Stars Shut Out Phantoms To Remain Top Of The League
MATCH REPORT: Stars Vs Peterborough Phantoms
It was the Peterborough Phantoms’ second game of the season against the Oxford City Stars, and they were hoping to avenge a 7-3 defeat by the Stars last time around, as well as bounce back from a 6-0 shutout defeat by the Solent Devils the week before, but the top-of-the-table Stars proved to be too strong for them.
The first period was pretty even, with no goals but both sides creating chances, the visitors outshooting the home side 9-6. The Stars had an immediate chance, Connor Stokes for the Phantoms then passing the puck to Conor Pollard, but it was intercepted. The puck passed back and forth between the two teams, Dominic Hopkins and Alexander Staples amongst those with chances. Kamil Kinkor then had a great chance but he found no one to pass the puck to. Shots by the Phantoms’ Bradley Moore and the Stars’ Joshua Oliver were followed by the first penalty of the game, with Michael Whillock sitting out for tripping 6 ½ minutes into the period. The Phantoms tried to take advantage of their Power play with a number of shots towards Milan Ronai in the Stars’ goal, one of them by Pollard bouncing up in the air after hitting Ronai, but none of them were successful.
The away side had another chance when a second Stars player was thrown in the sin bin shortly afterwards; Andrew Shurmer for holding the stick. Despite this, Conor Redmond got hold of the puck and raced to Daniel Lane in the Phantoms’ net, but his effort was stopped. It was followed by some shots by the Phantoms, but the penalty once again expired without incident. Redmond was on the move again, with one of his shots resulting in Lane diving out of the net and pulling it off its moorings. Shots from Joe Edwards and Hopkins followed, but instead of goals it was yet another penalty for the home side, with Joshua Florey out this time for slashing, but Shaun Yardley was also given a holding the stick penalty for the Phantoms. With subsequent chances by both sides, the Phantoms ended the period on the penalty kill, with Leon Groom taken out for holding after impeding the progress of Redmond, who had the puck near the opposing net. With the Stars players passing the puck amongst themselves, the whistle blew for the end of the first period with no goals having been scored on either side.
The Stars came out firing on all cylinders in the second period easily outshooting the Phantoms 16-6 in what proved to be a crucial period in the game. Jake Florey was the first with a long shot towards Lane; a few minutes into the period the Phantoms’ Clint Herring incurred a penalty for delay of game, and the Stars took the opportunity on the Power play. With Whillock called out for a 10 minute misconduct penalty they still had the advantage of an extra man on the ice, and a Power play goal scored by Edwards and assisted by Hopkins, from the corner of the rink, was the reward. Less than 30 seconds later the Stars were themselves a man down with Joshua Oliver out for kneeing, but they scored their second goal whilst short-handed, this one scored by Hopkins with Kinkor assisting. In the intervening minutes both teams had shots but things turned nasty when Dax Hedges started a fight and then shoved an opposing player whilst he was down on the ground. Hedges was given 2+10 for checking from behind, with Jake Florey joining him in the penalty box for roughing, and Herring also sat out for roughing on the opposing side. Yardley had a chance to get one back for the Phantoms whilst on the Power play but wasn’t successful.
After the penalties expired the Phantoms were called for another penalty, this time on Nathan Long for tripping, and a minute later Hopkins fired off a shot from the blue line that bounced into the net and back out again, sounding the goal buzzer for the third time. Assists this time came from Edwards and Kinkor. With both teams firing off shots again, Edwards’ second goal of the night made it a hat-trick of Power play goals, with Kenny Bavin now in the sin bin for the opponents. The assists came from Josh Florey and Redmond. With four minutes left in the period the momentum was with the Stars, who fired off a number of shots in the last minutes, most notably from Oliver, Redmond and Martyn Gray, but the period ended with the Stars 4-0 up.
The third period was a little more even in terms of shots, but the home side managed to increase their goal tally even further. The Phantoms had opportunities to add a goal of their own from Herring, Craig Wallis and Jack Sansby, but it was the Stars who got their first even-handed goal of the game eight minutes into the period; Jake Florey with the honours this time, from Oliver and Edwards. A kneeing penalty for the Phantoms’ Connor Hunter was the result of a hit to Jason Ikin, and the Stars made it four Power play goals when Matthew Lawday scored with assists from Hedges and Edwards. Kinkor was given a boarding penalty just afterwards, giving the Phantoms a chance to capitalise but they couldn’t find the back of the net. With 7 minutes left in the game Jake Florey passed the puck to Whillock but that missed as did a subsequent shot by Oliver, which landed on top of the opponents’ net and bounced off, to winces from the home fans who fancied a seventh goal. Stewart Tait was given a penalty for high sticks, putting the Stars on a penalty kill, but a shot by Callum Medcalf missed the net and the Phantoms were not able to score.
The home fans were not to be denied their seventh goal; in the last two minutes of the game, Hedges skated unopposed to Lane in the Phantoms’ net and flipped the puck into the net. The Phantoms took out their frustrations, with fighting between both teams and both sides given penalties to end the game; 2+2 for Ikin and 2 for Hedges for the Stars, and 2+2 for Jake Samal of the Phantoms, all for roughing. The Phantoms tried to get a consolation goal as the game came to a close but it was not to be and they suffered their second shut-out in a row.
Final score Stars 7 Phantoms 0.
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