March has been a very exciting month, but not as productive as we wanted. We came into the month in a heated race for the last playoff spot in the East Division of the USHL. My team, the Youngstown Phantoms, has really been battling to make playoffs. We are currently in Des Moines, IA. We have a game against Cedar Rapids tonight, then home games against Indiana and Chicago. These will be the biggest games of the season because we are currently down three points for the last playoff spot.
The Phantoms have definitely had a playoff attitude the last month but our record is not even close to what we want. We have lost our last six games and went 2-5-2 in the month of March. We have four games left to redeem ourselves and get us back into the playoffs. I have full confidence that we will make playoffs because when we play our game, we can beat any team in the league. I really want to make the playoffs and not have the season end without achieving our goal. I feel like our coaches are doing everything they can to put us in the best possible position to succeed, and it's now up to the my teammates and I to put forth our best effort to win these games.
I have been trying to keep my mind off the upcoming draft, but it's not easy to do when you know scouts are in the stands watching. I'm excited to see Central Scouting's rankings and Combine participants in the coming days. It was one of my goals to be ranked and be invited to the Combine, and I would be extremely honored if I was. But all of my focus right now is on the last three games of our season.
Focusing and minimizing distraction is something I have been trying to do all year because it is so important when playing hockey. That's one reason I admire Jaden Schwartz, who has somehow been able to keep his focus and play so consistently well during his sister Mandi's illness. Mandi passed away last week. I hope everyone will keep the Schwartz family in their thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.