The Dalrod sponsored Peterborough Phantoms found themselves with a fight on their hands after an opening brace from Milton Keynes David Clements left them chasing the game on Sunday evening.
After both sides played out a 4-4 draw on Saturday, the action switched to Peterborough on Sunday for the 2nd leg of the Ashes. After a delayed start to the game, whilst both goals were replaced the visitors shocked the Phantoms, taking an early lead.
Just a minute into the game Phantoms James Ferrara was gifted the puck on the Milton Keynes Blueline, but his one-on-one chance saw Dean Skinns deny the Phantoms opening attack.
Clements opener for the visitors came after just 1.48 when he teamed up with Glen Billing to shoot past Janis Auzins.
With Craig Scott sitting a two minute hooking penalty Clements punished the Phantoms with his second of the night on the powerplay on 2.57.
The goals fired up the Phantoms who started to find their way back into the game. A hooking call on Leigh Jamieson after 4 minutes found the Phantoms peppering Dean Skinns goal, but Lightnings new backstopper kept the Lightnings lead intact.
Phantoms retained most of the possession as the period progressed, but were unable to make the possession pay. Their closest chance came after 13 minutes when Lloyd Gibson pinged a shot off the post, only to then see Lightning breakout and ping their own shot off Auzins post.
End of the 1st: Phantoms 0-2 Lightning
Shots: Auzins 8/2, Skinns 9/0
The second period saw the Phantoms get more into the game as they started to control the possession and play of the game.
Five minutes in and the Phantoms halved the deficit when a Tom Norton rocket, from the edge of the face-off circle flew past the Lightning defence and a stationary Skinns.
It took the Lightning less than a minute to respond as Marko Luomala broke through the Phantoms defence before leaving the puck for Josh Cook. Instead of shooting, Cook game the puck back to Luomala who had found himself unmarked at the back post for a simple tap-in to give the visitors their 2 goal advantage back.
From the restart, Marc Levers found himself clear on goal, but his shot was well stopped by Skinns, who was being called upon more and more.
Phantoms found the net once more, just as a Leigh Jamieson tripping penalty expired. Ales Padalek found Craig Scott at the backpost and his shot squeezed under Skinns pad to make it a 2-3 game on 35.49.
As the clock ran down for the end of the second period, the Phantoms found themselves on level terms for the first time all night. Darius Pliskauskas saw his initial shot parried by Skinns, but in the goalmouth melee the puck found it’s way to Craig Scott and his shot trickled under Skinns and into the net with the clock showing just 14 seconds remaining.
End of the 2nd: Phantoms 3-3 Lightning
Shots: Auzins 12/1, Skinns 12/3
The final 20 minutes saw the intensity rise as both teams looked for the go-ahead goal. As the teams started to play the body more, the crowd started to get even louder and will their team on.
It was the Phantoms who were nearly gifted a goal on 48 minutes. Leigh Jamieson was carrying the puck across the front of the Lightning goal, when James Ferrara’s poke check forced the puck from his stick and only the quick reactions of Skinns saved Jamiesons blushes.
As the clock ticked down, and the fans started to wonder if we were going to see overtime, the Phantoms lit up the game with a blistering 3 minutes.
On 56 minutes they took the lead for the first time when Marc Levers found Milan Baranyk on the blueline, and the howitzer of a shot from the Czech flew into the top corner of the net.
From the restart the Phantoms controlled the puck, preventing Lightnings Coach, Pete Russell, from pulling Skinns for the extra skater. As the game entered the final minute Tom Norton and Craig Scott broke into the Lightnings zone.
Norton fed the puck to Scott who’s cheeky lob over Skinns glove side gave the Scott his first hatrick of his Phantoms career, his 5th goal of the weekend and the Man of the Match accolades, as well as winning him a whole new set of fans.
End of the 3rd: Phantoms 5-3 Lightning (agg. 9-7)
Shots: Auzins 9/0, Skinns 13/2
Full Match Stats available at: http://bit.ly/1Qit4f9