Peterborough Phantoms are bottom of the National Ice Hockey League after two narrow weekend defeats

Peterborough Phantoms are bottom of the National Ice Hockey Keague after losing their opening four matches.

By Tom Lea
Monday, 25th October 2021, 8:47 am
Glenn Billing of Peterborough Phantoms (white) tries to force the puck over the line v Raiders. Photo: Matt Sludds.
Glenn Billing of Peterborough Phantoms (white) tries to force the puck over the line v Raiders. Photo: Matt Sludds.

But this hard-working team haven’t exactly had luck on their side. They lost both weekend games by a single goal, 5-4 at MK Lightnling on Saturday and 4-3 at home to Raiders on Sunday.

Phantoms spent a fair amount of the opening period on the power play at MK and they capitalised at the third time of asking after Callum Buglass found Ales Padelek and Glenn Billing was on hand to tap home the rebound after Padelek’s initial shot was saved.

Netminder Jordan Marr thenstood tall for the Phantoms and Slava Koulikov’s side went into the first intermission with that one-goal lead.

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Jasper Foster is the man in possession for Peterborough Phantoms (white) v Raiders. Photo: Matt Sludds.

But just under six minutes into the second period Sean Norris capitalised on a mishap in defence to level the scores. Adam Laishram then fired MK in front with just over 33 minutes played. The Canadian forward was picked out by Liam Stewart, and fired a shot past Marr.

Duncan Speirs drew the Phantoms level with a smart finish at the back door after good work by his line mates, Billing and Padelek.

MK captain Russell Cowley put his side back in front with a good finish into the top corner, before Billing claimed his second goal of the night with an effort similar to his first to make it 3-3.

Stewart put his name on the scoresheet with the Lightning’s fourth goal, shooting into the top shelf after Cowley found him with time and space in front of net.

And when Bobby Chamberlain ripped a shot into the top corner, MK led by two for the first time in the game as it entered the final five minutes of regulation.

Speirs set up a grandstand finish when he found the top shelf at 58:17, but the home side held on to claim both points.

Phantoms also took the lead against Raiders with probably the strangest goal to be seen at Planet Ice all season. Speirs was the last man to touch the puck for the Phantoms, but a delayed penalty was called and Ethan James went to the Raiders’ bench. However, the Raiders defenceman then put the puck into his own net, meaning Speirs was credited with an empty net goal at the same time he received a two minute penalty!

But it didn’t take the Raiders long to draw level once the second period began. Tommy Huggett put them on the board with a wrist shot into the top corner.

Phantoms went back in front with 27:42 on the clock, as Billing redirected a Tom Norton pass into the back of the net to see the city side tally their fourth power play goal of the weekend.

The Raiders hit straight back, though, with JJ Pitchley finding the top corner of Jordan Marr’s net.

Just over a minute later, the Phantoms went back to the power play and there was a similar result. This time, it was Will Weldon capitalising on a Norton assist to put the Phantoms ahead in the game once again.

But that was as good as it got for Phantoms, as Tom Relf fired home a blue line slap shot to sent the teams into the second intermission tied at 3-3

And it was man of the match Huggett who notched the game winner for the visitors, capitalising on a mistake by Nathan Long before finding the top shelf of Marr’s net for the second time in the game.

Phantoms are back in National League action at Telford on Wednesday (October 27).