Peterborough Phantoms showed no mercy to depleted opponents when dishing out a double-figures destruction last night (September 30).
The city side extended their perfect start to the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) Division One South campaign with a 13-1 rout of Cardiff Fire in a top-versus-bottom clash at Planet Ice.
Cardiff arrived with only 13 skaters - including a rookie netminder - and a host of players missing. It took only 14 seconds for Phantoms to hit the front through Nathan Salem - the first of seven goals to arrive in a ruthless opening period - as they breezed to a fourth successive league victory.
Summer signing Salem was one of nine different players to find the twine with import Ales Padelek leading the way thanks to a hat-trick. Salem also struck again while Leigh Jamieson and Darius Pliskauskas bagged themselves a brace apiece.
The bumper haul included two powerplay strikes - from Padelek and Tom Norton - and two short-handed goals - from captain James Ferrara and Salem - while a rocket shot from Padelek to complete his treble was probably the pick of the bunch.
The only surprise was Phantoms only managed one goal in a second period they spent almost exclusively in the Fire zone, but normal service was resumed in the final period when the lamp was lit on five occasions.
And it was during the closing session that Cardiff also grabbed their consolation when Kalle Allner found a way past competitive debutant Jack Peacock. The teenager was sent on just before the mid-point of the contest in place of regular shot-stopper Adam Long.
“The game was obviously done and dusted in the first period,” said Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov. “It was a good opportunity for us to give young guys plenty of time on the ice and I was pleased that we didn’t allow our standards to drop.
“Cardiff had two goalies and the whole of their first line missing from what I can gather. The fact they were so short-benched was a factor in the result.
“I’m not sure whether or not those guys will be back tomorrow (Sunday), but it will be a different game regardless. We’re the team making the long trip and we have to ensure we are ready when we step off the bus.
“We knew it was important to start well as the league season is much shorter than in previous years. We’ve done that and we need to focus on continuing to pick up points.”
As Koulikov mentioned, Phantoms face another clash against Cardiff when travelling to the Ice Arena Wales tonight (October 1, 6pm). They will be expected to complete a second successive four-point weekend.
0:14 Salem ass: Pliskauskas/Griffiths
2:28 Pliskauskas ass: Griffiths/Salem
3:20 Padelek (PP) ass: Griffiths/Robson
7:22 J. Ferrara (SH) ass: Billing
8:39 Jamieson ass: Weldon
16:34 Weldon ass: Pliskauskas/Jamieson
19:31 Norton (PP) ass: J. Ferrara
35:15 Jamieson ass: Weldon/Padelek
45:25 Pliskauskas ass: Griffiths/Robson
48:34 Padelek ass: Jamieson/Weldon
50:09 Padelek ass: Robson/Jamieson
52:50 Salem (SH) ass: Pliskauskas
57:48 White unassisted
46:40 Allner ass: Sheppard/Sadler
Phantoms - Leigh Jamieson
Cardiff - Lewis Davies