Phoenix almost at full strength for challenge match

Wednesday, 10th September 2003

Only Miroslav Skovira will be missing from the signed lineup for tonights challenge match against the Hull Stingrays. Netminder Jayme Platt and winger David Kozier will be making their debuts for the Phoenix after missing last weeks first opener.

The game against the Hull Stingrays will have added spice as it is the first match between a Elite League side and a team from the Findus British National League. The FBNL season got underway last week with the Findus Cup and the Stingrays had strong showings in their opening two fixtures. On Saturday, Hull suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat on the road at the Fife Flyers, but on Sunday the club came from 3-0 down at home to the Bracknell Bees, eventually tying the game 5-5 with a goal in the final 15 seconds.

The visitors will have a couple of familiar faces to Manchester hockey fans, with perhaps Brent Pope being the most recognisable. After spells in ISL with Cardiff, London and Nottingham he is a big presence on the Hull blueline. Netminder Pasi Raitanen has a strong reputation in the FBNL and is in his second spell with Hull, having also iced for Edinburgh and Newcastle.

Both games are sure to be strong tests for the Phoenix and we'll bring you all the news from Deeside as soon as the game finishes.