Ice Hockey
Cowley and Hirsch return for Coventry Blaze

By Matthew Bates 03/05 Updated: 03/05 10:43

BLAZE have re-signed Russell Cowley and Peter Hirsch for next season.

Brit Cowley, 28, returns for an 11th year at the Skydome while Danish netminder Hirsch, 33, is back for a third term.

Youngster Matt Selby has also been offered a professional contract after getting his first taste of ice time last year.

The trio join Robert Farmer, Shea Guthrie, James Griffin, Ross Venus and Sam Smith on the roster as the side bid to improve their fifth place finish in the Elite League.

Coach Paul Thompson said: "Russell has an excellent work ethic and attitude and he gives everything he has got every night. He will also be one of our captains next season.

"Russell is very versatile but he will predominantly be used as a forward next season. He played a lot on ‘D’ last year and we missed his energy and speed up there. I will be looking for him to put up some numbers and he is also looking forward to that.

"Like Russell, Peter cares passionately about this club and I thought he had an excellent year for us.

"He was hung out to dry at times but he still posted some good numbers and got six shut-outs despite the team giving up way more shots than it is used to. He deserves a new deal and I am delighted to have him and Russell back.

"We have also given young Matt Selby his first professional contract. He is an up-and-coming kid we are looking to develop and use a lot more.

"He has a body of a 21-22-year-old and he will be playing as a forward for us. He plays with an edge, he can play a hard-nosed role, he likes to finish his hits and he is not intimidated out there. He plays beyond his years."

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