If you were looking for action and entertainment on Saturday night, you would be hard pushed to beat the entertainment laid on by the DALROD sponsored Peterborough Phantoms at the Peterborough Arena as they took on last seasons League Champions, the Manchester Phoenix.
Phantoms were still missing injured Player Coach Slava Koulikov but drafted in youngsters Martins Susters and Mason Webster for the clash. Susters was trained within the Peterborough Junior system until leaving to join the Nottingham Juniors at the start of this season. Webster was gives a 2 week trial by the Phantoms after being spotted playing for Haringey in the National League.
The game started with Phantoms Alan Lack and Phoenix Bobby Chamberlain having words and then dropping the gloves with just over 2 1/2 minutes on the clock. The fight turned the intensity level up another notch, and the usually loud Phantoms fans were even louder as they spurred their team on.
By the end of Period buzzer the Phantoms had beaten Declan Ryan in the Phoenix goal 3 times to leave the visitors visably shell shocked as they left the ice.
Ebgars Bebris and Milan Baranyk combined for Bebris to open the scoring on 7.22 with a picture-book goal. Bebris then turned provider for Baranyk to double the homesides advantage with 12.20 on the clock.
Some good work by Darius Pliskauskas to force a Phoenix turnover saw the Lithuanian find Marc Levers whose shot rifled past Ryan on 15.57, much to the joy of the Phantoms faithful.
A four minute spell at the start of the second period saw the Phantoms lead wiped out as the Phoenix showed why they were last seasons champions. Frantisek Baklrik twice found a way past Janis Auzins in the Phantoms goal on 23.23 and 26.17.
On 27.02 one of those moments fans will talk about for years occured. Phoenix Michal Psurny was called for tripping on a delayed penalty. Auzins left the goal to give the Phantoms the extra skater, and Marc Levers looked to make a pass back to his Defence, but instaed managed to put the puck into the empty Phantoms net for an own goal. In Hockey own goals are creditied to the last attacking player to touch the puck, which in this case was Psurny, so he managed a goal and the 2 minute penalty at the same time.
The 3rd goal lifted the Phoenix, and the Phantoms had to battle to stay level pegging. As the clock ran down Psurny decided to add a fight to his goal and penalty when he dropped the gloves to give Alan Lack his second bout of the night.
The final period quickly saw Phantoms take control of the game once more. A powerplay goal on 46.02 from TOm Norton was quickly followed up with a goal for Phantoms Captain James Ferrara on 48.32.
Although Phoenix scored a 4th on 57.54 to give Baklrik his hatrick it wasn’t to be enough and the hometeam claimed the 2 vital points to keep them in second position in the League standings.
Man of the Match went to Frantisek Baklrik for the Phoenix and Milan Baranyk for the Phantoms.