Phoenix celebrate double win

Manchester PhoenixMANCHESTER, UK – MANCHESTER Phoenix have scooped two major end of season honours.

Tony Hand has been named EPL Coach of the Year whilst Captain Luke Boothroyd has won the League’s Player of the Year award.

The duo were given the official accolades by Ice Hockey Journalists UK after the club’s Championship winning season.

“I’m really happy with my team this year and this award is credit to the players really,” Hand said. “We kept the same roster throughout the year with only Jaroslav Cesky coming in for three games when Frantisek Bakrlik was out injured.

“We stuck with the guys and they worked well. It’s a real honour to get this award. We have a solid team here with scoring ability throughout, a strong defence which you can see with Luke Boothroyd’s award, and good goaltending. We had to fight Basingstoke all the way and the guys responded well.

“I had to keep pushing them hard, which was tough as you don’t want to overwork them, but we got there in the end and we were delighted to win the league.”

Boothroyd, who was consistently excellent all year, added: “I’m quite surprised. There is a lot of exciting talent in the league and I wouldn’t put myself in that category, I’m really pleased as it’s a great award.

“I take every game as it comes, look at each individual game and work hard. The team do that too and that consistency was important in winning the league. When we had a blip it wasn’t a major relapse; we got back on it and showed resilience.

“The team had a lot of character and that showed with the league title.

“We knew we could win the league against Basingstoke and we didn’t want to leave it until the last weekend as the pressure mounts up and can affect how you play. It was nice to do it in front of our own fans too; they turn out for us week in week out.

“Now we’re focused on the double which is something this club hasn’t done yet.”

Manchester’s netminder Stephen Fone was named on the EPL’s First All-Star team alongside Boothroyd and forward Michal Psurny.

Robert Schnabel, Hand and Robin Kovar were added to the Second All-Star team.

EPL All-Star First Team
Stephen Fone (Manchester Phoenix); Luke Boothroyd (Manchester Phoenix), Kurt Reynolds (Basingstoke Bison); Lubomir Korhon (Sheffield Steeldogs), Michal Psurny (Manchester Phoenix),Tomas Karpov (Basingstoke Bison).

EPL All-Star Second Team
Dean Skinns (Basingstoke Bison); Robert Schnabel (Manchester Phoenix), Zach Sullivan (Basingstoke Bison); Tony Hand (Manchester Phoenix), Robin Kovar (Manchester Phoenix), Stanislav Lascek (MK Lightning).

To contact the author email: Mike.Appleton@prohockeynews.com

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