ICE HOCKEY: Slava bites back as Peterborough Phantoms muzzle the Steeldogs

Darius Pliskauskas struck a hat-trick for Phantoms at Sheffield.
Darius Pliskauskas struck a hat-trick for Phantoms at Sheffield.
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Coach Slava Koulikov hailed his own players and took a swipe at their opponents after Peterborough Phantoms’ latest victory last night (October 17).

Darius Pliskauskas struck in the final second for the second successive match to clinch a 6-4 victory on the road at Sheffield Steeldogs.

Tom Norton scored a powerplay goal for Phantoms at Sheffield.

Tom Norton scored a powerplay goal for Phantoms at Sheffield.

The Lithuanian international completed a hat-trick as he sealed two more points when tucking into an empty net with the clock having ticked onto 59:59.

That came during a stormy finish with clashes following the buzzer. Phantoms refused to take part in the post-match handshakes and Koulikov blasted rival coach Greg Wood for failing to control his Steeldogs players.

Koulikov said: “A win on the road always feels good and it was an exciting game for the fans to watch.

“But I was very disappointed to see that Sheffield have not really changed their style of play despite reading lots of interviews and seeing lots of videos in which they said they were going to step away from the Andre Payette era.

“I always try to praise opposition teams and coaches, but I’m disappointed they sent everyone on the ice to try to cause trouble after they had lost the game.

“I’m also disappointed Mr Wood cannot control his bench and that is why we did not shake hands at the end of the game.

“But I want to concentrate on my guys who were magnificent in the way they came back from being behind and delivered for me again.”

Steeldogs defenceman Lee Haywood hit the only goal of the opening session, but the lamp was regularly lit up in the middle period with the sides striking seven times between them.

The first of those efforts came from Steeldogs import Lubomir Korhon, but Phantoms wiped out their arrears courtesy of a Milan Baranyk effort and a Tom Norton powerplay leveller.

Another Steeldogs import, Arnoldas Bosas, then restored the hosts’ advantage only for his fellow Lithuanian ace Pliskauskas to level with the first of his treble.

Ales Padelek edged Phantoms ahead for the first time in the final minute of the session, but again Sheffield hit back through Tom Squires with just under nine minutes remaining.

Pliskauskas struck again on a powerplay at 56:32 with what proved to be the vital goal before increasing the margin of victory at the death.

Phantoms are back on home ice tonight (October 18, 5.30pm) when they host troubled champions Telford.

The Tigers have lost seven of 11 games so far and crashed 3-0 at Swindon last night, but Koulikov insists they cannot be taken lightly.

He added: “We can all see that Telford are struggling right now, but if they can find their form they will be unstoppable.

“It is another battle of the league and play-off champions from last season and the best team will come out on top.”

MATCH DETAILS

Goals

Sheffield

8:52 Haywood ass: Korhon/Squires

21:32 Korhon ass: Bosas/Morgan

29:45 Bosas ass: Smith/Korhon

51:09 Squires ass: Bosas/Korhon

Phantoms

22:15 Baranyk ass: Levers/Weldon

25:28 Norton (PP) ass: Baranyk/Weldon

37:16 Pliskauskas ass: Norton/Gibson

39:11 Padelek ass: McGiffin/Pliskauskas

56:32 Pliskauskas (PP) ass: Scott/Padelek

59:59 Pliskauskas (EN) ass: Scott/Levers

Men-of-the-match

Sheffield – Tom Squires

Phantoms – Milan Baranyk