We take a look ahead at the weekend’s fixtures for the Peterborough DALROD Phantoms. On Saturday night, a trip to table topping Sheffield Steeldogs is in store, before the first local derby against the MK Lightning of the season.
PHANTOMS TEAM NEWS
It was business as usual in the Phantoms camp this week, with intense training taking place ahead of this weekend’s games against the league leaders Sheffield Steeldogs, and our local rivals, MK Lightning.
Phantoms 2 players Joe Gretton and Kieran Raynor are set to join the Phantoms 1 squad again this weekend, whilst Corey McEwen will be missing due to injury.
Ben Morgan’s Sheffield Steeldogs side sit top of the NIHL National table after six games. Their only loss came against the Hull Pirates, where Jason Hewitt’s side claimed a 7-5 win.
The Steeldogs will have 37-year-old import forward, Vladimir Luka in their line-up. The experienced forward has enjoyed a productive start to his first year in England, scoring eight goals and assisting a further four, for 12 points in six games.
They have a couple of former Phantoms in their line-up. James Spurr re-signed for the Dogs in the summer, as did Nathan Salem, who was nominated for September’s NIHL National Player of the Month award.
Kieran Brown joined the Dogs on a two-way with the Sheffield Steelers in the summer. The young forward is very highly rated and has already collected eight points in four games so far this season.
The Dogs will also ice a number of familiar faces. Dimitri Zimozdra, Lewis Bell, Tim Smith and Ash Calvert have all faced the Phantoms numerous times over the past few years, and they’re all set to ice against the Phantoms once more.
Ben Morgan is in the third year of his first coaching role. The 31-year-old defenceman has played all but one season of his career in Sheffield. During his career, he’s iced for the Scimitars, Steelers and Steeldogs, whilst his year away from Sheffield was with the Manchester Phoenix.
Morgan’s assistant coach is Greg Wood. Wood is a former Steeldogs player and head coach. He spent four years as captain of the Dogs under then head coach, Andre Payette. His stint as head coach was between 2015-2017, where he acted as the Steeldogs’ player coach.
MILTON KEYNES LIGHTNING
Milton Keynes Lightning visit Planet Ice Peterborough for the first time since dropping back down from the Elite League. The Lightning finished bottom of the Elite League last season, winning just 15 of their 60 regular season matches.
The Lightning have been hit by a number of injury problems over the past couple of weeks and are likely to be missing a few players again this weekend. Grant McPherson is definitely out with a hand injury, whilst James Griffin and Hallden Barnes-Garner didn’t ice last week either.
The Lightning welcomed Ross Bowers back to the ice last week. He retired during last season after sustaining a serious facial injury but has come out of retirement to act as injury cover for the depleted MK side. Lewis Christie also re-joined the club on a short-term basis.
Milton Keynes have three former Phantoms in their side. Ben Russell, Leigh Jamieson and Harry Ferguson are all expected to play against the Phantoms. Lewis Clifford has a choice to make in goal, Jordan Lawday and Brandon Stones have both received ice time over the past couple of weeks and are pushing each other for a starting berth again this weekend.
Lewis Clifford was Pete Russell’s assistant at MK Lightning, before he moved on to take the job with the MK Thunder just over two years ago. Following the Lightning’s drop out of the Elite League, Clifford was appointed as the MKL head coach in the off season.
Ross Bowers is Clifford’s assistant coach. He has returned to the ice to cover for the MKL’s injured players, but his role as Clifford’s assistant is his first coaching role.
“There’s no easy weekend, but I think we’re all looking forward to this one, players, coaches and fans. First, we visit Sheffield and their building is flying high as they sit at the top of the league, we need to respect that.
The Steeldogs are good, why are they good? They have experienced guys, along with some hungry kids looking to impress and make the step up to the Steelers, it’s a great mix of guys. We need to ensure we execute our plan and don’t take the foot off the gas.
Sunday is a come back of the local derby against MKL, and after two years away we can’t wait to get this rivalry and electrifying atmosphere back.
MKL have a strong roster with players that we are all very familiar with. The expectation is always to win, but we can’t expect to win, this needs to be earned with hard work for a full 60 minutes each and every week.”
If you’d like to travel to Sheffield on Saturday to cheer on the Phantoms, please email email@example.com to book your seat on the team bus. Alternatively, if you’re unable to attend the game, follow @GoPhantoms on Twitter for full match updates.
For tickets to Sunday’s local derby against the Milton Keynes Lightning, click HERE! Tickets can also be purchased from the Planet Ice Box Office upon arrival to the rink.
MATCH NIGHT COMPETITIONS
This week we are guaranteeing our 50/50 prize draw at £300. The specially designed gold 50/50 tickets will be priced at £1 for 1, £2 for 3 and £5 for 10 tickets. If you buy £5 worth of 50/50 tickets, you’ll be entered into the draw to take part in Puck It, our newest intermission game!
This week’s ‘shirt off your back’ is #77 Martins Susters’ jersey. Tickets will be priced at £1 for 1, £2 for 3 and £5 for 10.
Please see one of our match night ticket sellers to be in with a chance to win!