Peterborough Phantoms beat Bracknell thanks to a late flurry of goals

Petr Stepanek opened the scoring for Phantoms against Bracknell.
Petr Stepanek opened the scoring for Phantoms against Bracknell.
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A late charge earned Peterborough Phantoms success in their first NIHL National Division home fixture last night (September 22).

The city team saw off Bracknell 3-0 at Planet Ice to gain immediate revenge for a 5-4 defeat at the hands of the same opponents in Berkshire the previous evening.

Phantoms had to wait more than 50 minutes to find a breakthrough, but then took command with two goals in the space of just 19 seconds from their import stars.

Petr Stepanek provided the first of them when classily finishing a stunning Martins Susters pass during a powerplay before Ales Padelek struck with a rocket of a shot.

A third powerplay goal from Susters, which also arrived in a delayed penalty situation, inside the final minute then sealed the points as Bracknell self-destructed with a series of needless cheap shots.

Phantoms chief Slava Koulikov said: “It wasn’t about getting revenge for Saturday when we gave the game away in Bracknell, it was about providing the right response and we did that.

“I felt we were the better team throughout the game, but it could have gone either way for a long time.

“Fortunately for us we were able to get the goals in the third period and get our first two points of the season on the board.

“The special teams were both good. We killed a lot of penalties which was pleasing after conceding three powerplay goals the previous night, and we also managed to get two of our goals in powerplays too.”

Neither side could manage a breakthrough in a niggly opening period.

Phantoms killed a succession of penalties (at least two of which were awarded dubiously) in efficient style before Stepanek came closest to opening the scoring with a succession of his trademark thunderbolts as the period drew to a close.

Phantoms twice found the net in the middle session only for efforts from Susters and Will Weldon to be washed out for reasons that weren’t immediately apparent. Bracknell also saw a goal disallowed as the puck was kicked into the net.

The game was much more open in the final period and Phantoms eventually capitalised on a numerical advantage to take a lead they doubled almost immediately.

Their victory was ultimately emphatic and came complete with a 23-shot shut-out for netminder Jordan Marr against a Bees side only able to ice import for the second successive night with Robin Kovar again sitting out.

And the Berkshire side were missing another of their key attacking weapons with Ivan Antonov playing for lower-level Streatham as part of his two-way deal.

Phantoms are in action twice again this weekend with a Saturday (September 28) trip to title favourites Swindon followed by a Sunday (September 29) home date against Basingstoke.

MATCH DETAILS

Goals

PHANTOMS

50.17 Stepanek (PP) ass: Susters/Robson

50.36 Padelek ass: J. Ferrara

59.33 Susters (PP) ass: Norton/J. Ferrara