Phantoms win is a Long time coming thanks to Adam

Adam Long saves from Jason Silverthorn in the penalty shoot-out. Picture: Tom Scott
Adam Long saves from Jason Silverthorn in the penalty shoot-out. Picture: Tom Scott

Rookie netminder Adam Long admits helping Phantoms to penalty shoot-out success last season was one of his best experiences in hockey.

The 21 year-old got the nod last weekend with import star Janis Auzins sidelined by a knee problem.

And while Long had a tough night in a 3-0 reverse at Hull last Saturday, he played a starring role as Phantoms saw off title contenders Telford 4-3 after penalties at Planet Ice 24 hours later.

Long said: “We all stepped up after a bad night in Hull to pull out a great performance against probably the best team in the league.

“It was great for me to play a part in helping us get the two points following the shoot-out.

“I just tried to watch the puck, rather than the player, and it worked for me.

“The first save was good but the second one was one of the best feelings I’ve had in hockey and it was great to be able to celebrate with the other guys.

“We were pretty close to losing, but that would have been very harsh as I felt it was even game.

“Luckily we were able to come up with a late goal to level and we know that is always possible after scoring in the final second against Basingstoke last season.

“We were rewarded for our hard work and our refusal to give up.”

And Long insists he is more than ready to continue between the pipes this weekend should Auzins not be fit to return for a Saturday trip to Swindon (5.45pm) and a home encounter with Sheffield on Sunday (5.30pm).

Phantoms will be meeting both of those sides for the second time this season. They thumped Swindon 6-1 and lost 2-1 at Sheffield in the opening weekend of the campaign.

Long added:”I’m always ready when required. I know my role is to back up Janis, but I’ve got to take any opportunities that can come my way.

“I’m still young and every game is great experience for me. I wasn’t at my best against Hull, but was much happier with what I did against Telford.

“And, if I’m needed again this weekend, hopefully I can build on that performance and play well again.

“They are two tough games against Swindon and Sheffield, but you expect every weekend to be hard in this league.”