In most hockey leagues the so-called puck luck starts before any games are played. I'm talking about the schedule of course. Junior hockey and the USHL are no exception. Long bus trips, back-to-back-(to-back) games; it all is part of the season. Everyone has to deal with it and that's sometimes what defines a team is how they deal with it. Other times, it's just bad timing. Playing the third game in as many nights on the road after losing a few top players can hurt you in more ways than just the standings if the team can't pull through. You also have to look at who your playing. Are you playing a lot of games against the defending champs who have most of their core players returning from last season or do you have more than your share against a group that's rebuilding with new, younger, players? So with the season opener looking, let's take a look at how the Phantoms upcoming season stacks up.