ice hockey - Levers and Buckman returning to Phantoms next season

Marc Levers in action for Phantoms against Swindon Wildcats.
Marc Levers in action for Phantoms against Swindon Wildcats.
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Marc Levers has become the latest player to re-sign for Peterborough Phantoms.

Levers played 52 games for the city side last season, scoring 15 goals for 39 points, and will be back again for the 2015/2016 campaign.

Jason Buckman in action for Phantoms against Telford Tigers last season.

Jason Buckman in action for Phantoms against Telford Tigers last season.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be back in Peterborough. We had a fantastic season last year and I’m really looking forward to being part of Slava’s plans for next year! New season, new challenges – I can’t wait to get started.”

Head coach Slava Koulikov said: “I am delighted to have Marc back with us next season. His experience was one of the keys to our success last season. Leves is a great leader on and off the ice.

“Off the ice, he knows when to have fun and take pressure off the guys and when to lead guys into a big game.

“On the ice, he is as big as you need one of your top players to be in important and decisive moments. He created the overtime winner against Bracknell, set up the game winner for Eddie Bebris at home against Swindon in the play-offs, which then took us to Coventry, and slammed home the fourth goal in the Coventry final against Manchester to win the trophy.

“Leves will have an even bigger role to play and even more responsibility on his shoulders next year, but if he stays fit and healthy he will be irreplaceable.”

Phantoms have also announced the return of British trained veteran Jason Buckman for the 2015/2016 season.

Buckman played all 62 games last season, splitting duties between playing forward and defence as required, often in the same game.

Koulikov said: “I am very pleased to have Bucker back on the team! Jason played a very simple but effective game towards the end of the season and helped the team to lift the play-off trophy.

“Bucker was very emotional when that special moment happened in Coventry. He knew how much hard work and commitment you need to put in throughout the year to get there.

“Bucker is a versatile player as he can play both D and F. This is good for the team, as it gives us options and depth when guys have injuries or if we want to change rotations. Our Phantoms veteran will also start to learn the coaching trade, and working with our juniors system to pass on his knowledge.”

Buckman added: “I am really happy to be back for the coming season. Last year was really special for me in finally winning the Play-Off Championship in a Phantoms Jersey. After speaking to Slava about my future, I felt I could play another year, and also look into getting more involved in the coaching side.

“I didn’t miss a game last year and my fitness was good all season, so I didn’t see any reason to quit just yet. I feel I can still contribute in any position on the ice and also use my experience with the younger guys around the room, and I can’t wait to get started in August.”