Sunday evening the Swindon Wildcats made the journey to Peterborough to take on the Phantoms in the second game of the EPL season. With the exception of Floyd Taylor the Wildcats were at full strength as they went in search of their first win of the season.
It was sense of deja vu when the Wildcats went behind in the first minute for the second night in a row. Petr Stepanek sped down the right wing and was able to fire a big shot past Lyle at his near post, with the goal timed at 0:53. Swindon were determined to find a way back into the game.
At 4:16 the young duo of Toms Rutkis and Ben Davies linked up and the British Latvian smacked the puck past Janis Auzins into the net to bring the Cats level. At 10:39 the Phantoms retook the lead in the game when Darius Pliskauskas produced a neat move around the Swindon defence and into the bottom corner of the net. Swindon then had a brilliant chance on the powerplay but Janis Auzins produced one of the best saves you'll see to deny Max Birbraer.
The Phantoms then had a 3 minute spell which Swindon had absolutely no answer to. At 12:18 James Ferrara had a shot from the blue-line find its way through traffic and a slight deflection was enough to take the puck past Lyle. Coach Nell decided it was the moment to use his time-out. The Phantoms wasted no time and found their fourth goal just 19 seconds later.
The puck was half cleared from behind the net but Tom Norton picked up the puck at the point and fired a massive slapshot through Lyle to give Peterborough a three goal lead. Swindon thought they'd had a goal a few minutes later only for referee Thompson to wash the goal out saying it'd been kicked in. The nightmare first period was over and the Cats entered the locker room three goals behind.
The middle stanza started in a similar fashion to the first, at 20:26 the Phantoms extended their advantage yet again. A goal mouth scramble saw the puck bouncing around the crease which enabled James Archer to react first and put the puck over the line. The Cats had to regroup again and take the game shift by shift, as the period ticked by they were beginning to create more and more chances. Tomasz Malasinski fed Aaron Nell who was yet again denied by Auzins.
Despite the early goal the second period world of prove to be a lot more even but the 'Cats still couldn't find a way through Auzins, who was denying everyone from Jan Kostal to Adam Finlinson.
The third period again was a well matched battle, both sides were creating chances but the only side to convert were the home side. Midway through the period Martins Susters was able to slam the puck from in the slot and make it 6-1 to the home side. Tempers boiled over slightly near the end when Kyle Smith and Tom Norton dropped the gloves, neither player managed any big blows but both held good accounts of themselves. The seconds ticked down and despite a late few chances on Adam Long, who'd replaced Auzins in the Phantoms net, the buzzer sounded and the 'Cats had fallen to their second defeat in row.
Man of the Match:
Peterborough Phantoms - Tom Norton
Swindon Wildcats - Ben Davies