Pittsburgh Phantoms (RHI)

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Pittsburgh Phantoms
Pittsburgh Phantoms.png
City Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Founded 1994
Home arena Pittsburgh Civic Arena
Colors
Murphy Cups None
Conference Championships None
Division Championships None
Franchise history
Pittsburgh Phantoms
(1994)

The Pittsburgh Phantoms were a professional roller hockey team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States that played in Roller Hockey International. The team got its name from the "Steel Phantom" rollercoaster, located at Kennywood Park, a theme park located in the suburb of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. At the time of the team's inception the Phantom was the tallest and fastest steel rollercoaster in the world. The logo was heavily inspired by the roller coaster's logo seen at the entrance to the ride.

History[edit]

The idea of the team came from the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Howard Baldwin. Baldwin purchased franchises in the Continental Indoor Soccer League and Roller Hockey International. The end result was the creation of the Pittsburgh Stingers and the Pittsburgh Phantoms. Both teams would use the Pittsburgh Civic Arena for home games and the most expensive ticket for adults for both new teams will cost $11, the least expensive was $9. Penguins tickets, by comparison, ranged from $30 to $47. The Phantoms were coached by the Penguins’ second all-time scorer at the time, Rick Kehoe and another former Penguin, Warren Young, who split time behind the bench and as a player. The Phantoms also hoped to gain credibility by using Bryan Trottier, a six-time Stanley Cup winner and a crucial member of the Penguins championship teams. The Phantoms also used former NHL’er Alain Lemieux, the older brother of the Penguins' star forward Mario Lemieux. The Phantoms also tapped into the local market and signed forward Jamie Adams, the only hockey player from local Shaler Area High School to have his number retired, played as a left winger on the team. They also signed Marty McDonough and Andy White from Allderdice High School who played goalie and defense, respectively. Injuries, however, limited both of their roles.

Historic firsts[edit]

The Phantoms played their first game on June 5, 1994 against the New England Stingers and won, 10-5, at the Cumberland County Civic Center in front of 2,467 fans. Trevor Buchanan scored the franchise’s first goal. Thirteen days later on June 18, the Phantoms would win a 10-9 shootout over the Atlanta Fire Ants before a crowd of 7,347 in their first game at the Civic Arena.

Goaltender Erin Whitten, became the first woman to play in a professional hockey game for a Pittsburgh team. The game was also the first matchup of women proessional goaltenders. New Jersey Rockin Rollers' goaltender Manon Rheaume, who played a preseason game with the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992, made 24 saves to beat the Phantoms, 10-7, in their first franchise loss. A year earlier Whitten became the first female to win a professional game as Toledo Storm beat Dayton, 6-5, on October 30, 1993.

On August 25, 1994 the Civic Arena roof opened to the theme song from 2001: A Space Odyssey while the Phantoms played the Minnesota Arctic Blast. It was the first time the stainless steel dome was opened for a professional hockey game.

End of the road[edit]

The team played 22 regular season games (finishing with a 13-9 record), managed a second place finish in their division and secured a spot in the post-season. The Phantoms knocked off the Chicago Cheetahs in the first round of the playoffs before falling to the Minnesota in round two. Scott Burfoot scored the last Phantoms goal against the Arctic Blast. Solid efforts earned several players invitations to Penguins training camp at the end of that year. Unfortunately, none impressed enough to be offered contracts. During the 1994 season, the Phantoms ranked 15th in the 24 team league in attendance with an average of 3,587 fans per game, which was more than 700 per game below the league average. The team later folded a few months later.[1]

Jerseys[edit]

The white style jersey was originally intended to be the road jersey with "PITTSBURGH" above the Phantoms's logo. However a last minute decision by equipment manager Steve Latin made the white version as the home jersey, therefore the purple jersey was made the road jersey. Each jersey consisted of mesh material and was made by CCM. The logos on the shoulders and the front of the jersey were dyed into the material. The jersey numbers and player's names consisted of heat-sealed vinyl material. The CCM Roller Hockey International patch on rear hem and the KOHO[disambiguation needed] patch on the front are fully embroidered patches. The jerseys did not have fightstraps and should have a hand-written number on the inside tag of the jersey. The captain and alternate captain deginations were worn on the upper left front of the jersey.

Hall of famers[edit]

Former Penguins[edit]

1994 Phantoms Roster[edit]

References[edit]