Peterborough Phantoms pulled three points clear at the top of NIHL Division One South last night (January 13) - but assistant coach Jason Buckman admitted there is still room for improvement.
The city side eased to a 6-2 success at struggling Milton Keynes Thunder to follow up a 5-0 home triumph against the same opponents 24 hours earlier.
Phantoms are now in a terrific position in the title race as they also boast games in hand on the three-team chasing pack of Swindon, Bracknell and Basingstoke.
Buckman said: “It was a good win on the road against a hard-working Milton Keynes who have had some impressive results against top teams.
“We played well in the first period to get ahead and we then started to dominate in the second period until a short spell in which we caused ourselves unnecessary pressure and gave them opportunities.
“Overall it was a good away performance and we have to be happy with a four-point weekend against a potential banana skin team.
“But there are areas we need to work on in preparation for the tougher games we face this coming weekend when we cannot afford to lose concentration.”
Will Weldon provided the breakthrough for Phantoms in the first period before they stretched the lead with a quick double-strike around the mid-point of the game.
Defenceman Callum Buglass’ first goal for the club was quickly followed a minute later by an effort from Petr Stepanek, but Thunder hit back through Ross Bowers.
“Ales Padelek restored the three-goal cushion in the final minute of the second session although it was cut again by Milton Keynes man Rio Grinell-Parke in the third period.
“But that prompted an emphatic response from Phantoms as player-coach Tom Norton provided breathing space before Stepanek applied further gloss to the scoreline inside the last minute.
“Buckman and director of hockey Jon Kynaston will again take charge of Phantoms for a top-of-the-table clash at Bracknell this Saturday (January 19, 6.30pm) and a home date against Stretham on Sunday (January 20, 5.30pm).
36.24 Bowers ass: Leblanc/Whyte
45.28 Grinell-Parke ass: Rubes/O’Flaherty
11.35 Weldon ass: Pollard/R. Ferrara
29.25 Buglass ass: McEwen/Susters
30.25 Stepanek ass: Robson/R. Ferrara
39.24 Padelek ass: J. Ferrara/Norton
51.26 Norton ass: Padelek/Billing
59.05 Stepanek ass: Susters
MILTON KEYNES – Rio Grinell-Parke
PHANTOMS – Callum Buglass