Slava salutes his two long-serving milestone men

Goalscorer Tom Norton and team-mate Will Weldon celebrate putting Phantoms 6-2 up against Bracknell. Picture: Tom Scott
Goalscorer Tom Norton and team-mate Will Weldon celebrate putting Phantoms 6-2 up against Bracknell. Picture: Tom Scott
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Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov has paid tribute to his milestone men.

Player-coach Tom Norton made his 300th appearance for the city club in their fine 4-2 triumph at table-topping Swindon last Saturday night - an occasion he marked with what is fast becoming a customary powerplay goal.

And another of the club’s finest servants, forward Will Weldon, then enjoyed a 400th competitive outing for Phantoms as they thrashed Bracknell 7-3 to complete a terrific four-point weekend in NIHL Division One South last Sunday.

Koulikov said: “It was terrific to see two great servants to the club reach such big milestones during the same weekend.

“Tom is definitely one of the best defencemen in the league. He brings a total package of an excellent player and a great person.

“He is very professional off the ice and that leads to his consistently high level of performance on the ice.

“He’s the guy who always prepares properly, always recovers properly and is a great example to all the young players in our dressing room.

“He also works on the performances of every D-man as assistant coach and we have seen a lot of improvement during his time in the role.

“Will is another great guy on the ice and in the room. He knows when to get serious, he knows the right moment to have a laugh and he is excellent at motivating the other guys.

“He gets more and more respect with each year that passes and I couldn’t ask for a better two-way centre who has quality on the puck and will throw his body in front of shots when we don’t have it.

“Will does so much work that probably goes unrecognised by many people, but certainly not by the coaching staff and his team-mates.

“I just hope both guys will be around for many years to come.

“They were both part of the play-off winning team and it would be great if they could help us to more silverware.”

Weldon has now entered the top-10 on the all-time Peterborough appearance list – compiled by online site Twisted Sock - while Norton will climb into the top 20 in the coming weeks.

Two other current Phantoms players already feature in the top 10. Captain James Ferrara had clocked up a staggering 584 games for senior city sides ahead of last night’s NIHL Autumn Cup final first leg while younger brother, Robbie, should reach the 450-mark this weekend.

Phantoms continue their league title chase at lowly Milton Keynes Thunder this Saturday (7pm) ahead of a home game against Swindon at Planet Ice on Sunday (5.30pm).