Peterborough Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov wants his players to shoot their way out the toughest spell of the English Premier League season.
The city team drew a blank for only the second time this term when suffering a 3-0 loss at Basingstoke last night (January 2) in the first of two top-of-the-table English Premier League clashes between the sides this weekend.
It was a third successive defeat for a Phantoms side who could find no way past import Bison netminder Jon Baston.
And they were also unable to keep their hosts at bay when conceding twice in little more than two minutes during the opening period before a clincher followed early in the final session.
Koulikov admitted: “You can’t win a game with a zero next to your name and it is something we need to put right.
“We had six or seven clear-cut chances which I would normally expect us to take, but we can’t buy a goal right now.
“We are running dry and hopefully that can change tomorrow when we face Basingstoke again.
“We just have to make sure we keep doing the right things and don’t try to overplay or force it.”
Joe Rand made the breakthrough when slotting past Janis Auzins after the puck had been flicked into the danger zone from the corner.
That Basingstoke opener arrived only seconds after Baston had made a terrific stop to deny Milan Baranyk and Phantoms soon found their deficit doubled as Ryan Watt fired past Auzins.
The same Bison man was denied another goal before the buzzer and the returning Cam McGiffin thwarted Shaun Thompson’s attempt to extend the advantage in the second period.
Craig Scott tested Baston towards the end of that middle session before the falling goaltender managed to keep out a short-handed Edgars Bebris effort early in the third period.
But there was nothing Auzins could do to prevent Basingstoke from striking again when Rand tucked away a rebound for his second of the night.
Koulikov added: “We didn’t play well for the first two periods, but Basingstoke are a good team who are top of the league for a reason.
“We’ve still beaten them three times out of four this season so we won’t dwell on the defeat.
“It’s a new day today and we need to ensure we tidy up defensively a bit and be that bit more clinical in front of the net.”
Phantoms were without forward Lloyd Gibson due to work commitments last night, but he returns tonight when the teams meet again at Planet Ice (January 3, 5.30pm).
14:00 Rand ass: Lack/Greener
16:19 Watt ass: Jarolin/Long
45:00 Rand ass: Greener/Lack
Basingstoke – Jon Baston
Phantoms – Craig Scott