The streak continues!
Peterborough Phantoms recorded their 17th successive – and probably most significant – victory against Bracknell Bees last night in a fine run which now covers almost three full English Premier League seasons.
That’s because while the city men were easing to a 4-0 success against the bottom side in Berkshire, table-toppers Basingstoke were slipping up by the same scoreline a few miles away and across the Surrey border in Guildford.
It means second-placed Phantoms are back to within four points of the pacesetting Bison, who had played and won the previous night, and also possess two games in hand.
Koulikov said: “The winning streak against Bracknell is a good achievement, but there have been a lot of very tight games along the way.
“This latest win wasn’t anything spectacular, but we did more than enough to win a game on the road. We can say we got the job done.
“We’re winning games and that is something we need to keep doing, but we know we will have to play better in games against bigger teams who are higher up the table.
“Basingstoke losing makes it a good night as they are definitely one of the teams who can win the league.
“We are in the position we want to be in and our own win in Basingstoke last weekend helped us to get there.
“But there are still plenty of games to go and we have to focus on continuing to pick up the results we need.”
Phantoms took control last night with two first-period strikes in quick succession.
Lithuanian international Darius Pliskauskas made the breakthrough on a powerplay before defenceman Tom Norton doubled the advantage.
They had to wait until the final session to increase their cushion when Milan Baranyk made the most of another numerical advantage.
Pliskauskas applied further gloss to the scoreline when firing into an empty net with 30 seconds to go as Phantoms put a seal on a seventh victory in their past eight league games.
Import forward Ales Padelek and defenceman Scott Robson both sat out the trip to Bracknell.
Koulikov was particularly impressed by the display of Craig Wallis, who played a full defensive shift for the second successive fixture.
Padelek and Robson may feature tonight (February 14) when Phantoms return to home ice for the visit of Sheffield (5.30pm).
9:55 Pliskauskas (PP) ass: Baranyk/Levers
12:30 Norton ass: Bebris/Pliskauskas
49:50 Baranyk (PP) ass: J. Ferrara/Levers
59:30 Pliskauskas (ENG) unassisted
Bracknell – Carl Thompson
Phantoms – Tom Norton