Regular readers on ‘The best of Peterborough’ will know that times have been hard for our ice hockey team. A patch of poor form has meant that some early season promise hasn’t been capitalised upon, leaving the Phantoms in a fight for the 8th, and final play-off place.
Great news on Saturday, then. The Peterborough Phantoms managed to snap their 5 game losing streak with an excellent 7-2 victory in Berkshire, beating the Slough Jets for only their second away victory of the season. With the league table so congested, a much needed hat-trick from Luke Ferrara, and goals from all 4 imports secured 2 very much needed points, setting the scene for a possible 4 point weekend for the first time this season.
And so on to Sunday night in Peterborough, where the home side were beaten 3-5 by the Sheffield Steeldogs in a game that could’ve seen the clubs tied on points, but which saw the Yorkshire outfit move 4 points ahead of the Phantoms.
Previous games against the Steeldogs have been explosive affairs; this fixture was far less so. Rather surprisingly, barring a Nicky Watt fight with Bebris, there was little in the way of roughing or fighting that we have seen so often in these ties.
After a frenetic start, where Sheffield hit the pipes and Bebris scored the go-ahead goal, Nicky Watt and the Steeldogs’ forward became acquainted, resulting in offset penalties.
At this point, the crowd were enthusiastic, and despite recent poor home form were undoubtedly behind their team. Later in the period we saw a ‘Watt as peacemaker’(!) cameo, Lewis Hook’s long distance strike (swept in from point), and subsequent physical play from both sides. The Phantoms were competing well, but fell behind with just over a minute of the period left to play. The City side would start the second period on a powerplay following a slashing penalty called, but as so often been the case this season, and on the evening, there was to be no return despite the man advantage.
Unlike the game against Milton Keynes last week, the 2nd period didn’t bring a salvo of goals to sink the Phantoms, though the visitors did extend their lead. Poor passing, leaving the D camped behind their own blue line, and missed chances, meant that the home side would have their work cut out in the final period.
In the end, the game got away from the Phantoms. Levers cut the arrears, before the Steeldogs scored 2 unanswered goals. Hope was raised when yet another penalty was called on the Steeldogs, quickly followed by what appeared to be another, as Wood seemed to mug Piatak. The prospect of virtually 2 minutes of 5 on 3 loomed, but the penalties were offset yet again; 5 on 4, with the best the Phantoms could manage a shot against the away team’s bar. An Erik Piatak powerplay tally was too little too late and Sheffield took the points.
On the evening, the Phantoms missed the chance to make ground on their rivals and the Steeldogs saw out a victory that was more comfortable than it should’ve been. The Steeldogs aren’t an exceptional side; they had the pace to trouble the Phantoms, and their finishing was better, but we didn’t see the Phantoms dominate their opposition in the way they have done in victories against this team in previous match-ups.
The Phantoms continue to be an enigma; able to put teams to the sword on their day, but too inconsistent at the moment to make progress in the league.
There is no let-up in terms of the upcoming fixtures - next weekend, old rivals MK, and the Slough Jets beckon again.
Come on you Phantoms!
The Peterborough Phantoms can be found online at http://www.peterboroughphantoms.com/
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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