New-look Phan­toms tackle Steel­dogs home and away

Ice hockey - Pre-sea­son re­sults don’t mat­ter says Slava

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - By Mark Plum­mer ICE HOCKEY COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Coach Slava Koulikov in­sists re­sults do not mat­ter as the new-look Phan­toms pre­pare to hit the ice this week­end.

The city team, who have un­der­gone some­thing of a trans­for­ma­tion with seven new sum­mer ar­rivals, take on English Premier League ri­vals Sh­effield Steel dogs in a pair of chal­lenge clashes.

The two sides meet at Planet Ice on Satur­day (7 pm) ahead of a re­turn date at IceSh­effield the fol­low­ing day (5.30pm).

Koulikov said: “It has been a long sum­mer with a lot of new faces com­ing into the club, so this week­end is all about get­ting as many bod­ies onto the ice as pos­si­ble.

“Pre- sea­son games are about work­ing on lines and com­bi­na­tions, and mak­ing sure the guys plenty of min­utes into their legs.

“It takes three- or- four matches for play­ers to get up to full speed af­ter the sum- mer break and it is all about en­sur­ing they are ready for the start of the league sea­son next month.

“I’m cer­tainly not wor­ried about re­sults in the two chal­lenge games against Sh­effield and I don’ t think any­thing this week­end will have any bear­ing on what hap­pens dur­ing the sea­son.”

Phan­toms will take to the ice with­out two of their main for­wards against a Steel­dogs out­fit who they also face in their first com­pet­i­tive EPL fix­ture of 2016/17 on Septem­ber 10.

New im­port Petr Step anek and Bri­tish cap­ture James Archer are still in the South­ern Hemi­sphere af­ter spend­ing the sum­mer play­ing in Australia and New Zealand re­spec­tively.

The re­main­ing mem­bers of the Phan­toms squad met up for the first time on Tues­day for the start of their pre-sea­son camp over at Talling­ton Lakes.

They took part in fit­ness tests and team­work ex­er­cises ahead of a bond­ing bar­be­cue be­fore shift­ing their at­ten­tion onto the ice with prac­tice ses­sions planned for yes­ter­day (Wed­nes­day), to­day and to­mor­row. The Fri­day ses­sion is open for pub­lic view­ing with a ‘Meet the Play­ers’ event fol­low­ing in the Planet ice Bar.

“It was good to have the vast ma­jor­ity of the guys to­gether,” added Koulikov. “We believe a pre-sea­son get-to­gether has a lot of ben­e­fits in terms of fit­ness and in build­ing the team spirit.

“It is clear that we are all look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenges ahead.”

Phan­toms are of­fer­ing free en­try to chil­dren for both of their home pre-sea­son games – the clash against Sh­effield this Satur­day and the sec­ond leg of their tra­di­tional ‘Ashes’ bat­tle against big ri­vals Mil­ton Keynes on Sun­day, Septem­ber 4.

Adult ad­mis­sion for the games is £14 with con­ces­sions set at £8.

Ac­tion from a league game be­tween Phan­toms and Steel­dogs last sea­son.

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