The DALROD sponsored Peterborough Phantoms travelled to Basingstoke on Saturday evening to face the Bison in another table topping match-up.
The game started with both sides looking to take an early advantage. A poor hit by Michael Wales on Luke Ferrara in the opening minutes saw Greg Pick drop the gloives on Wales who didn’t seem interested in taking up the offer.
Janis Auzins, the man the Bison fans love to hate was kept busy in the opening period as the homeside looked to net the opening goal of the game.
It was the Bison who scored the games opener midway through the first period, when a scramble in front of Auzins goal, saw the puck drop to veteran Nicky Chinn who found a gap in the Phantoms bodies to put the puck into the back of the net on 9.38.
The Bison’s lead didn’t last long as the Phantoms came straight back at the homeside. Milan Baranyk went one of his trademark breaks down the wing, and his pass found Luke Ferrara free in the slot. Instead of shooting, the Phantoms youngster saw Marc Levers drifting in unmarked at the backpost and his pinpoint pass gave Levers one of the easiest goals he’ll score all season to bring the game level at 1 apiece.
With 5 minutes of the period remaining, the Phantoms took the lead thanks to Milan Baranyk. James Ferrara carried the puck around the back of the net before finding Baranyk unmarked in front of Dean Skinns goal to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
With a minute left of the period, Darius Pliskauskas found himself on a breakaway, but the Lithuanian sniper could only lokk on in despair as his shot ricocheted off the post.
The middel period started with both sides pushing for another goal, and Dean Skinns and Janis Auzions were the busiest men on the ice.
Seven minutes in and the Bison drew level. Phantoms lost the puck on their Blueline leaving Nicky Chinn and Stuart Mogg to take the puck into the Phantoms zone. Chinn looked to pass the puck across to the unmarked Mogg, but his pass deflected off Phantoms Jason Buckman and into the back of Auzins net.
As the clock ran down, the Bison took the lead through Tomas Karpov. It was Karpov who started the attack and his pass to Doug Sheppard split the Phantoms defence, leaving Karpov an easy tip in from Sheppards return pass.
The final period saw the Phantoms pushing forward, but turnovers were presenting the Bison with a number of breakaway opportunities, and it was only Janis Auzins who was keeping the score down. With 6 minutes left the Bison did finally make a breakawy chance pay. A Phantoms powerplay turned over the puck, and Ciaran Long skated down the wing before releasing a rocket of a shot that left Auzins no chance and made it 4-2 to the homeside.
Phantoms response was almost immediate as Milan Baranyk netted his second of the night through a crowd in front of Skinns net, but there were to be no more goals and it was the Bison who claimed a 4-3 victory.
Man of the Match went to Joe Rand for the Bison and Janis Auzins for the Phantoms.