LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa. - The Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey team announced Friday it plans to partner with a regional hockey organization.
The Lehigh Valley Flames, based at the Steel Ice Rink in Bethlehem, will change its name and officially become the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Youth.
"We are proud to kick off our support of youth hockey in the Lehigh Valley," said Rob Brooks, co-owner of the Phantoms.
"There is a lot of energy for youth hockey in the community, and we want to continue to grow that by supporting organizations that promote the positive impact hockey can have on children...The board, the players and the parents represent exactly what Jim [Brooks, Phantoms co-owner] and I feel youth hockey should be about," he added.
The AHL team's players and coaches will hold instructional clinics throughout the year for the organization.
Additionally, each youth team will be visited by a Phantoms player and have the opportunity to participate in game-day events at PPL Center where the Lehigh Valley Phantoms will play, beginning in the fall of 2014.
"Our entire organization is thrilled about this partnership," said Sandy Steidel, president of the Flames. "The Lehigh Valley Phantoms' arrival in the area is going to raise the level of youth hockey regionally. But, more importantly, the Phantoms organization is about more than just improving youth hockey skills – it is about sportsmanship, integrity and helping kids grow into fine young men and women."
The Flames are one of the largest organizations in the Delaware Valley Hockey League, with 16 Tier 2 teams playing in the 2013-2014 season, and Tier 1 teams joining the Atlantic Youth Hockey League this season.