Peterborough Phantoms to go to Hull and back in hunt for National Cup final place
Peterborough Phantoms continue their hunt for another piece of silverware tonight (January 16).
The city team travel to Hull in the opening leg of an NIHL National Cup semi-final (7.30pm face-off).
Phantoms completed a NIHL Autumn Cup, NIHL South Cup and NIHL Division One South play-offs treble last term - now they are determined to follow up that fine trophy haul with more glory.
“We would love to do it and the guys will put it all on the line,” said Koulikov. “We have to be switched on and ready for tonight.
“We know we don’t have a good record in Hull’s building, but this is not a regular league game.
“If we can win there it will be great, a tie would also be good and losing narrowly is something we can work with in the second leg. The only thing we don’t want to happen is to get blown out.
“Hull have been badly affected by injuries like us this season, but they are all back now and they also have a new import in so will be feeling good.”
And Phantoms forward Corey McEwen predicts the two-legged battle to face either Telford or Swindon in the final will be similar to play-off clashes.
“It’s great to have made it through to the semi-finals,” said McEwen.
“We have been working hard this season and to have a chance of winning a trophy is exciting.
“We were in this position last season so we know what to expect. It’s going to be just like play-off hockey.
“The games will be fast-paced with a lot of intensity and we’re going to need to be prepared to battle for the full 120 minutes if we want to reach the final.
“We’ve also got to be mentally strong against a Hull team who have a lot of firepower and can also be gritty.
“Hopefully we can limit their chances and also take ours when they come.
“We definitely have to be able to defend well but also can’t allow them to knock us off our game.”
Hull drafted in Canadian forward Matthew Bissonnette ahead of last weekend to bolster their ranks after gassing previous import Peter Fabus.
Phantoms will be without young forward Jarvis Hunt who is unavailable for the first leg.
The city side have won one of their three clashes against Hull in the NIHL National Division this season and were also pipped by a single goal in both legs of a pre-season challenge.