Phantoms goalie Jordan Marr, sponsored by Serpentine Green, is ready for the weekends fixtures as the Phantoms take on MKL and Sheffield. Both games count towards the cup, with Phantoms aiming to qualify for the knockout stages as soon as possible.
Marr believes the Phantoms have been inconsistent recently but is proud of the performance his side put on last Sunday, which saw the Phantoms topple the then league leaders, Swindon Wildcats, 6-3.
“I think we’ve maybe been a bit inconsistent as of late, only getting two or three point weekends. But as of now, Swindon I think have been the best team in the league so far, obviously with those ten straight wins before this weekend. I think Slava said in the press and the guys probably agree it was the most complete 60 minutes, and even in that we conceded three goals, but it just shows you how skilled Swindon are. They’re like an offensive juggernaut and we had to be at the top of our game to get the victory against them.” Marr said.
The game against Swindon saw Jordan’s brother Renny make a mistake which led to Ales Padelek scoring Phantoms’ fifth goal. Renny went behind his net to play the puck but played it off his own goalpost and Padelek tapped into the unguarded goal. But Jordan was keen to praise his brother for his performance as a whole.
Jordan said: “I think Renny’s one of the top goalies in the league and part of his game that makes him such a good goalie is his puck handling. When you’re trying to play the puck and make plays to break out, every now and again, mistakes happen. A couple of weeks ago in Swindon, I tried the same thing on the powerplay, it was a longer pass but it got picked up and scored on. It’s part of being a goalie, when you make a mistake you usually get scored on. We spoke about it after the game and it’s just a mistake, a goal is a goal. I thought he played well, as well, and gave them an opportunity to win. But we played our best 60 minutes and when you’re pressuring, putting the goalie and defence in their zone and it makes it difficult to break out and play.”
Saturday sees the Phantoms travel to Milton Keynes to take on MK Lightning in their own rink for the first time since they dropped back down from the Elite League. The first meeting between the sides was a comprehensive 4-0 Phantoms win, but MKL have bolstered their ranks since then and Marr is expecting a much tougher game.
“I used to be on the other side of the derby a couple of years ago when I was in Milton Keynes. I think this will be the first away game against Milton Keynes Lightning since the EPL days, so it’ll be good to go back there, it’s a nice rink and a nice place to play. We’re under no illusions, they’ve obviously added Liam Stewart to their line up and got a couple of guys back from injury, so it’ll probably be a tougher game than it was here last time. We’re really looking to make sure we get as many cup points as possible. I think both games at the weekend are cup games so we’re trying to get ourselves qualified for the next round of the cup as soon as possible, so we’ll be looking to get the win on Saturday and then again on Sunday.“ Said the Scottish goaltender.
Milton Keynes has one of the biggest ice pads in the league, whereas Peterborough has one of the smallest. But Marr believes he and his teammates can be successful regardless of the ice, without making too many tactical changes.
“You stick to what gets you to the level of hockey you play at. There might be a couple of adjustments, I think we have one of the smaller rinks in the NIHL and we’ve had a lot of success. But I think our style of play and our speed might be better suited to bigger rinks, but we just make sure we show up for 60 minutes, stick to the game plan and try and make sure we have a chance to come away with the win.” Said Marr.
As the mid-way point in the season approaches, it is clear that there are no easy weekends in the NIHL National. After Milton Keynes on Saturday, the Phantoms welcome the Sheffield Steeldogs to Peterborough for the first time this season. Last weekend was, on paper, one of Phantoms’ toughest weekends of the year so far, and Marr is expecting another difficult weekend this time around.
He said: “There’s no such thing as an easy game. Some people would probably say that last weekend was our toughest weekend, but some will say this is our toughest weekend. Obviously, our rivals are MK and Sheffield beat us at home last year and it was pretty tight in the cup final too. We know what to expect and what we need to do so we need to make sure we show up for 60 minutes.”
Marrsy was also keen to recall the successes of last season, with the majority of the squad remaining the same into this season. He believes the side Slava has assembled is capable of being successful every year, and that is the aim for Marr and his teammates.
“We’ve got young guys and more experienced guys but even then, some of our younger guys are really experienced. For example, Glenny is our first line centre. He’s a catalyst on that line. During last season we went through some dips but we ended up coming up with three trophies, obviously we’re disappointed we were runners up in the league and playoffs, but you learn from those kinds of things and great teams are teams that are going to be successful every year like we hope to be. Those teams have dips and they end up learning from them in the next game, the next week and the next season.” Said Marr.
If you’d like to travel on the team bus for the visit to Milton Keynes, contact email@example.com – but be quick, as we’re expecting a good following of Phantoms fans for this one!
If you can’t make it to the game on Saturday, full match updates can be found on our official Twitter account – @GoPhantoms.
On Sunday, the Sheffield Steeldogs visit Planet Ice Peterborough. You can purchase tickets HERE, or from the Planet Ice ticket office upon arrival at the rink.