The Waldeck Peterborough Phantoms put on arguably their best performance of the season so far to take a win into the second leg of the NIHL National Cup Final.
Phantoms got off to the best possible start as they made their early pressure pay. Ralfs Circenis lighting the lamp for the first goal of the final by pouncing on a rebound and going upstairs on the backhand.
Both sides then exchanged chances as Will Weldon and Duncan Speirs were both denied by the ever impressive goaltending of Sam Gospel.
But the Phantoms have their own star goalie in Jordan Marr and he was called into action too, as Zach Brooks and Mac Howlett will have gone into the first intermission wondering how they hadn’t scored.
The second period saw Phantoms arguably play their best period of hockey of the entire season so far.
Leeds had the first good chance though as Cole Shudra found Jake Witkowski in the left circle, but Marr pulled off a good stop to his left to keep the puck out of the net.
And Phantoms’ onslaught then began, Joe Gretton netted their second, tipping home a Jasper Foster shot after Nathan Pollard saw an effort well saved.
Lukas Sladkovsky made it three just 46 seconds later, jumping in on a breakaway and dispatching his shot past Sam Gospel and into the net.
The Leeds Knights used their timeout after Phantoms’ third goal.
Then stepped up another member of the Nottingham car. When Glenn Billing played a great pass to the back door, Tom Norton was in the right place at the right time to rip home a fourth.
And the Notts car continued their scoring form for the fifth as Billing this time found space behind the net to tee up Will Weldon to slap home from the right circle.
The third period started as the second period ended, when Glenn Billing won a face off, Ales Padelek fired in Phantoms’ sixth goal of the first leg.
The rest of the third period was about ensuring the Phantoms didn’t allow Leeds back into the first leg and that’s exactly what they did. Solid defending and goaltending from the Phantoms roster saw them hold on for a 6-0 win, whilst they also went close to extending their lead further.
The result means the Phantoms take their six goal lead into next Friday’s all important NIHL National Cup Final Second Leg against the Knights, at Planet Ice Leeds.
1:43 (PP 1-0 LK): #34 Ralfs Circenis / #77 Martins Susters / #96 Jarvis Hunt (EHG)
25:31 (PP 2-0 LK): #35 Joe Gretton / #95 Jasper Foster / #12 Nathan Pollard (EHG)
26:15 (PP 3-0 LK): #91 Lukas Sladkovsky (unassisted) (EHG)
30:08 (PP 4-0 LK): #2 Tom Norton / #72 Glenn Billing / #38 Duncan Speirs (PPG)
34:21 (PP 5-0 LK): #29 Will Weldon / #72 Glenn Billing / #2 Tom Norton (PPG)
41:03 (PP 6-0 LK): #93 Ales Padelek / #72 Glenn Billing (EHG)
Phantoms man of the match: #33 Jordan Marr
Knights man of the match: #12 Kieran Brown
Photo Credit: SBD Photography