Phantoms looking forward to next year
After moving from Parrsboro to Amherst, the CIBC Wood Gundy Fundy Phantoms finished their first season in Amherst with a record of 6-22-0-1.
Despite not making the playoffs, coach Steve Leblanc has a positive outlook on the past season.
"Although we missed the playoffs again this year, we finished the season with seven more points than we had last year at this time, so that's a major improvement for us," Leblanc said. "If we can improve that much again next year that could put us in the playoffs."
The Phantoms roster had a lot of new players this year but Leblanc hopes to see many returning next year.
"We almost considered ourselves an expansion team this year because, relocating the team, we only brought a few players with us from last year and basically iced a whole new lineup," Leblanc said. "We have 18 players eligible to return and a certain portion of those are over-agers so we will lose some of those."
He also hopes to add some firepower to offence next year.
"We already have a couple of commitments from players for next year," Leblanc said. "We have one guy coming in next year who could score us 30 goals a year. That's what we need, we need a game breaker."
The Phantoms will also play a role in the community this summer to get their name out in the public.
"We're going to make a conscious effort to do more things over the summer, fund raisers and things like that," Leblanc said. "But also get involved in the community by working with kids in the fall at the hockey schools and trying to become more community based with the team so that it keeps our name out there and let people know that we're an alternative to some of the other hockey being played.
"So, basically, we're working on recruitment and we're going to do a lot of fund raising over the summer so when we get ready to go in the fall, we have everything in place, we can concentrate on the hockey and less on the finances of the team over the course of the winter and put a quality product on the ice," he added.