Time for Slava’s boys to break that Hull hoodoo

Robbie Ferrara checks Milan Kostourek of Bracknell Bees. Picture: Tom Scott
Robbie Ferrara checks Milan Kostourek of Bracknell Bees. Picture: Tom Scott
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Slava Koulikov wants his Phantoms players to translate success from one of their happiest hunting grounds to one of their most miserable.

The city team completed a four-point weekend last Sunday with a second victory of the season at reigning champions Telford.

They’ve picked up five points in total in Shropshire after also taking the Tigers to overtime in their other visit.

But Phantoms have had no such joy at the home of struggling English Premier League debutants Hull.

A penalty shoot-out loss and a 5-1 drubbing are all they have to show for their two outings so far this season in Koulikov’s home town.

And it is a record he is desperate to put right when Phantoms return to East Yorkshire on Saturday (5.30pm) before hosting Guildford at Planet Ice on Sunday (5.30pm).

Koulikov said: “We have managed to find a way to win in Telford. We did it last season and we have done it again this season.

“We knew we could get the points again and the guys delivered even though it wasn’t one of our very best performances.

“Not many teams will achieve anything close to five points in Telford and it was also nice to keep building momentum at the end of a good week.

“We have managed to string together some wins in the league, which is important, and also met our goal of reaching the cup final.

“But while Telford has been a good rink for us, we haven’t enjoyed our visits to Hull.

“I know all the guys and the coaching staff would all like to win there after the disappointment of the previous two games.

“We definitely under-estimated them in the first game up there and thought it would be an easy night.

“Then Hull produced what their coach called their best performance of the season two weeks ago whereas we didn’t play well.

“We got back there with some momentum behind us and aiming to keep the winning run going.

“Two points in Hull would be a good start to another tough weekend as we know it is always hard to face Guildford.

“The guys have dug deep during a busy spell in our season when we’ve had extra midweek games and people carrying injuries.”

Marc Levers and Brad Moore missed the trip to Telford last Sunday but are likely to be back in contention this weekend.

Levers had also been pulled out of the home clash against Bracknell the previous night after one period along with fellow forward Eddie Bebris.

Defenceman Greg Pick returned against Telford after missing the Bracknell game due to suspension.

He had picked up a match penalty for roughing in the EPL Cup semi-final second leg triumph against Milton Keynes.