Another day, another triumph and another shut-out for Peterborough Phantoms.
The city side overcame the loss of two defenceman in the warm-up to claim a notable 2-0 away success at reigning English Premier League champions Telford last night (September 27).
A foot problem for Cam McGiffin and a groin injury to Greg Pick forced an urgent reshuffle which saw captain James Ferrara drop back into a defensive role and youngster Martins Susters play a full attacking part a day before he celebrates his 17th birthday.
Then again, thanks to the presence of the unbeatable Janis Auzins between the pipes, Phantoms can deal with almost anything.
The Latvian ace emerged in possession of a clean sheet for the second successive night after also keeping Bracknell at bay during a 3-0 home victory 24 hours earlier.
That’s a combined total of 63 shots he has seen off during the course of two memorable hours of EPL hockey – 22 on Saturday night and another 41 last night.
Twenty-six of those arrived in the second period in Shropshire, but it was during that session that Phantoms made the breakthrough courtesy of summer signing Lloyd Gibson.
Their victory was clinched by a powerplay strike from Will Weldon early in the final period after the hosts saw import Blahoslav Novak thrown out for laying into Gibson while the Phantoms man was down on the ice.
Phantoms coach Koulikov said: “Telford might be struggling a bit currently, but they have still been out-shooting their opponents and they were were always going to give us a tough game.
“Losing two guys in the warm-up made our job harder, but we played some pretty decent hockey for such an early stage of the season.
“Our penalty-killing was outstanding as we had to deal with spells of five-on-three in the first and second periods, and Janis was absolutely magnificent again.
“Two shut-outs in a weekend is a great effort and he has made some terrific saves in both games.”
It was a second four-point weekend for Phantoms out of three in the new campaign. Their latest win-double leaves them level with leaders Guildford in the league standings.
They are back in action this weekend with a Saturday (October 3) trip to Milton Keynes followed by a Sunday (October 4) home date against Swindon.
* There was a third shut-out of the weekend courtesy of Peterborough Islanders netminder Dan Lane who back-stopped his side to a 13-0 rout of Lee Valley in National League South Division Two Cup game last night.
30:12 Gibson ass: Padelek
45:16 Weldon (PP) ass: J. Ferrara/Padelek
Telford – Dan Scott
Phantoms – Janis Auzins