The Peterborough DALROD Phantoms complete their pre-season campaign this weekend in the Billy Glover Memorial Cup against the Basingstoke Bison. The Phantoms travel to Basingstoke on Saturday, before the Bison visit Planet Ice Peterborough, on Sunday (5:30pm face off).
Both sides enjoyed good seasons last term, with the Bison finishing one place behind the Phantoms in the NIHL1 South table. The two teams also contested the South Cup final, when Phantoms claimed their second of three trophies. The Bison had the strongest defence in the league last season, conceding 106 times in 42 regular season games.
Slava Koulikov is hopeful that he will have a full squad of players to choose from once again this weekend. Robbie Ferrara’s involvement will be a late decision, following an injury sustained last weekend, after a check to the head on the Phantoms defenceman.
Joe Gretton will get more ice time for Phantoms 1 this weekend. If Ferrara is fit to play, Gretton will ice for Phantoms 2 on Saturday in their opening game against the Bracknell Wasps. If Ferrara doesn’t feature, Gretton will travel to Basingstoke with the first team. He will ice for Phantoms 1 against the Bison on Sunday.
Bison have lost a couple of big names from last season. Vastly experienced forward Russell Cowley has signed with the Milton Keynes Lightning for the upcoming season, whilst Danny Ingoldsby departed for Streatham. The other notable departure was Chris Cooke, who has joined the Bracknell Hornets for the 2019/20 season.
Ryan Sutton has returned to the club after a year with the Bracknell Bees, and Ashley Tait has added defenceman Ollie Stone to his roster. Stone played for Milton Keynes Thunder last year. They have retained the services of both of their imports, Richard Bordowski and Michal Klejna, who both enjoyed fruitful first years in England. Both imports averaged over a point per game last season.
COACH KOULIKOV SAYS…
These games have been organised so we can play against teams with speed, skill, determination and obviously to wake up from the summer holidays.
We want to improve on certain areas where we can. We reviewed last weekend so we could see what we need to work on and step by step, improve fitness and work on the plays we did last year: the tactics, powerplays, PK, the list goes on. But obviously you can’t throw everything at the guys straight away and it gives us time to review and correct, so I’m glad we’ve had these two weeks because the league is going to be stronger and it gives us more of a chance to work on certain things.
Robbie Ferrara had 8 stitches; I don’t force players in pre-season so it’s going to be his decision based on how he feels. We all know Robbie, he’s a professional athlete and he’s a person who wants to be on the ice for every game and every practice, so when he’s ready he’ll be back.
THE OPPOSITION BENCH
44-year-old forward, Ashley Tait, is entering his second season as the Bison player coach. He has featured over 600 times in the Elite League for the likes of the Nottingham Panthers, Sheffield Steelers and Coventry Blaze. He’s also played for GB over 100 times and amassed 54 regular season points for the Bison last season.
The Bison bench coach is Tony Redmond. Redmond spent most of his career in Basingstoke, whilst also playing in Bracknell, Slough and Guildford. He has returned to the Bison for another year of being Tait’s assistant coach, and running the bench whilst Tait continues to play.
Tickets for Sunday’s home game can be purchased HERE!
For information regarding travel to the away match in Basingstoke, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MATCH NIGHT COMPETITIONS
50/50 tickets will be available. Tickets are priced at £1 for 1, £2 for 3 and £5 for 10.
This weeks ‘shirt off your back’ will be #88 Conor Pollard’s white jersey. Tickets are £1 for 1, £2 for 3 and £5 for 10. See one of our match night ticket sellers to be in with a chance to win!