Peterborough Phantoms were beaten in a goal-fest last night (March 16).
The double cup-winners’ final away fixture of the regular NIHL Division One South season ended in a 7-6 defeat at Raiders.
All 13 goals arrived in a shade under 29 minutes from Brandon Ayliffe’s early short-handed opener for Raiders at 3.15 to Glenn Billing’s final Phantoms goal at 32.12.
Aaron Connolly then doubled the hosts’ lead before Stepanek put Phantoms on the board, but Jake Sylvester (on a powerplay) and Ayliffe (in a delayed penalty situation) eased Raiders clear later in the opening session.
And the home side boasted a 5-1 advantage when import Juraj Huska struck 60 seconds into the middle stanza, but that goal prompted another rapid Phantoms fightback.
They struck three times in less than two minutes thanks to captain James Ferrara, player-coach Tom Norton and import ace Ales Padelek, who netted during a powerplay, to roar back into contention.
And the avalanche of goals then continued with a Matt Turner brace for Raiders – the first of which was followed by a second Ferrara goal before Billing, who spent his junior career with the Romford club, provided what proved to be the last breakthrough.
Incredibly the remaining 27 minutes and 48 seconds were blank as Phantoms suffered an eighth defeat of the season in regulation time.
Their latest loss meant Swindon were crowned champions last night with the table-toppers triumph assured even before they had completed a 4-2 win against Bracknell.
The city side still require one point to secure second place and will hope to collect that when hosting Streatham in their final outing of the regular season tonight (March 16) at Planet Ice (5.30pm).
Basingstoke can still pip them to a runners-up finish and they face rock-bottom Invicta tonight.
3.15 Ayliffe (SH) ass: Webster/Barry
11.53 Connolly ass: Pitchley/Sylvester
16.31 Sylvester (PP) ass: Scott/Huska
18.55 Ayliffe (DP) ass: Pitchley/Gray
21.00 Huska unassisted
25.49 Turner (PP) ass: Barry/Scott
31.28 Turner ass: Huska/Connolly
12.25 Stepanek ass: Susters/Weldon
21.45 J. Ferrara ass: McEwen
22.17 Norton ass: Billing/J. Ferrara
23.35 Padelek (PP) ass: Billing/Weldon
30.25 J. Ferrara ass: Stepanek/Bowering
32.12 Billing ass: Romeo
RAIDERS – Brandon Ayliffe
PHANTOMS – Glenn Billing