The DALROD sponsored Peterborough Phantoms slipped to 5th place in the English Premier League on Sunday evening following a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Swindon Wildcats. With a game in hand over the teams above them, they still have their eyes on a top 3 finish ahead of the end of season Play-Off tournament.
Sunday saw the Phantoms welcome back a number of their squad who had been out through injuries since early January. Darius Pliskauskas, Mason Webster and Martins Susters were all in the line-up and looking to get back up to match fitness.
A frantic start to the game saw 3 goals in the opening 2 minutes as both teams took a while to settle. With just 23 seconds on the clock, Tom Norton found Milan Baranyk who fired past Steve Lyle in the Swindon nets to give the Phantoms a 1 goal lead.
The advantage lasted just 22 seconds, as that’s how long it took before Andrew Harding picked up a Phantoms turnover and skated in to shoot past Janis Auzins to make it 1-1 and under a minute played.
The Wildcats took the lead on 1.59 when Janis Hoog robbed the puck off of Phantoms Edgars Bebris and his shot left Janis Auzins little chance.
With no goals for the next few minutes the teams started to settle into their stride. The Phantoms were playing a good passing game, holding onto possession of the puck, whilst the visitors were happy to hold the Phantoms to the Neutral Zone and defend their goal.
Phantoms equaliser came in the 8th minute. The initial attack saw Edgars Bebris break through and watch as his shit ping’ed off of the Swindon post. Bebris piked up his ow rebound, and passed across to Will Weldon who shot low into the Swindon net.
Whilst the Phantoms were starting to look the more confident of the two teams, it was the Wildcats who took the lead once more on 10.44. A face-off in the Phantoms zone saw the puck come to Jan Kostal, and with Auzins unsighted Kostal shot into the top corner of the Phantoms net to make it 2-3.
Despite a lot of possession the Phantoms couldn’t find a way past Steve Lyle and the solid Swindon defence.
The middle period started with Janis Auzins being called into action to deny an Aaron Nell penalty shot, after Tom Norton had brought down the wildcat when on a breakaway. The save spurred on the homeside who dominated possession but despite a lot of effort couldn’t convert their chances.
With the clock running down the Phantoms thought they had equalised but with the Swindon net off of it’s moorings, and at least half of the players in Lyles crease, referee Tom Pering wiped out the goal.
The final 20 minutes saw the Phantoms lay siege to Lyles goal, but with each wave of attack the Swindon Defence and the ex-GB Netty stood tall to thwart the Phantoms.
On 52.18 the Wildcats secured the points, when the Phantoms were caught on a breakaway and Kenton Smith gave Janis Auzins no chance of stopping his shot.
Auzins was pulled with just over 2 minutes of the game remaining, and with the Phantoms on a Powerplay to make it a 6 on 4 advantage, but as the puck spilled to Janis Hoog, he found Aaron Nell who sent the puck down ice and into the empty net to seal the game at 5-2 to the visitors.
Man of the Match went to Steve Whitfield for the Wildcats and Will Weldon for the Phantoms.