MATCH REPORT: City side keep the pressure on the leaders with a battling success

Will Weldon opened the scoring for Phantoms in Streatham.
Will Weldon opened the scoring for Phantoms in Streatham.
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Peterborough Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov hailed his players after they claimed success at a venue where other top NIHL Division One South sides have fallen.

The city team triumphed 2-0 at Streatham last night (February 11) thanks to a pair of first-period goals and a 41-shot shut-out for netminder Euan King.

Netminder Euan King achieved a 41-shot shutout in Streatham.

Netminder Euan King achieved a 41-shot shutout in Streatham.

Will Weldon made an unassisted breakthrough after just 96 seconds and Nathan Salem doubled the lead later in the opening session.

Phantoms then found themselves under plenty of pressure for much of the contest with King proving to be an inspired last line of defence.

They also had to kill a series of penalties late in the second period and early in the final stanza – including a lengthy spell of five on three – before being able to complete a four-point weekend which ensured they kept pace with title rivals Basingstoke.

And it is now very much a two-horse race for the crown with third-placed Swindon having been cast eight points adrift of the leading pair after suffering three successive defeats in the past week.

“We are playing with the pressure of knowing we need to win every game and the guys are showing great character,” said Koulikov.

“We battled hard against Bracknell on Saturday night when things didn’t always go our way, and every single player rose to the occasion again last night.

“Streatham are a good team and it is a tough place to play. Basingstoke and Swindon have both been beaten there, but we have now come away with two wins.

“’Kinger’ has really helped us this weekend. He was outstanding in both games.

“He made some huge saves against Bracknell and won us the shoot-out and he really deserved the shut-out against Streatham.”

Phantoms were without defenceman Scott Robson against Streatham. He took a blow to the knee during the success against Bracknell the previous evening.

Captain James Ferrara did play through the pain of a foot injury last night. That was sustained when blocking a shot against the Bees.

Phantoms return to action on Saturday (February 17) when they entertain Milton Keynes Thunder at Planet Ice (7pm). A trip to Bracknell follows on Sunday (February 18, 6pm).

MATCH DETAILS

Goals

Phantoms

1:36 Weldon unassisted

12:31 Salem ass: Padelek/Griffiths

Men-of-the-match

Streatham – Matt Colclough

Phantoms – Euan King