In March of 2006, the American Hockey League’s Philadelphia Phantoms established a unique partnership with the United States Army by ‘adopting’ the Liquid Lead Platoon from the A Company’s 710th Brigade Support Battalion.
Now known as the Phantoms Platoon and stationed in Afghanistan for the last 10 months, many of the soldiers will have an opportunity to see and hear live messages from their loved ones on Saturday when the Phantoms visit the Syracuse Crunch.
B2 Networks, which is in its second season partnering with the American Hockey League to broadcast video and audio of all league games over the Internet, will be providing the means for the messages.
As part of the Phantoms support of the Platoon, B2 Networks has provided Phantoms games to the Platoon in Afghanistan free of charge since their deployment. The Platoon is based out of Fort Drum, approximately 60 miles north of Syracuse, but has several members from Philadelphia and the greater Delaware Valley. Approximately 25-30 family members will be attending Saturday’s game.
During an intermission, those family members will have the opportunity to appear on the B2 cameras and send their greetings.
Phantoms COO Frank Miceli has been instrumental in the Phantoms Platoon partnership. "To know that we could make this link possible was exciting for us. Many of the families have been separated for 10 months, and to get them in touch through a hockey game on B2 Networks was a perfect fit. We certainly have to thank the AHL, B2 and the Syracuse Crunch for helping make this possible."
Since their deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Phantoms and their fans have been supporting the soldiers in various capacities. The club has held several supply drives and has shipped packages of DVD’s, books, personal hygiene items, food and more. Prior to their departure, the Phantoms outfitted the group with team hats, t-shirts and other garb.