The Waldeck Peterborough Phantoms booked their spot in the NIHL National Cup Final with a thrilling victory over the Milton Keynes Lightning!
The Lightning had the first real chance to go in front when Will Weldon took a hooking penalty, but the Phantoms broke 2-on-1 shorthanded and Austin Mitchell-King fired across Jordan Hedley and into the back of the MKL net for the shorthanded goal.
MKL answered straight back though, as former Phantom Ed Knaggs struck a good shot through traffic and into the back of the Phantoms net.
They were then awarded a penalty shot, giving them the chance to make it 2-2 on aggregate, but Jordan Marr was equal to Sam Talbot’s one handed tuck attempt.
So the Phantoms went into the break all square on the night, but one ahead on aggregate after their 1-0 first leg win in Milton Keynes.
However, inside one and a half minutes of the restart, that lead was gone. Talbot finding the way past Marr on the back post after Milique Martelly threw one towards the goal.
Again though it didn’t take long for the conceding team to hit back, which was good news for the Phantoms. Will Weldon danced in from a face-off and tucked his effort past Hedley for the leveller on the night.
MKL did ensure the third period would begin on a knife edge though, as Bobby Chamberlain scored from close range to make it 3-2 to MKL on the night and 3-3 on aggregate.
Phantoms did go close several times to drawing level, though, only to find Hedley in fine form in the middle period. He made big saves from Duncan Speirs, Callum Buglass and Mitchell-King efforts within the space of six minutes.
Two good teams playing good hockey, couldn’t be split over five periods of the six due to be played. Something had to give in the third period.
And eventually it did. Scott Robson pinching in and pouncing on a rebound in the closing stages to send the Phantoms fans into raptures.
Duncan Speirs sealed Phantoms’ spot in the final with an empty net goal with 3.1 seconds to play!
FINAL SCORE: Phantoms 4-3 MKL (Phantoms 5-3 MKL on aggregate)
6:14 (PP 1-0 MK): #24 Austin Mitchell-King / #45 Callum Buglass / #93 Ales Padelek (SHG)
23:51 (PP 2-2 MK): #29 Will Weldon (unassisted) (EHG)
57:02 (PP 3-3 MK): #11 Scott Robson / #93 Ales Padelek / #23 Brad Bowering (EHG)
59:56 (PP 4-3 MK): #38 Duncan Speirs (ENG)
7:02 (PP 1-1 MK): #25 Ed Knaggs / #23 Jack Hopkins / #98 Sam Talbot (EHG)
21:29 (PP 1-2 MK): #98 Sam Talbot / #33 Milique Martelly / #86 Sean Norris (EHG)
32:13 (PP 2-3 MK): #10 Bobby Chamberlain / #98 Sam Talbot / #25 Ed Knaggs (EHG)
Phantoms man of the match: #11 Scott Robson
MKL man of the match: #10 Bobby Chamberlain