YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Youngstown Phantoms and head coach Anthony Noreen are proud to announce that goaltender Sean Romeo has committed to play collegiate hockey at the University of Maine beginning in fall 2014.
Romeo, 18, becomes the 10th player on the Phantoms' current roster to commit to play NCAA Division I hockey following his USHL career. He joins teammates Cam Brown and Dan Renouf, who are both Maine recruits as well.
"I'm extremely proud and excited for Sean and his family," Noreen said. "This has been a goal of his since he came here to Youngstown, and I'm very happy that he was able to achieve it while playing us. Maine is a tremendous program and will give Sean the opportunity continue develop, not just as a player, but as a man."
Romeo, in his third year with the Phantoms, is among the USHL's leading goaltenders. The Cary, N.C. native is ranked sixth in the League with a 15-12-0 this season and has gone 12-6-0 since being named Youngstown's starter in mid-November. He is also ranked No. 2 in the USHL with four shutouts on the campaign to go along with a .904 save percentage and 2.91 goals against average.
Romeo became the first netminder in Phantoms history to record multiple shutouts in both a single season and as well as career when he blanked Team USA on back-to-back nights Nov. 23 and 24 at the Covelli Centre. He is currently No. 3 on the Youngstown's all-time games played (46) wins (19) and saves (1,102) lists.
Additionally, Romeo is listed at No. 30 on NHL Central Scouting's Midterm Rankings for North American goalies ahead of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He joins Waterloo's Cal Petersen and Eamon McAdam and Sioux Falls' Charlie Lindgren as the only USHL netminders to be included in the rankings.
"Sean has made tremendous strides since he came three years ago," Noreen said. "A big part of that can be credited to [goaltending coach] Shane Clifford and the work he's done with him and just as importantly, the work ethic that Sean's put in.
"He's stepped up and become the backbone of our team."
Maine is a member of the prestigious Hockey East Conference, which includes other top-tier college programs such as Boston College, Boston University and New Hampshire. The Black Bears are two-time national champions, with their most recent title coming in 1999, and made their 18th NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012.
Maine is 7-14-4 on the season and 3-9-4 in Hockey East. Former Phantoms forward Stu Higgins is currently a sophomore on the Black Bears roster.
The Phantoms open up a three-game road swing this Thursday when they take on Team USA (Under-18 Team) in Ann Arbor, Mich. Following that, they travel to Muskegon, Mich. to face the Lumberjacks Friday before wrapping up Saturday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa against the RoughRiders.
Phantoms Flex Packages are on sale now starting at the low price of just $75. Flex Packages include 10 undated ticket vouchers that can be redeemed at any game and in any increment throughout the rest of the season. Call 330.747.PUCK (7825) for more information or to reserve a Phantoms Flex Package today. For all the latest news, visit www.YoungstownPhantoms.com, follow the Phantoms on Twitter (@YtownPhantoms) and 'like' them on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/YoungstownPhantoms).
Headquartered in Chicago, the USHL celebrated its 10th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2011-12. With 28 picks during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and more than 280 players already committed to NCAA Division I schools this season, the USHL has emerged as the world's foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com.
It's not just hockey. It's the USHL.