The DALROD sponsored Peterborough Phantoms tasted their first pointless weekend since October, as they fell 5-2 to the Basingstoke Bison on Sunday evening. The defeat came 24 hours after a road loss to the Milton Keynes Lightning, however the Phantoms are still in the top half of the English Premier League.

The game saw the Phantoms atill missing a number of key players through injury and suspension, and their task wasn’t made any easier when they lost Connor Stokes through injury and then had Will Weldon thrown out of the game in the closing minutes of the second period for an innocuous looking hit on the boards.

It was the Phantoms who opened the nights scoring when after 6 minutes some nice play by Edgars Bebris and Will Weldon led to Marc Levers firing past Dean Skinns in the Bison goal on the opening powerplay of the game.

Phantoms lead lasted for 7 minutes before Tomas Karpov scored on the Bison Powerplay to level the game, but just a minute later the Phantoms re-took the lead when Levers and Milan Baranyk turned providers for Edgars Bebris to score the goal of the game on the Phantoms Poweplay.

The games first even handed goal came just a minute after the start of thr middle period when Ciaron long converted Doug Sheppards cross to draw the Bison level.

The visitors took the lead on 26 minutes when a lob shot from Miroslav Vantroba deceived Janis Auzins in the Phantoms net, and dropped into the goal. The Latvia netminder seemed surprised that the puck hadn’t been cleared by the mass of bodies who were in front of his goal at the time.

Both netties were kept busy as the two teams fighting for 3rd place in the league looked to claim an advantage, and both were called to make one-on-one breakaway saves on a number of occasions.

With the middle period running down, Joe Greener did finally find a way past Auzins to give the visitors a 2 goal cushion, just before the nights main talking point.

On 39.43, Phantoms Will Weldon chased Bisons Stuart Mogg down the ice and checked the Bison Forward into the end boards. Play continued after the hit which left Mogg on the ice, and after discussions with the linesmen referee Jonathon Liptrott sent Weldon back to the changing room on a 5 + Game check to the head penalty – a call hotly disputed by Weldon and the rest of the Phantoms bench.

The final period saw the Phantoms chasing the game, whilst the Bison were happy to play a defensive game and protect their lead. Tomas Karpov netted the Bison’s 5th goal of the night on 44.58, and the Bison penalty kill unit ensured that the Phantoms danger men didn’t get into a shooting opportunity as the clock ran down.

Following the game, Phantoms Head Coach, Slava Koulikov admitted: “It was a pretty even game for the first half-an-hour, but playing short-staffed for six weeks then told.

“Physically we just couldn’t match Basingstoke and we were making the sort of errors mentally that tend to come from tiredness.

he added “We had a run of six games where we only dropped one point so we are certainly not going to get down about one weekend of losses. We will put it behind us and move on.”

Man of the Match went to Ciaran Long for the visitors and the impressive Edgars Bebris for the Phantoms.[/