The DALROD sponsored Peterborough Phantoms traveled to Shropshire on Sunday night for their first visit of the season to the Telford Tigers in a combined League and Cup clash.
The game saw the Leagues top two teams facing each other in a game that in past seasons would have been played at the other end of the league table ! Phantoms were missing Greg Pick and Slava Koulikov, but added Nathan Pollard to the team that beat the Lightning on Saturday evening.
The game started well for the visitors when they took an early lead with a Powerplay goal on 12.35. Edgars Bebris broke down the wing, before passing back to James Hutchinson on the Blue Line. His slapshot was defelcted into the back of Thomas Murdy’s goal, via the post, by Alan Lack to make it 0-1.
Before the end of the opening period it was to be all square once more. Jason Silverthorn’s pass found Joe Miller unmarked in the face-off circle and the former Phantom fired the puck over Janis Auzins shoulder and into the roof of the net to pull the homeside level on 16.11.
The middle period saw the Tigers turn up the pressure as the Phantoms found themselves camped in their own half of th rink. Phantoms netminder Janis Auzins denied both Joe Miller with a great save from on a one and 0 breakaway, and then Nathan Salem with a point blank dave at the backpost as the Tigers ensured Auzins was kept busy.
Deapite the pressure, the Phantoms were defending well, and were out muscling the Tigers around the goal. On 28.05 GB International Jonathan Weaver picked up the puck at the Blue line and sent in a cross ice pass to the unmarked Max Birbraer at the back post to tip in and make it 2-1.
Tigers made it on 36.08 when Joe Miller broke down the right wing and saw his shot deflect off of Auzins chest and drop into the goal. With the period clock running down the home team made it 4-1 on 38.07 with a powerplay goal from Jason Silverthorn who picked up the puck in the high slot and fired it into the top corner of the net.
Phantoms refused to give up and were rewarded within 20 seconds. From the face-off Phantoms broke down ice and Tom Norton passed across to Darius Pliskauskas whose initial shot was saved by Murdy, but the Lithuanian sniper, Pliskauskas, picked up his own rebound to halve the defecit.
The Phantoms claimed an early goal in the final period to reduce the Tigers lead to just one goal. Darius Pliskauskas fired in a low shot from the blueline that deceived Murdy and flew into the top corner of the new off of the netminders pads to make it a 4-3 game at 42.45.
Two goals in 3 minutes saw the advantage swing back to the Tigers. on 47.12 Scott McKenzie scored the Tigers 5th, and his 500th EPL Point, after picking up the puck in a goalmouth scramble.On 50 minutes Peter Szabo’s pass from behind the net found Jason Silverthorn and the former Elite League forward made no mistake in firing high into the Phantoms net.
With under 5 minutes of the game remaining Edgars Bebris reduced the deficit to 6-4 as his shot from the Blue line went straight through Murdy to offer the visitors some hope.
With Max Birbraer sitting out a charging penalty, the Phantoms pulled Auzins for the extra skater. With the puck in the Phantoms zone first Miller battles to try to win possession then as the puck comes out to the Phantoms Blue Line Pliskauskas was robbed by Peter Szabo who scores the final Empty Net Goal of the game.
Man of the Match went to Jason Silverthorn for the Tigers and Scott Robson for the Phantoms.