Hockey night in Bracebridge is fast approaching.
The Bracebridge Phantoms plays its inaugural game this Friday, and the team’s management believes they have brought together an exciting group of players.
Tim Dickieson, owner and general manager of the Bracebridge Phantoms, said he’s confident they have a playoff-bound team.
“I’m very happy with the recruitment and what we accomplished,” said Dickieson. “Pretty much every player we put our sights on we were able to get inked and signed. I definitely think we’re going to be competitive.”
The Phantoms is one of five new teams to join the Greater Metro Hockey League (GMHL) this year alongside the Bradford Bulls, Powassan Eagles, Rama Aces and Toronto Attack.
Head coach for the team is Anthony Gambacorta, a five-year veteran of the GMHL and a former standout player with the South Muskoka Shield. He was previously the assistant head coach for the Lefroy Wave and Dickieson said he receives a huge amount of respect from the players.
“He’s quite knowledgeable about the game and I’m quite happy with him as our head coach,” said Dickieson. “All the players seem to have taken to him and he’s fit in well.”
The team features players from a diverse range of backgrounds. Big things are expected from several of the young men on the roster.
For example, Michael Spacek, a defenceman from the Czech Republic, is six-foot-one, 210 pounds and is known for his skills from the blue-line. He previously played in the USHL with the Tri City Americans.
“He’s actually away on a pro-tryout right now in the states. He just left today for the Elmira Jackals in the East Coast Hockey League,” Dickieson said.
Additionally, the team has signed Lester Brown, a veteran of the OHL with scoring power, and Kyle Cecchetto, a defenceman and former captain of the Milton Icehawks. Players have been brought in from all over the world to make up the Phantoms team.
“We have a highly talented team assembled,” said Dickieson.
“Coming out to a game is going to be a night on the town. It’s not just watching hockey, we’ve got a DJ who’s going to do all our music and announcing. We’re going to have giveaways and also support a number of charities throughout the season.”
The first game for the Bracebridge Phantoms Junior A hockey team is Friday against the South Muskoka Shield at 8.p.m. in the Gravenhurst Centennial Centre arena. The team’s first home game takes place on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. against the Bradford Rattlers.
Saturday’s home game will feature a ceremonial puck drop by James Dunn, an 11-year-old amputee from Wallacetown, Ontario. Donations for the War Amps can be made at the game.
For a full schedule of upcoming games visit the Bracebridge Phantoms website at www.bracebridgephantomsjra.com.