ICE HOCKEY

Ice hockey - It’s an­other four-point week­end for the Phan­toms

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - YOUR TELEGRAPH - By Mark Plum­mer ICE HOCKEY COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Phan­toms head coach Slava Koulikov has paid tribute to his mile­stone men.

Player-coach Tom Nor­ton made his 300th ap­pear­ance for the city club in their fine 4-2 tri­umph at ta­ble-top­ping Swin­don last Satur­day night - an oc­ca­sion he marked with what is fast be­com­ing a cus­tom­ary pow­er­play goal.

And an­other of the club’s finest ser­vants, for­ward Will Wel­don, then en­joyed a 400th com­pet­i­tive out­ing for Phan­toms as they thrashed Brack­nell 7-3 to com­plete a ter­rific four-point week­end in NIHL Divi­sion One South last Sun­day.

Koulikov said: “It was ter­rific to see two great ser­vants to the club reach such big mile­stones dur­ing the same week­end.

“Tom is def­i­nitely one of the best de­fence­men in the league. He brings a to­tal pack­age of an ex­cel­lent player and a great per­son.

“He is very pro­fes­sional off the ice and that leads to his con­sis­tently high level of per­for­mance on the ice.

“He’s the guy who al­ways pre­pares prop­erly, al­ways re­cov­ers prop­erly and is a great ex­am­ple to all the young play­ers in our dress­ing room.

“He also works on the per­for­mances of ev­ery D-man as as­sis­tant coach and we have seen a lot of im­prove­ment dur­ing his time in the role.

“Will is an­other great guy on the ice and in the room. He knows when to get se­ri­ous, he knows the right mo­ment to have a laugh and he is ex­cel­lent at mo­ti­vat­ing the other guys.

“He gets more and more re­spect with each year that passes and I couldn’t ask for a bet­ter two-way cen­tre who has qual­ity on the puck and will throw his body in front of shots when we don’t have it.

“Will does so much work that prob­a­bly goes un­recog­nised by many peo­ple, but cer­tainly not by the coach­ing staff and his team-mates.

“I just hope both guys will be around for many years to come.

“They were both part of the play-off win­ning team and it would be great if they could help us to more sil­ver­ware.”

Wel­don has now en­tered the top-10 on the all-time Peter­bor­ough ap­pear­ance list – com­piled by on­line site Twisted Sock - while Nor­ton will climb into the top 20 in the com­ing weeks.

Two other cur­rent Phan­toms play­ers al­ready fea­ture in the top 10. Cap­tain James Fer­rara had clocked up a stag­ger­ing 584 games for se­nior city sides ahead of last night’s NIHL Au­tumn Cup fi­nal first leg while younger brother, Rob­bie, should reach the 450-mark this week­end.

Phan­toms con­tinue their league ti­tle chase at lowly Mil­ton Keynes Thun­der this Satur­day (7pm) ahead of a home game against Swin­don at Planet Ice on Sun­day (5.30pm).

PIC­TURES: TOM SCOTT

Goalscorer Tom Nor­ton and Will Wel­don cel­e­brate putting Phan­toms 6-2 up against Brack­nell.

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