Ice hockey: Phantoms shot down in flames
A LACK of clinical finishing in front of goal cost the Peterborough Phantoms as they kicked off the new year with a 3-2 defeat at league leaders Guildford Flames. An under-strength Phantoms side played out a goalless first half but they were unable to kee
A LACK of clinical finishing in front of goal cost the Peterborough Phantoms as they kicked off the new year with a 3-2 defeat at league leaders Guildford Flames.
An under-strength Phantoms side played out a goalless first half but they were unable to keep the Flames out in the second period and Smerciak opened the scoring on 34 minutes.
The game really came to life in the third period however and the Phantoms were back on level terms when Jason Buckman's shot proved too hot to handle for the Flames netminder.
Guildford bounced back with two quick goals from Cross and Plante and a goal from Antti Kohvakka put the visitors back in the game but they were unable to find an equaliser.
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* THE Phantoms battled hard and earned two good draws in the double header with Milton Keynes Lightning over the Christmas period.
In a hard-fought first match at Planet Ice, both sides' defences dominated the early period but the Phantoms eventually broke the deadlock with a powerplay goal from James Archer on seven minutes.
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Despite dominating the first period, the Phantoms conceded an equaliser seven minutes later when Nick Poole's shot beat Phantoms netminder Greg Rockman.
The second period proved equally close and although the Phantoms were unable to take advantage of a powerplay, Archer poked the puck in from close range to give his side a 2-1 lead.
Once again, the Phantoms were handed a powerplay but they were unable to get one shot on target and they paid the price when Greg Randall scored a fine individual goal to put Lightning back on level terms.
The two teams seemed to be content to hold on for a draw in the final period and lacking inspiration, the Phantoms had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
* THE return match in Milton Keynes proved to be an exciting match and the Peterborough side produced a fine performance to earn a 1-1 draw.
An error from netminder Greg Rockman allowed Greg Randall to fire the puck in to an empty net to give Lightning the lead in the first period.
However, Rockman then kept the visitors in the game with some fine saves and Stefan Rusnak struck home the equaliser in the second period.
* ANTTI Raikkonen has been released from Peterborough Phantoms after he decided to return to his native Finland.
Raikkonen has received a job offer in his native Tampere and his request to leave the Phantoms was accepted.
The Phantoms have replaced Raikkonen with 21-year-old Canadian forward Darren McKague.
McKague joins the Phantoms from Sheffield Scimitars and will be eligible to play his debut against Romford at Planet Ice tomorrow (Saturday).
* PHANTOMS forward James Archer found the target five times as he helped Great Britain under-20s to the top of Division Two Group A in the under-20 World Championships.
In the championships held in Romania last month, Great Britain conceded just three goals as they chalked up convincing wins over New Zealand, Romania, the Netherlands, Spain and Australia.