Head coach Jon Kynaston delivered a damning assessment after seeing his Peterborough Phantoms team beaten on home ice tonight (September 30).
The out-of-sorts city side squandered a host of powerplay opportunities and failed to stamp their authority on English Premier League proceedings against the snarling Steeldogs who racked up 48 minutes of penalties.
The damage was done during two poor opening periods. Phantoms were better in the final section but couldn’t find the breakthrough that would have set-up a grandstand finale.
Kynaston admitted: “The opening two periods were the worst we have played so far.
“We knew excatly how Sheffield would set out to play, working hard, bumping bodies and causing distractions. That’s the way they do things and they do it really well.
“We were not working as hard as the opposition, particularly on the powerplay when we seemed to go down a gear rather than up one.
“We had a great opportunity to give ourselves a foothold in the game but didn’t take advantage and then got a bit sloppy to concede on one of our powerplays.
“We didn’t really start playing until the third period but didn’t get the bounces or breaks we needed to grab a third goal.
“Had we done that we could possibly have gone on and got something from the game, but the simple fact is we didn’t play well enough for 40 minutes.”
Phantoms broke the deadlock when Tom Carlon thundered home during a five-on-three powerplay but conceded to Greg Wood when still boasting a five-on-four numerical advantage less than 90 seconds later.
The visiting captain struck again 21 seconds before the end of the opening period and Phantoms found themselves 3-1 down just over a minute into the middle period when Steeldogs import Pavel Gomeniuk made the most of a five-on-three in their favour.
Worse was to follow when Ben Morgan bundled in a fourth but hopes of a Phantoms revival were raised when James Ferrara converted a fine Carlon pass just four seconds before the buzzer.
The hosts applied plenty of pressure in the third period but could find no further way past Steeldogs’ man-of-the-match Dimitri Zimozdra.
And Phantoms were finally put to the sword with seven seconds remaining as Wood completed his hat-trick after they had pulled netminder Damien King.
Kynaston added: “Every team will lose games in such a tight league. Now it is about responding next weekend.”
Phantoms could hardly have a tougher couple of fixtures ahead though. They go to reigning play-off champions Slough on Saturday (October 6) and then host early-season table-toppers Basingstoke on Sunday (October 7).
9:21 Carlon ass: Norton/Lauko.
39:56 J. Ferrara ass: Carlon/Norton.
19:39 Wood ass: Payette/Morgan.
21:08 Gomeniuk ass: Campell/Wood.
35:02 Morgan ass: Campbell.
59:53 Wood ass: Campbell/Rodin.
Phantoms - Jozef Sladok.
Sheffield - Dimitri Zimozdra.