Peterborough Phantoms produced a pleasing response to claim NIHL Autumn Cup success last night (September 30).
The city team triumphed 3-2 at Sheffield thanks to an overtime winner from Glenn Billing to close in on a semi-final spot.
Phantoms had earlier seen a two-goal advantage wiped out, but Billing delivered the killer blow with 59 seconds of sudden death to go to claim revenge against the Steeldogs following their Saturday win at Planet Ice.
“We got what we needed from the game – and that was two points,” said Koulikov.
“Sheffield are the reigning champions in the North conference and are clearly a very strong team.
“They have a good goalie, a very capable defenceman and two top forwards. All four of those guys are stand-out players.
“Sometimes things don’t go your way in sport and Saturday was one of those occasions, but we moved on and responded in the right way.
“We battled really hard and showed a lot of character when Sheffield got level. We reacted well to that, we kept our cool and went on to win the game.
“It was an even game that could have gone either way, but there is no doubt we deserved two points from the weekend as a whole.
“Our fate is in our own hands now and one win next weekend will guarantee us a place in the semi-finals.”
Import Ales Padelek fired Phantoms ahead with the only goal of the opening period and their lead was doubled early in the second session when James White struck on a powerplay.
But former Phantoms man Nathan Salem’s second goal in as many nights halved the advantage and Sheffield levelled less than a minute into the third period through import ace Milan Kolena.
The hosts saw another goal disallowed for interference on impressive Phantoms netminder Jordan Marr and then had forward Ash Calvert thrown out for fighting late on.
And while Phantoms didn’t make that penalty count, they did claim the extra point courtesy of Billing’s finish in overtime.
Phantoms complete their group games this weekend with back-to-back clashes against Hull. They host the Pirates on Saturday (October 6, 7pm) ahead of a return trip the following night (October 7, 5.30pm).
The six teams involved in this competition – three South and three North - only play teams from the other region in the group stage. The top two teams from each region then advance to the semi-finals.
35.57 Salem ass: Calvert/Kolena
40.46 Kolena ass: Morgan/Smith
12.06 Padelek ass: J. Ferrara/Billing
21.41 White (PP) ass: McEwen/Weldon
64.01 Billing ass: Padelek/J. Ferrara