MATCH REPORT: Late power surges sees Phantoms claim a vital victory

Owen Griffiths turns away in celebration after firing Phantoms ahead against Swindon. Photo: Tom Scott.
Owen Griffiths turns away in celebration after firing Phantoms ahead against Swindon. Photo: Tom Scott.
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Peterborough Phantoms produced a late power surge to boost their NIHL Division One South title challenge last night (December 23).

The city side hit four goals in the final 10 minutes of a crucial – and increasingly fractious – Planet Ice showdown to see off fellow championship hopefuls Swindon 6-2.

Tom Norton (centre) celebrates his goal for Phantoms against Swindon with team-mates Ales Padelek and James Ferrara. Photo: Tom Scott.

Tom Norton (centre) celebrates his goal for Phantoms against Swindon with team-mates Ales Padelek and James Ferrara. Photo: Tom Scott.

It was a terrific outcome in their first league fixture for almost a month - and final home clash of 2017.

Phantoms were boosted by netminder Euan King being declared fit after being briefly knocked out during an NIHL National Cup defeat in Sheffield last weekend.

But he was beaten by a powerplay strike from Sam Bullas as Swindon hit the front in the opening period.

Import Ales Padelek soon had Phantoms back on level terms, but they found themselves trailing again early in the second session when Luc Johnson lit the lamp.

Phantoms' Robert Ferrara (right) battles with former Phantom Edgars Bebris on his debut for Swindon Wildcats. Photo: Tom Scott.

Phantoms' Robert Ferrara (right) battles with former Phantom Edgars Bebris on his debut for Swindon Wildcats. Photo: Tom Scott.

Darius Pliskauskas tucked a powerplay equaliser late in the period and Phantoms then swept the visitors aside with a fantastic finale.

Former Swindon man Owen Griffiths fired them ahead for the first time with another powerplay goal before Tom Norton and Glenn Billing also struck on numerical advantages as the visitors lost their discipline.

Wildcats man Phil Hill sat out the closing stages following a check to the head while player-coach Aaron Nell earned himself a 10-minute misconduct penalty from referee Paul Brooks.

An empty-net strike from Pliskauskas in the final minute put the seal on a pleasing performance and emphatic result for Slava Koulikov’s men.

The success keeps Phantoms a point behind leaders Basingstoke. They face a return clash against Swindon on Friday (December 29) ahead of two quickfire clashes against the table-topping Bison – away on December 30 and at home on New Year’s Day.

MATCH DETAILS

Goals

Phantoms

17:29 Padelek ass: J. Ferrara

36:49 Pliskauskas (PP) ass: Weldon/Jamieson

50:50 Griffths (PP) ass: Padelek/J. Ferrara

55:25 Norton (PP) ass: Padelek/J. Ferrara

57:10 Billing (PP) ass: Salem/Pliskauskas

59:25 Pliskauskas (ENG)

Swindon

13:50 Bullas (PP) ass: Power/Kostal

22:03 Johnson ass: Taylor/Stone

Men-of-the-match

Phantoms – Owen Griffiths

Swindon – Renny Marr