Peterborough Phantoms booked their place in the semi-finals of the NIHL Autumn Cup after triumphing on penalties last night (October 6).
The city team came from behind to pip Hull 2-1 following a shoot-out at Planet Ice in which Corey McEwen – a man playing through an injury niggle - was the only player to find the net.
McEwen’s effort sandwiched a saved Petr Stepanek attempt and Ales Padelek strike against the bar, but one successful penalty shot proved to be enough as impressive Phantoms netminder Jordan Marr kept out James Archer’s first penalty shot for Hull before Bobby Chamberlain and Matty Davies both missed the target.
It clinched a victory which set up a semi-final date with fellow NIHL Division One South qualifiers Swindon while Hull, who were already assured of advancing, will face Sheffield in the last four in the North.
“We knew it was a game we had to win and we got the two points in the end,” said Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov.
“The guys showed their character to not let their heads go down and get back level after conceding a goal.
“We’re creating the chances yet we can’t quite get the killer goals at the moment, but huge credit goes to the guys for battling through and getting the win in the end.
“Corey probably shouldn’t have played in all truth, but he wanted to get out there for the team and it was great to see him get the winning goal.
“Hull are a really good hockey team who I expect to win a trophy this year so to match and beat them is pleasing.
“I’m sure it will be a great semi-final against Swindon who are one of the best – if not the best – team in the league.”
The two earlier goals both arrived in the second period.
Jordan Fisher fired Hull ahead and only a terrific Marr save denied the visitors a second goal moments later.
Another glorious Hull chance also went begging before Phantoms clawed their way back onto level terms when player-coach Tom Norton struck on a powerplay.
There were no further breakthroughs on a night when Marr and rival netminder Tomas Fucik both starred and the two teams also drew a blank in overtime despite Phantoms having a numerical advantage for the final two minutes.
But the contest was eventually settled in the shoot-out with McEwen earning Phantoms the extra point.
Phantoms now travel to Hull tonight (October 7, 5.30pm) when the prize of topping the NIHL Autumn Cup group is at stake.
31.10 Norton (PP) ass: Weldon/McEwen
22:10 Fisher ass: Lyon
PHANTOMS – Jordan Marr
HULL – Tomas Fucik