The DALROD sponsored Peterborough Phantoms fell to a 3-0 defeat on the road on Saturday evening at the hands of the Basingstoke Bison.
The Phantoms had started the day just a point behind the Bison, but with a game in hand, as the Leagues top two teams clashed in a New Year barnstormer.
The opening 20 minutes saw the homeside start the stronger but just as the Phantoms started to get themselves into the game they found themselves 2-0 down after two quick Bison strikes.
Joe Rand netted the first on 14 minutes when former Phantoms Alan Lack battled to win the puck in the corner, and picked out an unmarked Rand who shot past Janis Auzins.
Two minutes later and Ryan Watt fired Rene Jarolins pass into the top of the Phantoms goal to double the Bisons advantage.
The second period saw both teams trade penalties but Janis Auzins in the Phantoms goal and Jon Baston in the Bison nets were both having good days at the office, blocking attack after attack.
The Phantoms had the majority of the possession and chances in the middle stanza, but with Baston picking up the first, second and third shots it remained a 2-0 game going into the final 20 minutes.
The Bison scored their third of the night on 45 minutes as Joe Rand picked up his second of the night. Joe Greener’s initial shot was pad saved by Auzins, but the rebound spilled to Rand who tapped the puck in at the backdoor.
With the Phantoms fighting for every puck, and the Bison starting to make mistakes it looked like the visitors may get back into the game, but each time they made it past the Bison Defence, there was Jon Baston to thwart their efforts.
As the final whistle blew, the Phantoms thoughts turned to Sundays game in Peterborough, when they face the Bison once more and have the chance to claim an early revenge.
Man of the Match unsurprisingly went to Jon Baston for the Bison and Craig Scott for the Phantoms.