Patched-up Peterborough Phantoms will grab the vital fourth place in the English Premier League with victory over bottom club Bracknell at Planet Ice tonight (January 21, 8pm).
The top four teams in the table will have the advantage of playing the second leg of their play-off quarter-final at home. Phantoms have slipped to fifth place as other teams have caught up on their fixture backlog in recent weeks.
Tonight’s match appears to be the perfect one to start a climb back up the standings, but coah Slava Koulikov is not taking anything for granted.
“Bracknell have not been playing like the bottom club recently,” Koulikov said. “They have lost several close matches so we must prepare properly and play well to get the win we want.
“Every team wants to finish in the top four and we are no different, but a lot can happen between now and the end of the season so we must prepare for one game at a time.
“We will have some guys playing tonight who have not seen much ice time lately, but they are professionals and they will be ready.”
Phantoms could give a debut to new import forward Donatas Kumeliauskas tonight, but fellow Lithuanian Darius Pliskauskas is absent with an elbow injury. Mason Werbster and Martins Susters are also injured, while star netminder Janis Auzins is nursing a also nursing a knock.
English Premier League
Telford 32 53
Guildford 32 42
Basingstoke 32 37
Swindon 31 36
PHANTOMS 31 35
Manchester 32 31
Sheffield 34 29
Milton Keynes 30 27
Bracknell 30 17