The Peterborough Phantoms Para Ice Hockey Team made the trip North to Humberside on Saturday morning to face the League Champions elect the Kingston Kestrels.
The Kestrels had put 7 unanswered goals past the Phantoms the previous week, and the depleted Phantoms team knew it was going to be a tough day. Ben Vernon and Marty Quinn were the only two D-Men, whilst a forward line of Scotty Turner, Kieran O’Meara and Dan Grange left Graham Kimber and the Stuart Perridge as the only two subs. Between the pipes was the talkative David O’Meara.
A win for the Kestrels would see them retain their BPIHA League Title, but the Phantoms were going to make them work for title.
Phantoms started well with David O’Meara called into action early on to deny the leagues top scorer, Matt Clarkson, with some good saves from distance, whilst Vernon and Quinn were shutting down the Kestrels attacks.
Kestrels did break the deadlock on 4.18 when Matt Woollias fed the puck to Clarkson to find the back of the net, but it was their only goal in a period that saw the Phantoms shutdown the Kestrels threat.
Being a single goal down going into the second period,the Phantoms knew they were still in the game. The Kestrels came out like a team possessed and despite raining shots on the Phantoms net were still unable to extend their lead. Scotty Turner came close for the Phantoms before the game turned midway through the period when 2 goals in a 3 minute spell sealed the Phantoms fate. Dave Blakeston setup Matt Woollias for the Kestrels second of the game on 21.33 and on 24.11 it was Clarkson who turned provider as Woollias doubled his tally. Despite the goals, the Phantoms kept their foicus and when in possession of the puck they protected it well, and had the better possession of the period.
90 seconds before the break it was 4-0 when Dave Parker and Woollias teamed up to provide Matt Clarkson with his second goal of the day.
The final period started with Clarkson and Woollias playing in defence for the Kestrels for the first few shifts to give the Kestrels newer players more gametime experience. For Phantoms, Stuart Perridge, who had just returned after beating Cancer was getting a lot of icetime, as was Phantoms rookie Dan Grange. New players will only improve if they have game icetime, and today was proving a great experience for both teams.
With Marty Quinn in the penalty box for Tee’ing a powrplay goal from James Morris made it 5-0 to the homeside and the league trophy was staying in Humberside.
Phantoms kept battling and thwarting the Kestrels, despite being heavily outshot. With the clock running down Clarkson netted his hatrick goal on 44.06 to hane the Kestrels the victory.
Man of the Match beers went to David O’Meara and Dave Blakeston.
Shots on Goal:
Kestrels – Ian Houlliston – 4/0 (1-1-2)
Phantoms – David O’Meara – 34/6 (8-16-10)