Swindon’s loss turning out to be Phantoms’ gain

Owen Griffiths celebrates scoring against Telford. Picture: Tom Scott
Owen Griffiths celebrates scoring against Telford. Picture: Tom Scott
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Owen Griffiths is loving life as a Phantoms player.

The emerging Welsh talent is flourishing in his debut season with the city club after being snapped up from English Premier League rivals Swindon, where he was starved of ice time last term.

Griffiths caught the eye of Phantoms chief Slava Koulikov when away with the Great Britain Under 20 squad at their World Championship event last December.

Koulikov was suitably impressed to bring the 20 year-old to Planet Ice during the summer and he has quickly established himself as a high-energy and hard-working forward.

Griffiths found the net on successive nights last weekend as they were beaten 6-3 in Hull before sinking table-toppers Telford 4-1 at Planet Ice – a victory wrapped up by his empty-net strike.

He said: “I had a really frustrating 2015/16 season at Swindon where I didn’t get a lot of ice time, but that was understandable given the powerful forwards they have on their roster.

“I was delighted when Slava got in touch in the summer and the move to Peterborough has really worked out well for me.

“I first met Slava when away with the GB Under 20 squad last December and we seemed to hit it off straight away.

“He is an absolutely fantastic coach and is always happy to put his faith in young players.

“His preparation for games is unbelievable and he creates a structure where guys like myself can develop.

“I’m at university in Bristol so there is a lot of travelling involved, but I’m lucky enough to stay with some great people – Mark and Chrissy Appleyard – when in Peterborough.

“They make me feel really welcome and that really helps when playing a long way from home.”

And Griffiths is also relishing the opportunity to play on an impressive attacking line with two of the club’s more senior men – import ace Wehebe Darge and top British forward James Archer.

The dangerous trio have impressed in recent games and Griffiths added: “I just try to give my all for the team in every shift.

“You have to work hard and put your body on the line because we need every point we can get to push ourselves up the table.

“I’m lucky to have a couple of phenomenal linemates in Wehebe and ‘Arch’.

“It’s great to be on the ice with players of their quality and it’s nice to be able to chips in with the odd goal and assist.”