The Waldeck Peterborough Phantoms won the NIHL National Cup, despite a spirited fightback from the Leeds Knights in the second leg.
The first ten minutes saw Phantoms’ goalie, Scotsman Calum Hepburn on emergency injury cover, make a string of good saves to keep the score on the night at 0-0.
But the Knights found a way through with 10:26 played, as Cole Shudra blasted home from the right circle.
The second period wasn’t Phantoms’ best, and you’d probably be forgiven if you worried slightly by the end of it. Jake Witkowski made it two for the Knights, before Adam Barnes made it 3-0 with 26:25 on the clock.
Phantoms weathered the storm slightly and then got themselves on the board. Lukas Sladkovsky skating in to the right of goal and ripping his shot into the top shelf.
But just 50 seconds later, Shudra notched his second of the game to extend the Knights’ on the night lead back to three.
So the Knights’ lead at the end of P2 was 4-1, meaning Phantoms led 7-4 on aggregate. All of a sudden, the game looked right back within the reach of the league winning Knights.
Phantoms held out until 52:19, when the Knights and Matt Haywood were awarded a goal in controversial circumstances. Scott Robson was adamant he’d kept the puck out, but referee Graham Rodger said goal.
And with the extra skater on, Kieran Brown made it 6-1 on the night, meaning Phantoms had 24 seconds to hold on with just a one goal lead.
But Austin Mitchell-King pounced when Gospel went back to the bench to get another back for Phantoms and seal their NIHL National Cup title!
Your Waldeck Peterborough Phantoms are the NIHL National Cup Champions!!!
10:26 (LK 1-0 PP): #27 Cole Shudra / #91 Jake Witkowski (PPG)
24:07 (LK 2-0 PP): #91 Jake Witkowski (EHG)
26:25 (LK 3-0 PP): #88 Adam Barnes (EHG)
34:00 (LK 4-1 PP): #27 Cole Shudra / #25 Zach Brooks (EHG)
52:19 (LK 5-1 PP): #11 Matt Haywood (EHG)
59:36 (LK 6-1 PP): #12 Kieran Brown (EHG)
33:10 (LK 3-1 PP): #91 Lukas Sladkovsky (EHG)
59:51 (LK 6-2 PP): #24 Austin Mitchell-King (ENG)
Knights man of the match: #31 Sam Gospel
Phantoms man of the match: #33 Calum Hepburn