The DALROD sponsored Peterborough Phantoms played hosts to the NIHL’s Blackburn Hawks on Sunday evening in the EPL Cross-Over Cup. Although the game was a dead rubber in respect of cup qualifications, it didn’t stop both teams putting on an all action display for the large crowd at the Peterborough Arena.
With the rules of the cup allow EPL Teams to only ice 2 imports when facing NIHL Teams, and only one on the ice at a time, starting netminder Janis Auzins was given the night off, with local youngster Adam Long taking his place between the pipes. Darius Pliskauskas was also rested and Phantoms coach, Slava Koulikov, drafted in James White and Ryan Fraley from the Phantoms Academy.
It was the visitors who shocked the Phantoms by taking the lead midway through the opening period when Adam Long powered through the Phantoms defence and rifled the puck past Long. Any thoughts of a cup upset were short lived when Phantoms Man of the Match Alan Lack scored the first of his 4 goals on the night just 7 seconds later, as the Phantoms began their domination of the game.
Shortly after the goal, Hawks Luke Brittle’s shot from the slot forced a good save from Long, however his subsequent slash across the wrist of Greg Pick wasn’t his smartest of moves. The Phantoms D-Man took offence and promptly dropped his gloved to deal out his own brand of justice.
Phantoms doubled their lead in the last second of the opening period when club Captain James Ferrara found a way past Haws netminder Daniel Brittle on the Powerplay to make it 2-1 at the first break.
The middle period saw the Phantoms lay seige to the Hawks goal as the Phantoms youngsters ran the Hawks defence ragged. Alan Lack netted his second of the night on the powerplay at 23.46, and James Ferrara also scored his second of the night on 38.57.
Lack achieved his hatrick on 40.55 when he tipped in a feroscious shot from fellow linemate Will Weldon, as the Phantoms dominance continued.
Three minutes later and it was 6-1 as Marc Levers got in on the scoring with a well worked buildup from youngster James White.
The final goal of the night came on 50.09 when Alan Lack, who had only scored 5 goals all season before the game, slotted home goal number 7 for the Phantoms, and number 4 for himself.
A late Hawks penelaty gave Phantoms a Powerplay for the last 31 seconds of the game, and Koulikov used that to pull the netminder to make it a 6-on-4 advantage, but despite several efforts that Phantoms couldn’t find anymore goals.
Speaking after the game Koulikov commented “We need to win our home games and entertain our fans regardless of the competition we’re playing in, and I’m sure everyone will agree we managed that. There was lots of goals and excitement, and it was nice to be able to give youngsters the chance to get some ice-time.
He continued “They did very well and it will only help their development. The Challenge Cup is useful in that respect.”
Man of the Match for the Hawks went to netminder Daniel Brittle, whilst 4 goal hero, Alan Lack, collected the beers for the Phantoms.