After a 3-0 win at Swindon Wildcats in their first game on Saturday, hopes were high the city side could complete a quickfire double over the team that finished second in the regular season standings at Planet Ice the following night.
And they almost managed it, slipping instead to a 4-3 defeat. Two points from two games against the highest-ranked team in the group remains a satisfactory outcome though.
Just like the first game the first period was tense and tight and ended goalless.
The visitors were slicker in the second-period and took the lead on the powerplay as Emil Svec wired a pass across to Aaron Nell & the player-coach had all the time he needed to fire a laser into the back of Jordan Marr’s net.
Phantoms levelled it up three and a half minutes later as Duncan Speirs fired strongly and, although his shot was saved, Glenn Billing was on hand to tap in the rebound.
Brothers, and rival netminders, Jordan Marr (Phantoms) and Renny Marr (Wildcats) ensured there were no further goals before a dramatic third period.
Phantoms went ahead on a 5 v 3 powerplay with Nathan Salem scoring, but Sam Bullas equalised five minutes later. Callum Buglass shot Phantoms ahead again, but the visitors were level again within a minute with a backhand strike from Balint Pokodzi which took a wicket deflection before flying home.
It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the game with Swindon’s physicaility giving them the edge, although Jordan Marr will not look back kindly on the winning goal. Former Phantom Edgars Bebris was the scorer 50 seconds from time with a low and hard shot that sneaked past Marr by his post.
The other two teams in the group Basingstoke and Sheffield also shared the points over two matches leaving every team on two points after the first weekend.
Phantoms tackle Basingstoke in a double-header over the Easter weekend, away on Saturday (April 16, 6.30pm) and at home on Sunday (5.30pm).