The DALROD sponsored Peterborough Phantoms opened the 2015/16 season with a challenge game against the Solway Sharks on Saturday evening.

The Phantoms rested Tom Norton and Slava Koulikov, whilst Craig Wallis from the Peterborough Islanders was brought in to the team.

The Phantoms took an early lead after 1.38 when new boy Craig Scott pickedmout Darius Pliskauskas in the face-off circle, and the Lithuanian made no mistake as he fired the puck over Kieran Hobbins shoulder and into the back of the net.

Ales Padalek teamed up well with Lloyd Gibson a few minutes later and after Padalek’s broke down the wing his cross ice pass found Gibson in the slot but he couldn;t quite lift the puck over the sprawling Hobbins pads.

Whilst Phantoms had the most of the early possession, Sharks looked dangerous on the breakaway and Auzins was forced to make a close save from Duncan Speirs.

Both sides saw out two minutes of 4-on-4 as Edgars Bebris (Roughing) and Marc Fowley (Holding Stick) were sent to the penalty box on 8.48.

Whilst Phantoms dominated the majority of the play, Solway managed to find their legs in the closing 5 minutes of the period, forcing the Phantoms onto the back foot. A late Delay of Game call on Stuart Kerr means Phantoms will start the second period with a 1:37 Powerplay.

End of 1st: Phantoms 1 – 0 Sharks
Shots: Auzins 11/0, Hobbins 13/1

The second period opened with the Phantoms 5-on-4 quickly becoming a 5-on-3 advantage when veteran Martin Cingel was called for tripping in front of the Phantoms bench just 19 seconds into the period.

Despite some nice passing, and retaining possession of the puck, the Phantoms were unable to make their numerical advantage pay during the powerplays.

The Sharks up’ed their game in the middle period with the Phantoms defence being called into action more and more as the visitors pushed forward. When Scott Robson was called for a trip on 27.24 it looked ominous for the Phantoms, but just 33 seconds later the Sharks ended up with 7 players on the ice, resulting in another session of 4-on-4 hockey.

Midway through the period and the Phantoms finally found a way past the attacking Sharks, and using a 5-on-4 powerplay Marc Levers doubled their lead, assised by the impressive Craig Scott and James Ferrara. The goal was the signal for Dan Lane to take over in the Phantoms goal from Janis Auzins.

The goal gave the Phantoms the lift they needed and they slowly started to take control back of the game. Slava used the game to try different lines, and the Development line of Brad Moore, James White and Connor Stokes saw regular icetime. The imports were all rested after the opening period.

With the clock running down, a hit on Marc Levers close to the boards saw a coming together of both sets of players, The officials were quick to step in with the only call being a Boarding penalty on Juraj Senko times at 39.13.

End of 2nd: Phantoms 2 – 0 Sharks
Shots: Auzins 5/0, Lane 6/0, Hobbins 14/1

The final period saw the Phantoms once again start on the powerplay, which the visitors defended well.

The Sharks finally found the back of the net on 42.52. With Martins Susters sitting a tripping penalty the Sharks broke up the ice. Struan Tonnars shot was blocked by the diving Dan Lane but the puck trickled slowly into the corner of the goal.

Phantoms hit back within a minute when James Ferrara teamed up with Marc Levers to see Levers beat Hobbins and make it 3-1. With the Sharks starting to tire, the Phantoms youngsters started to find their game and push forward.

Solway found a second goal on 49.46 when Stuart Andrews threaded a pass through the Phantoms to Martin Cingel on the blue line. Cingel took the puck into the zone before firing low past Dan Lane. The goal also saw Sharks replace Kieran Hobbins with Kyle Johnston between the pipes.

Phantoms lost youngster James White with 5 minutes of the game remaining after an inocuous hit along the boards left White sprawled on the ice.

As with the Cup game here last season, the Sharks weren’t looking to travel home after a loss, and pushed the Phantoms in the closing minutes for the equalising goal. On 56.53 the pressure paid off when Steven Moore converted Ross Murray’s original effort to make it a 3-3 game.

When Scott Robson was penalised for Elbows on 58.34 Sharks called a 30second timeout to plan their last attack of the game, but Phantoms held on for the draw.

End of 3rd: Phantoms 3 – 3 Sharks
Shots: Lane 7/3, Hobbins 6/1, Johnston 6/0

Total shots:
Phantoms
Auzins 11/0 – 5/0 – 0 = 16/0
Lane 0 – 6/0 – 7/3 = 13/3

Sharks
Hobbins 13/1 – 14/1 – 6/1 = 33/3
Johnston 0 – 0 – 6/0 = 6/0

Man of the Match:
Phantoms – 88 Craig Scott
Sharks – 1 Kieran Hobbins

Full Stats Link: http://bit.ly/1UdcdzY