Peterborough Phantoms captain excited by a new season with the same coach and all the ice hockey fixtures are here

Phantoms captain James Ferrara with the Autumn Cup.
Phantoms captain James Ferrara with the Autumn Cup.
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Peterborough Phantoms captain James Ferrara believes an extended contact for multiple trophy-winning head coach Slava Koulikov is richly deserved.

Koulikov will remain in charge of the city club for the next three seasons after penning a two-year add-on to his existing deal which still had one more year to go.

Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov addresses his players.

Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov addresses his players.

Ferrara has lifted all four of the trophies (the English Premier League play-off crown back in 2015, and the NIHL Autumn Cup, NIHL South Cup and NIHL Division One South play-offs) won during Koulikov’s five-and-a-half year reign.

“I’m extremely pleased for Slava to get an extended contract,” said Ferrara. “It is exactly what he deserves for his commitment to the club and continual drive for excellence.

“He has not only brought success to Phantoms, but also the solidity that has often been missing in the past.

“He has developed a lot of young players while also improving more experienced guys like myself thanks to a fun but winning culture. I couldn’t be happier that he will remain my coach and Phantoms’ coach for a few more years.”

Koulikov will lead Phantoms into the inaugural NIHL Division One season with the newly-created second tier expected to provide tough competition.

The city club feature in the southern conference along with Swindon, Bracknell, Basingstoke and Raiders. They face those sides eight times in total – four at home and four away.

But they will only meet the five clubs from the northern conference – Telford, Milton Keynes, Sheffield, Hull and newcomers Leeds – four times in total.

The new league campaign gets underway with back-to-back clashes against Bracknell. Phantoms travel to Berkshire on September 21 before welcoming the Bees to Planet Ice the following night.

Ferrara added: “I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say I’m excited about the new season. It looks to be a lot more competitive than the last couple. It’s great that we have kept almost all of our roster together as that doesn’t happen often for successful teams.

“We have a group of great players who are also great guys and we’re looking forward to being back on the ice.”

Phantoms prepare for the new campaign with four challenge fixtures. They face their NIHL Grand Final conquerors Hull home and away on September 7 and 8 before facing Basingstoke the following weekend for the traditional Billy Glover Memorial games.

PHANTOMS FIXTURES

SEPTEMBER

Sat 7 v HULL (H) - Challenge

Sun 8 v Hull (A) - Challenge

Sat 14 v Basingstoke (A) - Challenge

Sun 15 vBASINGSTOKE (H) - Challenge

Sat 21 v Bracknell (A)

Sun 22 v BRACKNELL (H)

Sat 28 v Swindon (A)

Sun 29 v BASINGSTOKE (H)

OCTOBER

Sat 5 vBasingstoke (A)

Sun 6 v LEEDS (H)

Sat 12 v Sheffield (A)

Sun 13 v MK (H)

Sat 19 v Raiders (A)

Sun 20 v TELFORD (H)

Sat 26 v HULL (H)

Sun 27 v Hull (A)

NOVEMBER

Sat 2 v Bracknell (A)

Sun 3 v BASINGSTOKE (H)

Sat 9 v Swindon (A)

Sun 10 v RAIDERS (H)

Sat 16 v Hull (A)

Sun 17 v SWINDON (H)

Sat 23 v MK(A)

Sun 24 v SHEFFIELD (H)

Sat 30 v BRACKNELL (H)

DECEMBER

Sun 1 v Raiders (A)

Sat 7 v Leeds (A)

Sun 8 v Telford (A)

Sat 14 v Swindon (A)

Sun 15 v RAIDERS (H)

Sat 21 v BRACKNELL (H)

Sun 22 v Raiders (A)

Sat 28 v MK (A)

Sun 29 v BASINGSTOKE (H)

JANUARY

Wed 1 v MK (H)

Sat 4 v Basingstoke (A)

Sun 5 v TELFORD (H)

Sat 11 v RAIDERS (H)

Sun 12 v Bracknell (A)

Sat 18 v Leeds (A)

Sat 19 v SHEFFIELD (H)

Sat 25 v Basingstoke (A)

Sun 26 v BASINGSTOKE (H)

FEBRUARY

Sun 2 v SWINDON (H)

Sat 8 v BRACKNELL (H)

Sun 16 v RAIDERS (H)

Sat 22 v Sheffield (A)

Sun 23 v SWINDON (H)

Sat 29 v Telford (A)

MARCH

Sun 1 v Bracknell (A)

Sat 7 v HULL (H)

Sun 8 v Raiders (A)

Sat 14 v Basingstoke (A)

Sun 15 v SWINDON (H)

Sat 21 v Swindon (A)

Sun 22 v LEEDS (H)

*Play-offs begin on the weekend of March 28/29 with the NIHL Finals event in Coventry taking place on April 18/19.