There’s a cold wind blowing through Phantoms’ hockey at the moment, and if a solution can’t be found in double quick time, this season could run away from the Peterborough side completely. Currently sitting in 9th position, the City side are in their worst run of the season, having lost the last 5 fixtures. It’s a streak that needs to be snapped next weekend as the Phantoms face the Slough Jets and the Sheffield Steeldogs. The Jets are in 5th (yes, 5th), only 4 points ahead of the Phantoms, whilst Andre Payette’s Steeldogs are in the last play-off position, 8th in the table, only 2 points ahead. The Phantoms have a game in hand over both teams.
Whereas Coach Kynaston and the Phantoms’ fans rued the points thrown away last weekend, seeing Basingstoke win in overtime in Peterborough, after equalising late on, and a 2 goal lead squandered in Swindon, this weekend took on a different complexion.
On Saturday evening the Phantoms visited Basingstoke for their 3rd game against the Bison in November. Everyone in Peterborough will be sick of the sight of the Hampshire side, as they have put the Phantoms in their place on each occasion. This weekend, however, was a low point as the Phantoms were on the wrong end of a 6-0 reverse, prompting the coach to suggest, publicly, that there are 3 or 4 players not turning up on the road.
The Phantoms’ home form had been good, with 3 out of 4 home fixtures in October going their way. This last month, however, has been a different story, with only 1 win in 4, plus the OT defeat to the Bison. The game against local rivals MK Lightning proved to be a difficult pill to swallow after Kynaston’s strong words on Saturday.
Despite taking the lead twice in the first period, and sharing 4 goals in the opening 20, nothing prepared the home crowd for the 5-0 second period capitulation. The Phantoms were blown away by a good, but not spectacular MK side. A period of poor passing, poor finishing, silly penalties and erratic officiating saw a game that the Phantoms had competed well in disappear over the horizon.
MK took their collective foot off the gas in the 3rd; the Phantoms looked brighter and nicked a couple (4-7), before MK scored a short-handed goal, following another phase of the game where the players looked like strangers. Just at a time when scoring a fifth might’ve made for an interesting last 5 minutes.
On the night, Petran was Man of the Match, which was well deserved, though Lewis Hook and Frankie Zubek deserve a mention in dispatches too.
Phantoms are missing James Hutchinson, out for personal reasons. The veteran D man is being sorely missed; the team haven’t managed to get lines working whilst he has been absent. In Hutch’s absence Kynaston has been left shuffling the pack and struggling to find the right formula. We all wish James the very best, and hope to see him playing again soon.
At times like this people call for change; be careful what you wish for. Whether there are changes in personnel or not, there are plenty of people in the club who feel passionately about Peterborough hockey, and who want to put things right.
Remarkably, despite only 2 wins in the last 10 games, there is still the chance to move up the league to secure a play-off spot. This needs to start in Slough next weekend.
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