Peterborough Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov ordered his players to stop picking up ‘stupid penalties’ after another NIHL National Division away defeat.
The city team were brushed aside 5-0 by title favourites Swindon at The Link Centre last night (September 28) and Koulikov was far from happy with their discipline.
“I will tell you exactly what I told the guys after the game,” said Koulikov. “That is that we took a lot of stupid penalties and it has cost us a result for the second time in three league games.
“It is hurting us right now and it’s something that is very easy to correct, but the guys have to do it themselves.
“We have always had the lowest amount of penalty minutes in the league while I have been in charge.
“I can put a plan in place, but I can’t control the actions of individuals when they are on the ice.”
Phantoms fell behind to a goal from former player Eddie Bebris in the opening session and the deficit doubled late in the middle stanza when Wildcats import Tomasz Malasinksi struck in a short-handed situation.
Any hopes of a fightback were killed off by three more Swindon goals in the space of a minute and a half during the closing period.
Floyd Taylor provided the first of them before Chris Jones struck on a powerplay. Malasinski then completed the scoring before Phantoms netminder Jordan Marr kept out a penalty shot from Jones.
“We all know Swindon are a very good team and going there is never easy,” added Koulikov.
“I felt we still had a chance at 2-0 down going into the third period, but you don’t win hockey games if you can’t score a goal.
“We had plenty of opportunities on the powerplay, including a spell of five on three, but we couldn’t take advantage.
“I was happy with the goaltending and the defensive work overall, but we need to get more going offensively.”
The absence of star forward Corey McEwen to injury certainly won’t be helping Phantoms in that respect. Summer signing Conor Pollard also missed the trip to Wiltshire as he is now unavailable for two weekends.
Young talent Taylor Romeo did return from injury with Phantoms again calling on Kieran Raynor and Joe Gretton, who are signed to their second team.
Phantoms are in home action tonight (September 29) when they host Basingstoke at Planet Ice (5.30pm).
14.42 Bebris ass: Liddiard
37.42 Malasinski (SH) unassisted
50.21 F. Taylor ass: L. Taylor/Godfrey
51.13 Jones (PP) ass: Malasinski/Nell
51.48 Malasinski ass: Birbraer/Nell
Men of the match
SWINDON – Renny Marr
PHANTOMS – Jarvis Hunt