YOUNGSTOWN - The Youngstown Phantoms have agreed to a two-year contract extension with coach and general manager Anthony Noreen that will keep Coach Noreen behind the bench in the Mahoning Valley through the 2013-2014 season, club owner Bruce J. Zoldan announced today. As per club policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Last season Noreen, 29, led the Phantoms to a 32-21-7 record, finishing fourth in the United States Hockey League's Eastern Conference and qualifying for the postseason for the first time in franchise history. The Phantoms also won their first Clark Cup playoff series with a two-game sweep of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders before bowing out to the top-seeded Green Bay Gamblers 3-games-to-1 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
"I'm extremely excited, honored and ultimately humbled to have the opportunity to be a head coach in this league and know I'm going to be with this organization for the next few years," Noreen said. "I want to thank (Phantoms owner) Bruce Zoldan, the Zoldan family and everyone in our front office and at B.J. Alan and Phantom Fireworks for all their support. There's no secret that this is my dream and what I've wanted to do since Day 1, and I couldn't be more thankful to Mr. Zoldan for giving me this opportunity and entrusting me with such a big endeavor. I hope to make him proud in the future."
In his first season as a head coach, Noreen orchestrated a nine-win, 18-point swing as the Phantoms rose to prominence in their third year in the USHL. The 2011-2012 Phantoms set franchise records for wins (32), home wins (18), away wins (14), goals scored (202) and fewest goals allowed (196). Under Noreen's high-octane coaching style, the Phantoms penalty kill unit led the entire USHL with 19 short-handed goals scored - two short of the all-time record of 21 set by the 2005-2006 Des Moines Buccaneers.
"I believe Anthony Noreen is a rising star in the coaching ranks, and I couldn't be more excited to have him at the helm of the Phantoms for the next two seasons," Zoldan said.