Match report by John Slater
The Bees made the long trip north to take on the Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday evening with the Phantoms having only dropped three points all season at home and boasting the league leading net minder and a twenty game winning streak over the Bees. They went into the game at full strength whilst the Phantoms were missing Marc Levers & Dan Lane. Netminders Alex Mettam, for the Bees, and Janis Auzins for the Phantoms, started the match in the respective goals. Referee Matt Thompson took charge of the match with Liv Andersson & Nathan Carmichael on the lines.
The early exchanges were cagey with the teams both looking for a good start to the match. The first chance of the night went the way of the home team for Martins Susters whose shot whistled wide of the Bees post. The first few minutes saw end to end action but with few clear chances and a lot of the play in the neutral zone. A shot from distance by James Galazzi straight into the chest of Janis Auzins in the Phantoms net was the Bees first clear chance of the night as both defences started the game well. Martin Pavlicek and Harvey Stead picked up knocks after about eight minutes but were able to continue. Eight minutes into the game Scott Spearing picked up a interference minor and the home team Phantoms powerplay unit set to work. A long pass from Petr Stepanek to Ales Padelek on the power play broke the Bees down the middle and Padelek made no mistake finishing past Alex Mettam in the Bees net for the opening goal. Only seconds later a double save by Alex Mettam from Darius Pliskauskas and Tom Norton as the home side Phantoms pushed forward following the opening goal. A Scott Spearing shot went narrowly wide as the Bees looked to fight their way back into the period but the Phantoms applied the pressure. Josh Smith pounced on a loose puck and let fly with a big shot but Janis Auzins was equal to it. More end to end action followed but again with limited chances for the Bees and with Alex Mettam alert in the Bees net to keep out the Phantoms. Matt Foord tried his luck from distance tested Janis Auzins as the Bees again pushed forward looking for the equaliser. With just over three minutes remaining in the period the Phantoms Will Weldon was called for hooking and the Bees had a power play opportunity of their own. A quick shot from David Gaborcik was well saved by Auzins as the Bees looked to make the man advantage count. A chance in close for Shaun Thompson was also deflected wide but the Phantoms penalty kill unit saw off the penalty and broke down the ice and netted their second goal as James Archer finished in close following a scramble in front of the Bees net with just over thirty seconds left in the opening period.
Early chances the way of Scott Spearing and Petr Stepanek as the first couple of minutes of the second period ticked away reflected the end to end early play. Olegs Lascenko robbed Janis Auzins of the puck but couldn’t square it and the chance was cleared. The Bees pushed forward in search of their first goal of the evening and shots from Luka Basic and Martin Pavlicek were well saved but it was the home side Phantoms that further extended their lead as Ales Padelek finished a one time effort on a pass from James Archer with just under four minutes gone in the second stanza. The Bees responded well and applied more pressure but Janis Auzins dealt with chances in close for Josh Smith, Matt Foord and Shaun Thompson. A tripping call on Scott Spearing with just over six minutes on the clock in the second period put the home side Phantoms back on to the power play. Petr Stepanek fired the puck just wide on a quick wrist shot and Alex Mettam had to be on from to keep Pliskauskas out in close. Against the run of play the Bees robbed the Phantoms of the puck and Shaun Thompson found Luka Basic who rounded Janis Auzins well for the Bees first goal of the evening. The joy for the Bees didn’t last long however as a break from Darius Pliskauskas saw him round Alex Mettam for the Phantoms fourth goal of the evening only seconds later. A scramble in front of the Bees net was covered by the Bees and they Bracknell side started to push forward once more and Alex Barker tried a long range shot that Auzins was equal to. Play became a little scrappy following the Phantoms goal and a big save from Alex Mettam robbed Ales Padelek in close to keep the Bees in the game. Janis Auzins in the Phantoms net was assessed an holding minor whilst out playing the puck and the Bees power play unit headed into action. The Bees Alex Barker fired a wrist shot in from the blue line but Padelek saved well. The penalty expired just as Shaun Thompson had a chance in close with the Bees still pushing forward James Galazzi and Alex Barker also had chances in close. A quick break for Olegs Lascenko saw him try a quick wrist shot but Auzins gloved the puck down for the whistle. Another big save by Alex Mettam in close again robbed the Phantoms Petr Stepanek as the play swung from end to end. The home side would further extend their lead as James Ferrara finished with a wrist shot past Alex Mettam with just over three minutes remaining in the second period. Only seconds later the Bees turned the puck over and Petr Stepanek found Martins Susters on a two on one breakaway to give the home side a five goal lead. Scott Spearing had an effort in close in response but the puck was blocked by a Phantoms defenceman as time expired on the period.
The action started early in the third period as Robert Ferrara fired a quick shot in on Alex Mettam before Josh Tetlow had a chance at the other end of the ice. Sam Towner missed a chance in close for the Phantoms as they early play in the period was dominated by the home side. More pressure for the Phantoms saw the puck rebound luckily out to Ales Padelek who tapped the puck home in close for his third goal of the evening and the Phantoms seventh goal. A break from Carl Thompson saw the puck trickle narrowly wide of the Phantoms net. Two quick chances in close for Shaun Thompson showed that the Bees were still looking to narrow the Phantoms lead but the puck was scrambled away by the Phantoms defence. The period ticked away with a lot of play but both sides struggling to create any chances as the Bees battled hard to get back into the game and the Phantoms looked to have settled the play down a little sensing a six goal lead would be enough. Carl Thompson fired in a quick wrist shot but Auzins gloved the puck for the whistle. With nine minutes left in the match up Bees defenceman David Gaborcik was called for a holding minor. Alex Mettam was alert to keep out a Darius Pliskauskas blast on the resulting power play. Shaun Thompson broke clear and had two good short-handed efforts in close before the Phantoms started to apply the pressure with the extra man firing shots in from all angles. Things got worse for the Bees as Scott Spearing tried to get to the puck he was assessed a slashing minor giving the Phantoms a few seconds of five on three advantage. The Bees dug deep and Alex Mettam came up with another big save to deny James Archer. The Phantoms kept up the power play pressure but a good break short-handed saw David Gaborcik intercept a pass out from Janis Auzins and fire it past the Phantoms netminder for the Bees second short-handed goal of the evening, narrowing the lead to five. Olegs Lascenko also had a breakaway chance but could only get a weak backhand effort away. A turnover in the Bees zone however with a little over four minutes left in the game as James Ferrara robbed James Galazzi of the puck and shot over Alex Mettams shoulder for the Phantoms eighth goal. Another turnover gave Will Weldon a breakaway chance but Alex Mettam did well to deny the on rushing Phantom with just over two minutes remaining. A scramble in front of the Phantoms net saw Shaun Thompson come close before the Phantoms broke to the other end of the ice and force Alex Mettam into another big save. As the game entered the final minute it was the home side finishing the game on the front foot as they ran out comfortable winners on their home ice.
The man of the match awards went to Luka Basic for the travelling Bees and to Ales Padelek for the home side Phantoms.
Period scores: 2-0; 4-1; 2-1
Phantoms scorers: Padelek 3+1; Archer 1+3; Pliskauskas 1+2; J.Ferrara 2+0; Susters 1+1; Stepanek & Norton 0+2; Robson, Darge & Towner 0+1
Bees scorers: Gaborcik & Basic 1+0; S.Thompson 0+1
Phantoms PIMS: 4 (Weldon & Auzins 2)
Bees PIMS: 8 (Spearing 4; L.Smtial & Gaborcik 2)
Shots on Phantoms (Auzins): 21 (5, 10, 6)
Shots on Bees (Mettam): 47 (15, 14, 18)