The Waldeck Peterborough Phantoms were narrowly beaten in overtime of their last pre-season game against Milton Keynes.
The game took a while to get going in terms of high quality scoring chances, but when it did, it fell in the favour of the visitors. Zaine McKenzie was first on the scoreboard, bobbling an effort past Ryan Bainborough in the Phantoms net.
Phantoms immediately looked to get back on level terms and the goal was gaping for Duncan Speirs to score after a good pass by Glenn Billing, but Hallden Barnes-Garner came to his goalies aid by producing a great goal line block to keep the visitors ahead.
Bainborough was back in action shortly after, denying James Griffin’s blue line slap shot with a smart glove save.
But it didn’t take Milton Keynes long to double their lead at the start of the second period, as Barnes-Garner found Rio Grinell-Parke in plenty of space to apply a relatively simple finish on 22:20.
But Phantoms hit back just over four minutes later, as new recruit Ralfs Circenis found space on a Phantoms powerplay, to blast a slapshot beyond the glove of Smital.
And just like that, the Phantoms were level again. When Smital saved Corey McEwen’s initial shot, it fell straight to the stick of Jarvis Hunt, who applied the finishing touch via the underside of the crossbar.
But the setback didn’t get the visitors down and they regained their lead inside a minute. Liam Stewart was the man to rip home a great shot after being set in on a breakaway by Bobby Chamberlain.
And they restored their two goal lead with 5:12 played in the third period. Tyler Nixon was afforded the time and space to pull a smart move to finish past Bainborough for a shorthanded goal for MKL.
Just when it was starting to look like Milton Keynes had almost secured a regulation win, the Phantoms hit back again. Lukas Sladkovsky added his name to the scoresheet, picking up a rebound from another McEwen shot, and creating an angle for an easy finish.
Then, with under two minutes to play, Austin Mitchell-King opened his Phantoms account with a bizarre but effective goal. From behind the net, Mitchell-King banked the puck off the back of Smital and into the MKL net, forcing a period of bonus hockey in our final pre-season fixture.
The first minute of overtime was all Milton Keynes, as they maintained pressure in the Phantoms zone, but the winning goal came after a neutral zone turnover allowed Ed Knaggs to tee up Chamberlain to one time past Bainborough – who had an impressive night in the Phantoms goal.
Phantoms get started in the NIHL National season on Friday night, when the Bees visit Planet Ice Peterborough for a 7:30pm face off. Tickets are available HERE!
26:23 (PP 1-2 MK): #34 Ralfs Circenis / #11 Scott Robson / #91 Lukas Sladkovsky (PPG)
27:02 (PP 2-2 MK): #96 Jarvis Hunt / #71 Corey McEwen / #21 Luc Johnson (EHG)
55:34 (PP 3-4 MK): #91 Lukas Sladkovsky / #71 Corey McEwen / #24 Austin Mitchell-King (EHG)
58:23 (PP 4-4 MK): #24 Austin Mitchell-King / #91 Lukas Sladkovsky / #12 Nathan Pollard (EHG)
12:20 (PP 0-1 MK): #12 Zaine McKenzie / #89 Rio Grinell-Parke / #95 Mack Stewart (EHG)
22:20 (PP 0-2 MK): #89 Rio Grinell-Parke / #14 Hallden Barnes-Garner / #33 Milique Martelly (EHG)
27:51 (PP 2-3 MK): #8 Liam Stewart / #10 Bobby Chamberlain / #33 Milique Martelly (EHG)
45:12 (PP 2-4 MK): #3 Tyler Nixon (unassisted) (SHG)
61:15 (PP 4-5 MK): #10 Bobby Chamberlain / #25 Ed Knaggs (EHG)
Phantoms man of the match: #23 Bradley Bowering
MKL man of the match: #32 Ma