Peterborough Phantoms swept aside a troublesome team to continue their NIHL Division One South title challenge last night (February 17).
The city side eased to a 5-1 success against a Milton Keynes Thunder outfit who had posed them plenty of problems in all three previous meetings this term.
In fact the MK men had triumphed in their last visit to Planet Ice back in November, but Phantoms soon took command of the latest clash to ensure there wasn’t another Bretton blot on the copybook.
James White’s breakthrough, as he converted a rebound after a Nathan Pollard effort was saved, was soon followed by a Leigh Jamieson strike to double their lead in the opening session.
And two further goals followed in the second period to leave Phantoms sitting pretty. Captain James Ferrara tucked away another rebound after Scott Robson was denied and Ed Knaggs then got in on the act.
Only the frequent excellence of visiting netminder Tom Annetts prevented Phantoms from powering into a much larger lead while a Thunder consolation late in the final stanza from Ross Bowers denied their own goaltender - Euan King - a second successive shut-out.
But the city men did manage another goal of their own as Will Weldon struck with 45 seconds to go to cap a performance which pleased head coach Slava Koulikov.
He said: “We knew we had to perform well because MK have given us problems this season.
“They have won here and also led us in one of our visits to their rink. Even though we won the other one 6-1, it was still a one-goal game after two periods.
“We were also aware of the quality of their netminder, who has played well against us in every game and did so again in this one.
“We knew we had to work hard to attack the net as he doesn’t let in shots from wide areas, and we did that.
“We need to win every game and it is another two points ticked off. If we can continue picking up results, our destiny is in our hands.”
Phantoms achieved their latest success without import forward Ales Padelek, who has a groin problem. They remain level with title rivals Basingstoke, who came from behind to beat Bracknell 5-2 last night.
And Bracknell now provide the opposition for Phantoms tonight (February 18) as they travel to Berkshire (6pm).
12:02 White ass: Pollard/Weldon
16:34 Jamieson ass: Salem/Billing
24:06 J. Ferrara ass: Robson/Griffiths
35:03 Knaggs ass: Pliskauskas/Griffiths
59:15 Weldon ass: Pliskauskas/Pollard
Milton Keynes Thunder
57:24 Bowers ass: Randall/McPherson
Phantoms – Ed Knaggs
Milton Keynes Thunder – Alex Whyte