The battle for 7th place in the league standings is what stands between the TSI World Bees and the Solway Sharks this Saturday at the Slough Ice Arena and then the Bees make the trip to Planet ice Peterborough to take on the Peterborough Phantoms for their away fixture of the weekend.
The Solway Sharks are entering this weekend currently occupying the 7th in the league as in 39 games they have managed to win 16 games, lose 21 games and were able to take 2 games to overtime but dropped 1 point in the final stages of the game and from all of this have managed to gather 34 points(43.59% of the points on offer), which is only 2 points ahead of the Bees. Solway are on a 2 game losing streak after facing the Milton Keynes Lightning and Telford Tigers last weekend but did manage to take the Telford Tigers to a penalty shootout and secured 1 point from the weekend for their efforts.
The Sharks’ power play is roughly 22% effective this season as they have been able to successfully execute 35 out of 160 man advantage situations this season so far with Nolan Gardiner scoring 13 power play goals this season for Solway.
The penalty kill unit that Solway has put out in th 39 games completed has been around 71% effective as the Sharks have been able to complete 109 out of 153 points where they have been a player down in the game. There have also been 3 short-handed goals scored by the Sharks this season by Nolan Gardiner, Liam Stenton and Kell Beattie but there have also been 5 shot-handed goals scored against Solway by opposing teams. The Bees’ penalty kill may be the thing that gives them the edge in this game as the Bees have a penalty kill percentage that stands at a 75% effective rate. There have been a total of 171 goals scored against the Sharks in the 39 games but on the other side they have also been able to score 135 goals.
Players that have stood out this season for the Solway Sharks and will be ones to watch are Caly Robertson and Nolan Gardiner. Caly Robertson joined the Sharks later in the season after departing from the Milton Keynes Lightning and decided to make the move closer to home by joining Solway. In 15 games, Caly Robertson has been able to collect 17 points from 8 goal and 9 assists while also only picking up 11 penalty minutes so far and has also scored 1 game winning goal for the Sharks in his time with the side. Nolan Gardiner has made a huge impact on the style in how the Sharks conduct themselves on their power play when he is on the ice and that can be proven by the fact he has gotten 13 pucks to the back of the goal while Solway has been on the power play. He has also collected 49 points from scoring 29 goals, with 3 of those being game winning goals, and having 20 assists but picking up 35 penalty minutes. These two individuals could easily make the difference in the game on Saturday evening as well as defenseman Liam Stenton who has continuously proven himself to be someone to keep an eye on this season.
The Peterborough Phantoms are going into this weekend occupying 5th place within the current league standings as they have collected 43 points (roughly 57% of the points on offer) from completing 38 games and winning 20 games, losing 15 games and losing in overtime 3 times this season. The Phantoms find themselves stuck on a losing streak after falling victims to the Swindon Wildcats and Milton Keynes Lightning last weekend as they walked away from their games with no points for their efforts which will make them even more hungry for the points this weekend.
The power play unit that the Phantoms have been playing this season has been 24% effective for them as they have been successful in 37 out of 154 chances when Peterborough have had a player advantage with Lukas Sladkovsky being the player who has taken advantage of these situations the most after scoring 10 power play goals this season. The penalty kill that has been put out this season by Peterborough has been roughly 73% effective as they have been able to stop 88 out of 121 chances when the opposing team have had an advantage.
The Phantoms have faced a total of 1266 shots on goal altogether this season and are averaging around 33 shots on goal per game from the opposing team’s players. Peterborough have also been able to have 1336 shots on the opposing netminders around the league while also averaging 35 shots on goal per game. There has however been more short-handed goals scored against the Phantoms than what the Phantoms have been able to score as there have been 6 short-handed goals scored against them. The 4 short-handed goals scored in favour of the Phantoms this season have been scored all by Luke Ferrara.
Going into Sunday’s game against the Peterborough Phantoms the ones to watch will be Luke Ferrara and Bradley Bowering. Luke Ferrara has rejoined the Phantoms this season and made quite the impact as so far this season he has collected 75 points from 35 goals and 40 assists while being able to score 4 power play goals, 4 short-handed goals and 6 game winning goals for the Phantoms. While doing all of this he has only picked up 12 penalty minutes in the 38 games he has completed. Then on the other hand, Bradley Bowering has been able to collect 32 points from 4 goals and 28 assists but even though he does not pick up the amounts of points that Luke Ferrara does, he plays a big role in creating the chances for the Phantoms to create plays and have more chances in their offensive zone.