On Saturday night the Phantoms managed to do what they hadn’t in 8 previous away fixtures – they returned home with the points, after defeating the 10th placed Telford Tigers by a margin of 6 goals to 3. A hat-trick from Slovakian hot shot, Erik Piatak, plus goals from Marc Levers, and Luke and James Ferrara saw the team home. Despite a rally in the third period by the Shropshire team, four unanswered goals in the second by the Phantoms secured the win.
This brought us to Sunday evening. The Phantoms and Slough Jets’ fans observed the Remembrance Sunday minute silence impeccably, and warmly applauded the members of the Armed Forces who were present at the game. During the first break members of the RAF’s Eastern Crusade Ice Hockey Club showed the crowd how (and how not) to take a penalty shot, again to great applause. Well done to everyone involved in organising the entertainment – we’d love to see the guys on the ice again!
The Phantoms home form is terrific, with just 1 regulation time defeat in Bretton before this match up with the improving Slough Jets. A win would’ve propelled the Phantoms comfortably into mid-table; as it transpired, those of us who predicted a win were sent home disappointed with the result, though not with the commitment that the team displayed.
A couple of faces were worth looking out for in the Jets’ team. Much had been said about the ability of their recently recruited netminder, Kamil Jarina, and Alan Lack, who so memorably went toe-to-toe with Cesky and Watt in our home pre-season ‘friendly’ against Invicta. As it transpired, these two players were the undoing of the Phantoms, as Jarina earned Man of the Match honours for a stellar performance (keeping out 46 of the 49 shots on the visitor’s net), and Lack, so often a needle in the Phantoms’ side, notched the 2 goals by which Slough prevailed in their 5-3 victory.
It’s always interesting to welcome Matty Towalski and Michael Wales to Planet ice; formerly of the MK Lightning, they are both players who bring a competitive edge. Add Darius Pliskauskas, Slava Koulikov and Mindaugas Kieras and it no surprise that fans have raised an eyebrow at the Jets’ stuttering start.
The Phantoms will be disappointed with some of the goals given away. Koulikov waltzed through the home defence unchallenged before coolly slotting past Murdy, and Long was given too much space to score later in the first.
Phantoms played catch up hockey throughout the game until Lack out muscled Murdy and a defender on the line for the go-ahead score 3-4, and the diminutive forward beat everyone to the puck to fire in a rebound for the last goal of the night.
One decision certainly appeared to go against the Phantoms, another may well have been critical to the outcome of the game. Towards the end of the first period Slough’s Long appeared to deliver Marc Levers a blow to the head, and on another night would’ve seen greater sanction from the referee. A high-stick penalty was all Long received, but from my vantage point in the main stand, it looked more like a deliberate slash to the helmet.
With something in the region of 3 minutes left Jaroslav Cesky thought he’d pulled a goal back, and as the goal judge lit the lamp, so did the crowd. The goal, however, was washed out, leaving the home team too much to do in the last few minutes. I presume there is a reason why the goal judge thought the puck had gone in; it was disappointing that Boardman didn’t consult the official to clarify. Games hang on these fine margins and it would’ve made for an interesting last couple of minutes had the goal counted. As fans, surely we just want the correct decision?
The MoM awards were well deserved; Jarina for the Jets, and Levers, scorer of a ‘Gordie Howe hat-trick’, for the Phantoms.
I can’t help feel there’ll be frustration in the home camp. Despite outshooting the jets 49-20 and scoring 3 times on an import nettie, they gave away some sloppy goals and came up short in the sort of game they need to pick points up in.
On to next weekend.
Come on you Phantoms!
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Member since: 29th October 2013
I'm an avid Peterborough Phantoms fan, bringing you news and reports from our local ice-hockey club