The Peterborough Phantoms Para Ice Hockey Team faced the Kingston Kestrels on Sunday afternoon at the Peterborough Ice Arena, in the British Para Ice Hockey League.
Both teams went into the game unbeaten, with the Phantoms having a victory and 2 draws under their belt, whilst the Kestrels had won all of their previous games. The game also sw the return to the Phantoms team of Stuart Perridge, who had been given the all clear to return to the sport after fighting off Cancer.
It was the Phantoms who started strongest and after just 30 seconds a pass our from Ben Vernon in the defence, sent Scotty Turner and Darren Brown clear through on Steve Gibson in the Kestrels goal. Turners shot was well saved and Brown’s rebound shot went just wide of the Kestrels post.
This set the tone for the game, with both sides giving 110% – Phantoms had the numbers, whilst Kestrels had the experience, and it was a game that kept the fans on the edge of their seats.
Simon Berry was controlling the puck for Kestrels and feeding it to the leagues top scorer, Matt Clarkson, out on the wing, whilst Matt Woollias, who leads the Assists table, was looking for the rebounds around the Phantoms goal. Standing (sitting?) in their way were rookie D-Men Ben Vernon and defensive debutant Marty Quinn who were patrolling the Phantoms Blueline.
Just as it looked as though it would be a scoreless opening period, Clarkson gave the visitors the lead on 11.49 with a shot across the body of Dave O’Meara in the Phantoms goal.
The second period started with the Phantoms picking up their first official penalty of the season, when just 30 seconds in Darren Brown was called for Tee-ing. Phantoms penaltykill unit kept the Kestrels at bay and were unlucky when Scotty Turner broke free with the puck and watched as his dipping shot from the blueline just skimmed over the Kestrels crossbar.
Kestrels doubled their lead on 18.46 when a scramble in front of the Phantoms goal saw the puck finally fall to Matt Woollias who slotted the puck into the net.
Turner and Brown had another chance on 19.35 to pull a goal back for the Phantoms. The pair broke through the Kestrels defence and it took 3 good reaction saves by Gibson to deny the Phantoms again.
On the 25 minute mark, a shot from Woollias hit O’Meara’s facecage in the Phantoms goal, and as the puck dropped to the ice it trickled over the line to make it 3-0 to the visitors. With the clock running down it was soon 4-0 as Clarkson broke through the Phantoms defence and fired the puck over O’Meara’s blocker.
Phantoms lost forward Ali Amini in the closing seconds of the period with a shoulder injury after falling awkwardly following a clean check close to the boards.
Two goals in 10 seconds at the start of the final period saw the game all but over. Just 19 seconds after the restart Clarkson whipped in a shot into the top corner of the Phantoms net. 10 seconds later and a sloppy Phantoms pass gave the puck to Clarkson on the blueline, and after fighting through traffic he fired home the visitors 6th of the game.
Phantoms continued to push forward with the new players all getting valuable ice time. The period saw the Phantoms start to shoot more on Gibson, whilst Vernon and Quinn were becoming more and more confident in defence.
On 34.03 the Kestrels netted their 7th as Simon Berry won the face-off in the Phantoms zone, moved the puck across to Clarkson whose shot saw the puck in the back of the net before O’Meara had a chance to move.
Whilst the Phantoms were keeping Gibson busy in the Kestrels goal, O’Meara in the Phantoms goal was called upon to make a number of double and triple saves to deny the visitors any further goals.
Both teams meet again next weekend, when the Phantoms travel to Hull on Saturday (Face-Off 12.15)
Man of the Match:
Phantoms: Marty Quinn
Kestrels: Matt Clarkson
Shots On Goal:
O’Meara (Phantoms): 24/7
Gibson (Kestrels): 10/0