Week 3 of the 2016/17 EPL season saw the Peterborough DALROD Phantoms travel to face the Basingstoke Bison on Saturday night, before hosting the Milton Keynes Lightning on Sunday.
Phantoms had defeated the Bison in Week 2, with a 2-1 home victory and were once again in the driving seat on Saturday night. Martins Susters opened the scoring with just 1.25 of the game gone when he fired home Petr Stepanek’s pass.
Janis Auzins, in the Phantoms goal, and Tomas Hiadlovsky, in the Bison goal, were both kept busy as both teams drove forward looking for an advantage.
Stepanek turned provider once more at 15.26 when he set up Will Weldon to double the Phantoms lead going into the opening break.
Rene Jarolin halved the deficit on 31.37, but just 90 seconds later, and with the Bison fans still celebrating, Stepanek made it a 3-1 game to the Phantoms.
The impressive Ivan Antonov netted the Bisons 2nd of the game just 1.26 into the final period and with the Bison applying the pressure on the Phantoms it was a tied game on 53.48 as Tomas Karpov found the back of the Phantoms net.
With no score in Overtime, the game went to Penalty Shots which eventually saw the Phantoms claim the full 2 points.
Roadworks and road closures meant Phantoms trip home from Basingstoke on Saturday included a drive through central London and it wasn’t until gone 3am that they arrived back at the rink.
The late night and long journey affected the team as they succumbed to 3 first period goals on Sunday against the Milton Keynes Lightning.
Mikolaj Lopuski opened the scoring after 3.35 before Frankie Bakrlik netted twice on 6.34 and 11.11 to give the Lightning a commanding lead.
The Phantoms got back into their stride in the middle period and pulled a goal back on 23.11 when Sam Towner and Ales Padelek teamed up for Padelek to shoot past Odrobny in the Lightning goal.
Former Phantoms Milan Baranyk made it 4-1 to the visitors on 47.46, but still the Phantoms kept pushing forward. A James Ferrara blast was tipped in by Marc Levers on 53.25 to make it 4-2 and with the Phantoms fans on their feet filling the rink with a cacophony of noise, it was game on for the last 7 minutes.
With a minute to go, Janis Auzins was pulled in favor of the extra skater but despite Phantoms buzzing around the Lightning goal, they couldn’t find their way past a resolute defence.
As the clock ran down and the buzzer sounded Bakrlik found the back of the empty net. Both teams protested as to whether the goal was before or after the buzzer, but it was awarded as 59.59 and gave Bakrlik his hatrick.
All of the Game Stats from the matches can be found HERE