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Match report: Peterborough Phantoms 4 - 2 Bracknell Bees

posted 18 Sep 2017, 13:09 by john slater

Saturday the 16th September saw the Bees head up north to take on the ever tricky Peterborough Phantoms. Hot off the back of their win in Milton Keynes the weekend previous, Scott Spearing's Bees were keen to keep the momentum going.

Last season it was Phantoms netminder Janis Auzins who was always one of the key differences in the way of a win, but now with new NIHL rules, import netminders appear to be a thing of the past and former back-up Adam Long is now first choice up in Peterborough while for this game, the Bees went with Alex Mettam.

Despite a small home crowd, the Peterborough drummers were out in full force and determined to make the night as noisy and intimidating as possible. The Bees are no strangers to adversity or pressure and as the game started put Long to work after a few quick face off wins. But it was the home team who had some of the better chances, however Bees nettie Mettam was equal to them, pulling off a couple of impressive saves.

Peterborough and local lad James White, got the opening goal of the night as the Bees were on the attack and left themselves open at the back. With star defence-man Jan Bendik off the ice with skate issues, the Phantoms took full advantage and were able to make it 2-0 in a 30 seconds period through Lithuanian international Darius Pliskauskas. Bracknell regained their composure and were able to see out a scrappy first period without giving up any further goals.

The Bees started the second period much sharper and right at the end of a penalty kill, with Peterborough on the attack, it was they who left space at the back. Shaun Thompson received the puck, sped down the ice only to see his shot saved by Long. The resulting rebound was then struck off the post by Thompson, who then gathered the puck, went behind the goal and centred for Spearing to finish and make the score 2-1.

The game saw a nasty accident as Bees forward Alex Barker took a Bendik slapshot directly to the head. Fortunately he made his own way back to the bench but looked very unsure on his skates and he would play no further part in the evening. Again the period got a little scrappy but with both teams getting in some big hits on each other. Callum Best had a great chance to level the score, again with a breakaway, but was unable to find the 5-hole on Long.

The first 3 minutes of the final period were the undoing of the Bees as they allowed two goals in just over a minute. The first was highly contentious, as a scramble around the net after Mettam had made a save seemed to then get bundled in over the line. After much remonstrating by the Bees the officials were in no doubt and gave the goal. Pliskauskas got his second as yet again the Bees were left short at the back, this time Josh Tetlow unable to cover both attacking forwards.

It wasn't until the 50th minute that Bracknell saw their first power-play, however it wasn't until they were yet again on the power-play in the 57th minute that they were actually able to do something with the man advantage. A shot by Bakrlik was partially blocked and in one swift move, Josh Tetlow picked up the puck turned and hit a beauty of a shot in the top left corner of the goal.

Unfortunately for the Bees that was the last action of the game as the home team managed to see out a 4-2 win.

Man of the match awards went to Shaun Thompson for the Bees and to Adam Long for the Phantoms.

Match stats
Period scores: 2-0, 0-1, 2-1
Phantoms Scorers: Pliskauskas 2+0; White 1+1; Weldon 1+0; Norton, Jamieson, Knaggs, Long, Billing, Griffiths & Salem 0+1
Bees scorers: Tetlow & Spearing 1+0; Thompson 0+2; Bakrlik 0+1
Phantoms PIMS: 8 (Robson, Pliskauskas, Knaggs & J.Ferrara 2)
Bees PIMS: 12 (Galazzi, Thompson, Spearing, Barker, Bakrlik & Martin 2)
Shots on Phantoms (Long): 42 (14, 15, 13)
Shots on Bees (Mettam & Empty net): 39 (18, 10, 11) & (0, 0, 0)

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