Youngstown Phantoms defenseman Kyle Mackey has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey beginning next season at the United States Air Force Academy.
“Air Force has been showing interest this whole year. I finally got out to visit this past week, and it was great,” said Mackey. “The campus was great; the Colorado Springs area is just awesome. They have a lot to offer, and they set you up for the rest of your life. It’s a great opportunity, and I’m really blessed for it.”
Mackey has produced 16 points (1g, 15a) and collected 52 penalty minutes in 49 games this season for the Phantoms. He scored his first USHL goal in a 4-3 shootout win against the Fargo Force on November 8th, one month after celebrating his 19th birthday. It is the second season in the USHL for the Derby, New York native after he recorded six assists and a plus-eight rating over 38 games with the Phantoms last season.
The defenseman came to the USHL after the Phantoms selected him in the 2012 USHL Entry Draft. He previously played youth hockey for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres organization.
“It’s a great accomplishment for Kyle,” said Phantoms head coach Anthony Noreen. “Last year, and I think he’d be the first to admit it, was a big growing process for him as a player, but he stuck to it. He believed in us, he trusted us, he worked his way through it, came back this year, and he stepped up big time on our back end when we needed it. He fought his way into our top pair, and has really been an anchor for us on our blue line all year. I think it’s something that he deserves, something that he’s worked towards, and it’s a huge honor for him.”
Mackey is joined by two other USHL defensemen that have committed to Air Force – Phil Boje of the Dubuque Fighting Saints and R.J. Majkozak of the Sioux Falls Stampede.
The school is part of the Atlantic Hockey Association and had eight USHL alumni on the roster this season; Max Birkinbine (Des Moines Buccaneers), Chad Demers (Fargo Force), Cole Gunner (Tri-City/Chicago/Fargo), Max Hartner (Green Bay Gamblers), Johnny Hrabovsky (Tri-City Storm), George Michalke (Sioux Falls Stampede), A.J. Reid (Fargo Force), and Dan Weissenhofer (Fargo/Lincoln).
Additionally, the Falcons head coach Frank Serratore spent six seasons coaching in the USHL (Omaha Lancers/Rochester Mustangs/Austin Mavericks) and is among the all-time leaders in winning percentage (.710).
USHL stats – Kyle Mackey
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 12th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2013-14. A record 32 players were chosen in the 2013 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters last season have committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent. For more information, visit us on the web at www.USHL.com or visit the League’s social media platforms, including Facebook (www.facebook.com/ushlhockey), twitter (www.twitter.com/ushl), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/ushlinteractive). Fans can also watch USHL action all season long, live or on-demand via FASTHockey (ushl.fasthockey.com).
It’s not just hockey. It’s the USHL.
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