Phantoms won’t take bottom club for granted

Phantoms hope to have James Hutchinson back on the ice for the game against Brackne.. Photo: Alan Storer.
Phantoms hope to have James Hutchinson back on the ice for the game against Brackne.. Photo: Alan Storer.
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The sporting spotlight falls on Planet Ice tomorrow night (January 3) – and Peterborough Phantoms are determined not to disappoint.

The city team entertain bottom-of-the-table Bracknell Bees in an important English Premier League clash (7pm face-off).

Phantoms have fallen to fourth in the standings over the festive period and player-coach Slava Koulikov insists his side cannot take their lowly visitors lightly as they go in search of precious points.

“We want to start the new year on a high,” said Koulikov. “People might look at the table and see it as a game we should win, but it is definitely not one we can take for granted.

“Bracknell might be bottom, but we all know how tight the league is and they are by no means a bad team.

“They rarely lose heavily and just the other week they were 3-0 up in Guildford before eventually losing in overtime.

“We will need to perform at our best and that is the challenge for the guys.”

Phantoms hope to have defenceman James Hutchinson available after a bout of illness while fans’ favourite Alan Lack makes his final appearance for the club.

The all-action forward has called time on his stay in the city due to work and family commitments.

He will be sorely missed after becoming an influential figure on and off the ice and Koulikov admits he is keen to draft in a replacement if one can be found.

Koulikov added: “First and foremost we want to ensure we give ‘Lacky’ a good send off by winning the game tomorrow.

“He has done very well for the club and it is a shame he is leaving.

“Of course we would like to replace him if at all possible, but there are a lot of factors to take into consideration such as finances and availability.

“We have until the end of January to have a look at our options.”

Rumours have linked Phantoms with a move for forward Ryan Watt who was released by Bracknell last month.