Phantoms forward Corey McEwen is delighted to be pulling on a Phantoms jersey for a second season after spending the summer playing and coaching in New Zealand. McEwen racked up an impressive 23 goals and 40 assists for 63 points in 51 games for the Phantoms last season and is pleased to be back to build on that this year.
“It feels good (to be back), I’m happy to be back in England and enjoying the weather, so it’s nice!” McEwen said.
Following the conclusion of the Phantoms season, Corey jetted off to Auckland to become the player coach of the Botany Swarm in the New Zealand Ice Hockey League.
“After the Peterborough season I went straight to New Zealand and started a season over there. It’s on the southern hemisphere so it was their winter. We played 16 games and I was the player coach of the Botany Swarm in Auckland. Auckland is a beautiful city and New Zealand is a beautiful country. It was a great experience and I’m happy I went. It was unbelievable, it was a great opportunity. It was awesome being the coach and being a player was really hard, but I think we did really well as a team. I think I had about 10 goals and 16 assists, so it was alright, but we had a good season, the fans over there and all the players were really happy with the outcome of the season, so it was pretty successful for us” said McEwen.
“It’s very different, everyone can play, skate and shoot, but ice hockey itself, they’re a bit behind. But I was a bit surprised at how good the hockey was. It was a bit different, it was an experience, that’s for sure!” He added.
McEwen played a big part in the Phantoms treble winning team of last season and is hoping the team can build on their previous successes in the inaugural season of the NIHL National League.
“I want to win, just build off of last season, we have the same team this year so I think it should be easier for us. We all know each other, the chemistry is there, and we have a good coach, so we’ve just got to make sure we perform on the ice” said McEwen.
“The league has changed a lot this year so it’s going to be interesting. I’m looking forward to playing all the teams but going back to Telford is always fun. We’ve got Hull now who are a strong team, they’ll be a challenge for sure. It’s definitely going to be a strong league and I’m looking forward to all the games. There’s going to be some exciting weekends of hockey coming up!” He continued.
With just under a week until our opening pre-season match against the Milton Keynes Thunder, McEwen is looking forward to pulling on the Phantoms jersey once again alongside his line mates, Martins Susters and Petr Stepanek.
“I’ve actually been thinking about that a lot, playing with different line mates in New Zealand. I’m happy to be back with my normal team and hopefully we can produce on the ice, me Martins and Petr, and I think we’re going to have a great season!” Said McEwen.
Your first opportunity to see Corey and the Phantoms back on home ice is on Wednesday 4th September, facing off at 7:45