Phan­toms are prov­ing the doubters wrong

Ice hockey - Phan­toms show­ing early prom­ise at home

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

Coach Slava Koulikov reck­ons his new-look Peter­bor­ough Phan­toms squad are al­ready prov­ing peo­ple wrong. The city club have picked up pleas­ing home suc­cesses against a highly-touted Swin­don side and reign­ing cham­pi­ons Bas­ingstoke i n the open­ing two week­ends of the new English Premier League sea­son.

And while Phan­toms are yet to open their ac­count on the road after suf­fer­ing de­feats at Sh­effield and Mil­ton Keynes, Koulikov in­sists their Planet Ice form shows they are ca­pa­ble of chal­leng­ing for a place in the top half of the ta­ble.

Koulikov said: “The two re­sults and per­for­mances at home so far have been very pleas­ing.

“We have shown we are ca­pa­ble of scor­ing goals, work­ing solidly as a de­fen­sive unit and play­ing a hard-work­ing style of hockey in our own build­ing.

“Beat­ing Swin­don so well in our first home game was great for the con­fi­dence of the guys. Youdon’t get a score­line like 6-1 too often in such a tough league.

“Andto­fol­low­itup­by­beat­ing Bas­ingstoke was an­other fine ef­fort. You al­ways know what sort of game you are go­ing to get against them, but we were pre­pared for that and the two points were well de­served.

“While the score­line was tight, we had far more clearcut chancesinthe­fi­nalpe­riod and could have won the game more com­fort­ably.

“We’ve had a cou­ple of tough Satur­days on the road so far, but the re­sponses we have had on suc­ces­sive Sun­days have been very im­pres­sive.

“A lot of peo­ple seemed to write us off be­fore the sea­son started, and I was not sur­prised by that.

“They will have looked at the guys who left, the guys we signed and the fact we are an im­port down on the other teams.

“ButI­be­lieve in the play­ers and struc­ture we have here, and we are al­ready show­ing we can com­pete.

“If we can keep our­selves around a 50 per cent win ra­tio at first and then push on, we will have a good chance of get­tingto wherewe­want­tobe this sea­son.”

Phan­toms face a re­verse of last week­end’s fix­tures this week­end.

They go to Bas­ingstoke on Satur­day (6.30pm) and then host Mil­ton Keynes on Sun­day (5.30pm).

Ben Rus­sell cel­e­brates scor­ing the win­ner against Bas­ingstoke.

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