COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.
After leading the Youngstown Phantoms to new heights in his first two seasons behind the bench, Anthony Noreen will have the chance to display his coaching prowess on the national stage this November.
The third-year Phantoms head coach has been named to the coaching staff of the U.S. Junior Select Team that will compete at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge, USA Hockey announced today.
Noreen, a Chicago, Ill. native, will serve under Green Bay Gamblers head coach Derek Lalonde on the U.S. bench. Sioux City Musketeers assistant coach Mark Alaban will fill out the Team USA coaching staff.
“It’s one of the biggest honors of my hockey career, especially my coaching career,” Noreen said. “It’s definitely something that’s been a goal of mine. I remember saying in my opening press conference here that someday I’d like to coach a team that wears the USA jersey, and I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of this great tradition.”
Noreen, 30, compiled a 69-48-7 record and led the Phantoms to back-to-back playoff berths in his first two seasons as bench boss in the Mahoning Valley. In 2012-13, he guided Youngstown to a franchise record 37 wins, 74 points and a third-place finish in the USHL’s Eastern Conference. His Phantoms owned the USHL’s top penalty kill (86 percent) during the regular season and came within a game of advancing to the Clark Cup Finals, falling in the Eastern Conference finals to the eventual champion Dubuque Fighting Saints.
Through six games this season, the Phantoms (1-4-1) are in seventh place in the East.
“The toughest part about this for myself - and I’m sure I speak for the other coaches as well - is leaving your team,” Noreen said. “I’m going to miss the guys and miss the staff but it comforts you knowing there are a couple guys [in assistant coaches Brad Patterson and Michael Zucker] that are more than capable of keeping the ship going in the right direction while I’m gone, and I know our team will respond to them.”
The 2013 World Junior A Challenge will place Nov. 4-10 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Team USA has won the six-team international tournament four of the last five years, including in 2012. USA Hockey is expected to announce the 22-man U.S. Junior Select Team roster, which is traditionally compiled almost exclusively of USHL players, later this month.
Team USA opens up it defense of the gold medal Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. EST with an exhibition game against Canada West. The other teams competing in the tournament are Canada East, Czech Republic, Russia and Switzerland. FASTHockey, the official broadcast partner of the USHL, will live streaming coverage for all tournament games at USAHockey.FASTHockey.com.