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Sunday, January 18, 2009
Phantoms 329th Game
5:00pm Face-off
Vs. Puck-Ups


The West Michigan Phantoms etched another milestone into the team's rich history on Sunday, as the team captured the 200th victory in franchise history.  The Phantoms edged the Puck-Up 4-3 in the overtime shoot-out to attain the milestone during the teams 329th game.  It was just shy of  three years ago when the Yellow and Black reached the 100-win milestone under the lights of  Rivertown Sports.  During that accomplishment, it took the Phantoms 172 games to get 100  victories.  This time, it took the Men of Phantom Hockey only 157 games to add another 100 wins  to the teams record books.  Since the fall of 2002, the Phantoms have been a very skilled force across the West Michigan hockey scene.  Of the teams now 200 wins, 126 (in 212 games) were learned at Rivertown Sports in Grandville, while the remaining 74 (in 117 games) were earned at the Cedar Rock Sports Plex in Cedar Springs.  There is no other team that has continued to post the numbers as the Phantom franchise has.  This is a salute and a Thank You to every member of the Phantom franchise that has played and continues to play for the longest consecutively operating in-line team in West Michigan.


I would like to say thanks to every player that has played on the Phantoms since the start back in the Fall of 2002. Who could have imaged that a group of guys that started playing drop in roller hockey at the Fun Spot in Muskegon over 11 years ago could have developed a team that has been so successful against the top-notch teams at Rivertown and Cedar Rock Sports Plex.

It is a true accomplishment of every Phantom player to reach this goal. I want to say thank you to every player who has worn the Phantom crest now and in the past. Fellow teammates Gordie Anderson, Brad Zehr, Matt Mead, Tim Czycyk, Casey Rosenberg, Darren Skuse, Jason Schemmel, Nate Tyler and Brett Smith are deserving of a special mention, as this group has been a huge part in the teams continuing effort to keep a Phantom product on the rink.  While some of the above players are not playing during this current season, their work with the Phantoms continues in the shadows.  The hardest part of playing hockey is being able to keep everyone together and things running smooth.  Sure, during the now 24 seasons of hockey, things have come up and problems have been encountered, but for the most part the team as risen to the challenge and has overcome any odds with flying 'yellow' colors.

Since the early days of the Phantoms, I have had only four goals that I  wanted this team to achieve. The first goal, was to be competitive and consistent. That goal has been accomplished. During the 24 seasons, Phantom teams been involved with the Play-offs at Rivertown  Sports 14 out of 19 times and earned two championships during that span.  At the Cedar Rock Sports Plex, the Phantoms have advanced to the finals in the Silver division 4 out of the team's 6 seasons and earned two championships during that span.  The Phantom's Bronze Cedar Rock Team, which will get credit for the 200th win, has been involved in a championship round robin of the Brozne play-offs 1 out of the team's 2 previous seasons.  The second goal, was to win a championship. Not only have we won one, we've won four and have had the chances of winning over six others. The third and fourth goals have been created as time has moved on. The Third goal was created during the 7th season and I was set on keeping the Phantoms alive into the team's 10th season. For a rec team, it is very hard to think about playing under the same banner and with the same teammates (for the most part) for 10 seasons or 2 1/2 years. Yet, we passed that mark with flying colors.  That goal was to play 10 seasons, we are currently on number 24! The fourth goal, was created in late 2004/early 2005, when the  team was around the 80 win mark. After looking through the history of Rivertown, I noticed only one other team has ever caped the 100-victory mark. With the Komets and Phantoms in a race for bragging rights, I thought...We will break that mark and as we displayed back in 2006, we accomplished that goal too. Several years later, we are now at victory 200.  Where are the Komets now Darren? In general, everything I have hoped for this team has been accomplished.

Since the Phantoms started play, I have learned a lot about hockey and life. I have also learned what is the most important thing when it comes to rec. sports...its just for fun.  I would like to give a shout-out to Matt Zehr who always reminds me of that very important fact when I sometimes over look it. While I am very competitive, it is still a game and a game that is meant as a release from the everyday world and a time to hang out with friends. Both Phantom teams (Bronze and Silver) have been created with the idea of having fun and playing with friends. As the Phantoms look to keep the tradition alive, we will continue to feature rosters that are made up of Friends, Original Phantoms and people that just want to have fun.

Thanks again to Gordie Anderson, Brad Zehr, Matt Mead, Tim Czycyk, Casey Rosenberg, Darren Skuse, Jason Schemmel, Nate Tyler and Brett Smith on your never ending desire to play on the Phantoms and Thanks Again to Every Member that has played a game for this team.

Thanks Again Everyone---We Did It; We're Now at 200 Wins!

#4 Tim Vanoverloop
#9 Nate Tyler
#12 Matt Mead
#13 Chuck McCloud
#14 Tim Czycyk
#18 Trent Kik
#21 Brad Zehr
#26 Darren Skuse
#28 Jason Schemmel
#35 Kevin Wootton
#72 Keith Mooreman
#75 Justin Calkins
#391 Chad Manning

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