Slava so proud after Peterborough Phantoms rocked the ice hockey world!

Phantoms celebrate their play-off final win at the Coventry Skydome. Photo Alan Storer.Phantoms celebrate their play-off final win at the Coventry Skydome. Photo Alan Storer.
Phantoms celebrate their play-off final win at the Coventry Skydome. Photo Alan Storer.
​Peterborough Phantoms rocked the ice hockey world by winning the National League play-offs last weekend.

​Few could look beyond league champions Leeds Knights completing a famous double, but a Phantoms side bedevilled by injuries and suspensions for most of the season had other ideas.

They beat Leeds 2-1 in a dramatic penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw in the ‘Grand Final’ at the Coventry Skydome.

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Phantoms had also required overtime before beating Telford Tigers 5-4 in their semi-final.

Phantoms' star Luke Ferrara scores the winning penalty in the 'Grand Final' shootout against Leeds Knight. Photo Alan Storer.Phantoms' star Luke Ferrara scores the winning penalty in the 'Grand Final' shootout against Leeds Knight. Photo Alan Storer.
Phantoms' star Luke Ferrara scores the winning penalty in the 'Grand Final' shootout against Leeds Knight. Photo Alan Storer.

It was a first National League play-off success for nine years for Phantoms. Koulikov was in charge back in 2015, while skipper Will Weldon, who played his last game in the 2024 Final before retirement, and top scorer Luke Ferrara, who hit the winning penalty shot against Leeds, were also at the club.

No wonder Koulikov was a happy man when Tom Lea from the Phantoms backroom staff caught up with him.

"I’m so proud of everyone connected to the Phantoms organisation, my players, the staff and the fans.” Koulikov said. “For this to be achieved, we all had to be on the same page. We all had to buy in to the plan if we were to win and that’s exactly what happened at the weekend.

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“My players executed it all to a tee and, given the challenges everyone knows we’ve had this season, they deserve an endless amount of credit for that.

Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov.Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov.
Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov.

“We haven’t had a fully fit roster since the second game of pre-season. We’ve had suspensions and we’ve been really unlucky as, once we got a player back from injury, another one picked something up and it’s been like that all year.

“Jordan Marr (netminder) was absolutely brilliant in every game in the play-offs, not just at Coventry, and he deserves so much credit for his performances and the huge saves he made when we needed him to come up clutch for us.

“There were so many amazing performances from our guys, so many of whom shouldn’t have even been playing because of injuries, but they all fought through them and put their bodies on the line for this team and this club, and they’ve all been rewarded by winning the Championship.

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"We only had seven forwards and five defencemen for most of the run to the trophy and yet we’ve beaten teams with so much depth.

“We’re also extremely thankful to our fans as they’ve stuck with us through a really tough season and we’re so happy we were able to repay them with this trophy. This is for them as much as it is for the players and staff.”