The northern Columbiana town of East Palestine is really no different than the townships and villages that scatter Trumbull County.
There's one or two stoplights, a few mom and pop locales and a lot of horses. Maybe even more than the number of satellite dishes.
Hockey is an afterthought.
So how does a resident of a small country town even learn how to play the sport? Heck, even know how to start ice skating.
"I couldn't even tell you," said Matt Miller, a native of East Palestine and first-year member of the Youngstown Phantoms.
Matt and his older brother, J.T., were born in Salem in 1995 and 1993, respectively. When Matt was in seventh grade and J.T. was a sophomore at East Palestine High School, they moved to Moon Township, Pa., right outside of Pittsburgh, and played hockey for the Pittsburgh Hornets - a youth travel hockey team.
"My mom played volleyball and my dad played baseball," Matt said. "Somehow (J.T.) just wanted to play. We were the only kids in East Palestine who got that urge to play hockey."
The Ice Zone in Boardman, which was set to close on May 15, has since reopened in limited capacity and remains the Phantoms practice facility.
"I learned how to skate when I was 4 or 5 at the Ice Zone, so it's pretty cool going back there," Miller said.
Having just one ice rink in a tri-county region, let alone a struggling center, is unheard of in Anchorage, Alaska, hometown to three of this year's Phantoms.
"Every single high school has an ice rink outside and there's other public rinks everywhere," said Alex Carle, a first-year defenseman. "We'd always find a place to skate no matter what."
That was especially easy in the summer when it stays light outside for about 20 hours a day. Sleeping is the hard part.
"We're actually used to it," Carle said. "I hang a black blanket over my window, so when I'm ready to go to sleep, it's already dark. At least, it is in my room."
Moving from The Last Frontier to Ohio wasn't that hard for Carle, who's actually been attending a prep school in New Hampshire for the past three years. He usually only makes it home once a year, as it's an 11 hour flight from Boston into Anchorage.
"Being far away from home is not an issue for me at all," he said.
Truman Reed and Ryan Schwalbe, also entering their first year with Youngstown, are the other Alaska natives.
There are three other Ohio natives on the roster: Tommy Parran from Shaker Heights, Kiefer Sherwood from Columbus and Josh Nenadal from Brecksville. Luke Stork, a Pittsburgh native, enjoys playing so close to home, as well. He's in his third year with the Phantoms.
"This is starting to feel like home," he said. "My grandparents, mom and dad and some other family members are here every game. They're fine with driving an hour to see me. Even when I have an off day, I'll head over and hang out because it's such an easy drive."
Phantoms coach and general manager Anthony Noreen will soon have an easy walk - to work.
The Chicago native has been on the coaching staff for four years and lived in Canfield. Just this week, he moved into an apartment in downtown Youngstown.
"I want to be here," he said, not just referring to Federal Street. "With my age and experience level, I wanted to be here. I said from the beginning I wouldn't leave until I felt that all of our goals were reached. We haven't come to that point yet. There's still a lot of work to be done for me."
The Phantoms (0-2) have their home opener tonight at the Covelli Centre to start a journey for their third-straight USHL playoff appearance.