Peterborough Phantoms seek a quick bounce back from their worst night of the season
Assistant coach Jason Buckman insists Peterborough Phantoms will quickly forget their worst night of the NIHL Division One South season (January 19).
The city men remain in pole position despite being thumped 8-2 by title rivals Bracknell in a top-of-the-table showdown.
Phantoms were never able to recover after conceding four times in the opening period and eventually succumbed to their heaviest loss of the campaign.
But Buckman, in charge with head coach Slava Koulikov still away at a World Championships event with the Great Britain Under 20s side, doesn’t plan to dwell on a miserable outing.
Instead the focus shifts to an important home clash against Streatham at Planet Ice tomorrow (January 20, 5.30pm) when an immediate response is required.
Buckman said: “We’re obviously very disappointed with the result last night.
“We started poorly and it was always going to be tough to recover against a team like Bracknell.
“We did have some good spells in the second period, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
“The guys know we have to respond tomorrow and get straight back on track.
“We will draw a line under the result in Bracknell and move on in a positive frame of mind while still being top of the table.
“We talk about accountability all year and now is the time for the guys to stand up and respond.”
Phantoms fell behind to a powerplay goal from new Bracknell import Tyler VanKleef in the second minute.
Netminder Jordan Marr was later beaten a second time by the Canadian forward in the opening period when Harvey Stead and Zack Milton also found the net for the Bees.
Ales Padelek struck on a powerplay to briefly cut Phantoms’ arrears in the second session, but Bracknell responded with goals from Josh Smith and Ryan Sutton.
Martins Susters hit a second goal for Phantoms but they were put out of their misery by powerplay strikes from Smith (which prompted Marr being replaced by back-up goalie Ryan Bainborough) and Stuart Mogg in the final period.
The top four teams are now covered by just two points as a thrilling title race unfolds. Phantoms are a point clear of second-placed Bracknell and third-placed Swindon while reigning champions Basingstoke are a further point back in fourth.
Phantoms boast three games in hand on Bracknell, two on Swindon and one on Basingstoke.
1.54 VanKleef (PP) ass: Watt/Knaggs
8.18 Stead ass: Antonov/Smith
12.33 VanKleef ass: Mogg/Watt
16.53 Z. Milton ass: Sutton/Knaggs
21.00 Smith ass: Knaggs/Martin
29.37 Sutton ass: Z. Milton/J. Baird
41.18 Smith (PP) ass: Antonov/Malinik
52.08 Mogg (PP) ass: Antonov/Malinik
24.34 Padelek (PP) ass: Norton/J. Ferrara
35.31 Susters ass: Stepanek/McEwen
BRACKNELL – Danny Milton
PHANTOMS – Tom Norton