley Phantoms are getting set to once again play host to the North Division Showcase at both the Chevrolet Centre and the Ice Zone from November 28-30.
The six-team Thanksgiving weekend showcase will feature the Phantoms along with four other teams from the North Division - the Motor City Machine, Alpena IceDiggers, Marquette Rangers and Traverse City North Stars - and the two-time Robertson Cup champion St. Louis Bandits.
Previously scheduled in January, the decision was made to move the North Division Showcase to the holiday weekend in order to better serve the future interests of the teams and players participating.
Phantoms head coach and general manager Bob Mainhardt says the move will help gain better exposure to collegiate and professional scouts for the players.
“We feel that it will be highly advantageous for the scouts and coaches to be able to get out and get a second evaluation so close to the Minnesota Showcase,” said Mainhardt. “Now the coaches get a chance to come in here on the last week in November and really see what they’re working with early on, and we feel that works a lot better for everyone than having the Showcase in January.”
Thanks to the continued influx of talent onto North Division teams, Mainhardt says that the expected turnout of college and pro scouts will be at an all-time high for the three-day event.
“Our division has taken another big step forward in terms of talent this season,” said Mainhardt, “and there’s a lot of interest in a lot of players on each of these teams. I think the scouts are going to make a record showing this year."
Each team will play three games between the Chevrolet Centre and the Ice Zone over the course of the holiday weekend. Ticket prices will be announced on Friday, November 14.