Manchester Storm finally filled their backup goalie position with the signing of Phil Spanswick, after the Warrington born goalie agreed terms to sign with the Elite League outfit after a season playing in the English Premier League (EPL) with the Manchester Phoenix IHC.
The 23-year-old goalie started out his hockey career with Deeside coming through their Junior programme before then making the move out to Canada with his family as a teenager and spent his hockey based in Calgary, where he played for the University of Calgary Dinos. In 2013-14 he played in the Calgary Men’s Hockey Association, icing two games for the Westside Wranglers.
Last year saw Spanswick returning home in two senses of the word, as firstly he back home to these shores to play for the Manchester Phoenix in the English Premier League, but was also back on ‘home ice’ with the Phoenix side playing their home games last season at the Deeside Ice Rink and saw his career coming full circle.
Nicknamed ‘Spanners’ by the fans, it saw the young netminder getting some ice time for the Phoenix last season as the Warrington-native was playing back up to regular goalie Steve Fone and saw him making four league starts for Manchester and didn’t look out of place.
Storm Coach Omar Pacha told the club’s website on the capture of Spanswick, “Phil reached out to me early in the summer regards coming to play for the Storm, and we had many good conversations about both his appetite for the game, but also his desire to continue his development as a young goalie. He will learn a lot this season as backup to our starting netminder, Mike Clemente, who i know will work closely with him throughout the season. Phil will compete every day at practice and is really eager to push himself hard to ensure that if and when the tap on the shoulder comes, he is ready for action between the pipes in the EIHL”
Neil Russell the GM also spoke of the signing of Spanswick adding, “As Omar has mentioned, Phil made contact with us back in the early part of the off season, and displayed a real hunger and desire to be a part of the Storm franchise this upcoming season. I have no doubt he will come to work every single day motivated and hungry to improve and challenge both himself, and in turn the players around him. Also, i think it’s important to mention that last seasons backup goalie, Steve “The Scientist” Wilcock will still be remaining an integral part of the club, and will participate in practices and if and when required, will be ready to help us out. Steve is a fantastic guy who all the players loved having around last season, so Pach and i still very much wanted him involved with the club for next season.”