2005 first round draft choice plays with Phantoms Sunday
(Philadelphia, PA, April 15) – Steve Downie, the Philadelphia Flyers' first round draft choice in 2005, made his professional debut on Sunday night playing for the Philadelphia Phantoms.Downie, whose season in junior ended with the Kitchener Rangers on Friday night, joined the Flyers' American Hockey League affiliate in time for its last game of the season against Hershey at the Spectrum.The 5'10'', 195-pound right wing, wearing uniform #13, played in virtually every situation for the club in its 3-2 loss. Downie seemed to get better as the game went on and had a strong third period, laying a solid body check on Hershey's Matt Hendricks. He also nearly scored a power play goal but couldn't quite get a handle on the puck at the side of the net.Downie was leading the OHL in scoring at the time of Kitchener's elimination, with eight goals and 13 assists for 22 points in just eight games. In 45 regular season games for Kitchener and Peterborough, Downie had 35 goals and 57 assists for 92 points in 45 games.Below is a brief Q and A with Downie following the game.Q: Your first game as a pro, how was the pace out there?Downie: "It was pretty high. In the first and second there it took me awhile to settle in."Q: What was your reaction to being brought in here for this game?Downie: "It was the day after we lost and I found out I got to play again, so that's good. I was really happy to get the chance to come down here and play."Q: Are you a little exhausted?Downie: "Yeah, it's been a long day, since four in the morning, but it was fun and a good opportunity to come down here and get in my first pro game."Q: What did you think of playing with fellow prospects Ryan Parent and Claude Giroux?Downie: "Yeah, you know, this organization has got a lot of young talent that is ready to step up."Q: On what lies ahead now that his season is over.Downie: "I'm definitely going to take a couple weeks off and rest my body. It's been a long year. Then, I'm going to start getting bigger and stronger again."Q: Is it hard not to look ahead to training camp again next year?Downie: "No, it's not at all. I've been there before and I know what to expect. I just have to come back in tip-top shape and be mentally ready to play."