British Ice Hockey

EPL preview: Phantoms eyeing trophy challenge

Peterborough Phantoms head into their Christmas double-header against MK Lightning full of confidence after an excellent first half to the EPL campaign.

Despite a big turnover of players during the summer the Phantoms lie fourth in the table and forward Ales Padelek believes the team can challenge for trophies this season.

“I don’t think too many people expected us to be in such a good position at this stage of the season,” Padelek told Peterborough Today.

“I read in the summer that people didn’t think we had a good roster. They were saying that we lost some important players and replaced them with younger lads, but those guys have been getting lots of ice time and playing well.

“They have brought a lot of energy to the team, which is something we needed, and have been helping us to win games. We’re managing to keep ourselves in the top half of the table and that is where we want to be.

“I’m not going to say that we can win the league, but we are in the semi-finals of the cup and then there are the play-offs. If we can keep playing in this way, I don’t see why we can’t maybe try to win some trophies.

“Everyone here wants to do that and we will do everything we can to try to make it happen. We have two more hard games coming up against MK, but we will give our all and try to get results.”

Swindon Wildcats’ boss Aaron Nell says his team set a benchmark for the rest of the season during last Sunday’s 3-2 win at Hull Pirates.

The victory was only the Wildcats’ second success in their last seven outings and Nell has urged his players to produce the same level of performance in their two games against Basingstoke Bison over Christmas.

“More often than not we need to play like that and, if we do that we’ll be successful,” Nell told This is Wiltshire.

“It (playing back-to-back) doesn’t happen as much as it used to. It’s another team who are very good. We’ve shown now we can play like that for two games in a weekend.

“All we have to do is stick together, work hard and compete. When you do that you get the little bounces, things go your way.

“We need to keep on working hard – we’ve made a lot of progress from a few weeks ago where we were really poor.”

FIXTURES

Monday

Basingstoke Bison v Swindon Wildcats
Bracknell Bees v Guildford Flames
MK Lightning v Peterborough Phantoms

Tuesday

Guildford Flames v Bracknell Bees
Hull Pirates v Sheffield Steeldogs
Manchester Phoenix v Telford Tigers
Peterborough Phantoms v MK Lightning
Swindon Wildcats v Basingstoke Bison

(Image permission: Tony Sargent)

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