Rising star Glenn Billing is delighted to have seized his Phantoms opportunity.
The 20 year-old forward is enjoying an excellent first season in the city club’s colours.
Billing has racked up 22 points in the club’s 21 NIHL Division One South games so far, registering 11 goals and also earning 11 assists to help the city side to the top of the standings.
A big chunk of that tally arrived last weekend with a late eight-minute hat-trick and an assist in Phantoms’ 6-1 success at MK Thunder on Saturday night. Billing also bagged an assist in the 4-2 home victory against Invicta 24 hours later.
He has also racked up another 14 points in cup competitions to justify the faith shown in him by head coach Slava Koulikov.
“I’m really enjoying my hockey this year, playing for Phantoms and training with MK Lightning,” said Billing.
“I wanted to contribute more offensively than I had done previously when playing in the old English Premier League.
“I’m pleased to have done that so far, but I need to keep it up and do it when it really counts in the latter stage of the season and the play-offs.
“Slava has given me a great opportunity. He has trusted me with a lot of time on the ice and I just try to do everything I can for the team.
“I could have scored eight to be honest against MK Thunder as I had so many chances, but such a quick hat-trick came as a bit of a shock. It was a good night for me in the end and also a good one for the team.
“We know we weren’t where we want to be in terms of performance against Invicta on Sunday, but all credit to them for putting up such a good fight when so short-benched.
“All teams have little dips in form, but the encouraging thing is still managing to pick up points to help us reach our goal of winning the league.”
Phantoms will be expected to follow up with another four-point weekend as they face rock-bottom Cardiff Fire on successive nights.
The basement boys, who are without a win all season, visit Planet Ice this Saturday (7pm) ahead of a return clash in the Welsh capital the following evening (6pm).
But Billing is quick to insist there can be no room for complacency. He added: “Cardiff are clearly having a tough year, but we can’t afford to under-estimate them.
“We need to kick on from one four-point weekend with another, and continue to build momentum.
“Any team is capable of causing a surprise on any given night. Cardiff still have the monkey on their back of not having won a game this season and I’m sure they would love to shake that against us as league leaders.”