The DALROD sponsored Peterborough Phantoms entertained the Manchester Phoenix on Saturday evening in the last home game before Christmas. The game saw both sets of supporters entertained as two of the leagues top netminders put on a masterclass, and in the end it took a penalty shootout to seperate the two teams.
The game started with both teams putting in 110% from the very first puck drop – the speed and skill shown in the opening 10 minutes would be enough to hook the newest of supporters on the game. Whilst the Phantoms had the better of the possession, it was the Phoenix who looked more deadly in front of goal with Robin Kovar and Johan Burlin looking the most likely to score. It was Kovar who came closest in the opening 10 minutes when he fired from point blank range, only to see Auzins reached out and plucked the puck out of the air.
It was the visitors who took the lead on 13.05 when Bobby Chamberlian, who had just returned from helping the GB Under 20’s win Gold at the IIHF World Championships last weekend, fed Frantisek Bakrlik whose breakaway one-on-one saw him pull Janis Auzins out of position before firing the puck home.
The middle period again saw both teams come close to scoring, but also saw the game getting a bit more feisty. Manchester’s Frantisek Bakrlik seemed to have set himself up to play the pantomime villain in this pre-Christmas clash, and he was definitely drawing some attention from the Phantoms. Midway through the period and Manchester again forced a one-on-one breakaway, this time with Jacob Corson-Heron picking up a turnover before bearing down on Auzins. Auzins tracked the puck, and narrowed the angle before deflecting the shot wide of the post.
Period 3 saw the visitors hit early penalty trouble, and the Phantoms took advantage of the extra men on the ice. Bobby Chamberlain was called for a slash at 44.54 shortly followed by Bakrlik who was called for tripping Alan Lack. With the two man advantage the Phantoms Powerplay unit of James Ferrara, Milan Baranyk and Edgars Bebris combined to allow Bebris to draw the Phantoms level on 46.43.
The remainder of the period saw both teams come close, but it was onto Overtime and a point to each side.
Overtime started with Auzins once more called upon to keep the Phantoms in the game as Bakrlik broke through but once again Super Auzins denied the Phoenix’s Sniper as Bakrlik fired straight at Auzins body. Despite a Phantoms powerplay midway through the overtime period, they couldn’t find the back of the net, and so it was onto Penalties.
Round 1 saw Auzins save Adam Walkers shot, whilst Declan Ryan saved Milan Baranyk
Round 2 saw Frantisek Bakrliks cheeky attempt denied by Auzins, whilst at the other end Darius Pliskauskas fired low past Ryan to give the Phantoms the advantage.
Round 3 saw Michal Psurny face Auzins, but once again Auzins got a pad on Psurnyt’s shot to give the Phantoms the victory.
Man of the Match went to Declan Ryan for the Phoenix and Milan Baranyk for the Phantoms.