On Saturday night the Bees took on the Peterborough Phantoms at home in Slough. With a big crowd in Slough and a good number of travelling Phantoms fans. This one had all the hallmarks of a Bees vs Phantoms clash.
The Bees were without Adam Goss who got married on the Friday, congratulations to him and his lovely wife. So Brett Sheppard joined us as the backup netminder. Also from the Jets we iced Christian Mohr and Luke Smital (yes the son of Bees Legend Lukas Smital) made his home debut for the Black, White and Gold.
Slava Koulikov brought a strong Phantoms side with him to Berkshire. The were without Morgan Pizzo-Clarke, Billy Thorpe and Nathan Salem. Petr Stepanek faced the Bees for the first time this season, who is a key player for the Phantoms.
Before the game we celebrated James Galazzi’s 500th game, many of those in Bees Colours. The Officials for this one were referees Mr Hewitt, Mr Solovjovs. With Mr O’Neill and Mr Kowal on the lines. Starting Netminders for the Bees Curtis Warburton and for the Phantoms this was Jordan Marr.
From the opening puck drop we knew this was going to be a game which would be end to end. With both teams testing each other and having some great clear cut chances. The Bees got their chance at 10:22 when Phantoms Jasper Foster was sent to the box for Roughing. The Bees wasted no time, winning the face off and set up for the powerplay. It lasted s total of 22 seconds when Man of the moment James Galazzi found an opening assisted Ed Bradley and Dominik Gabaj. The Bees managed to control and just under a minute the Bees had doubled the lead. This time it was Zain’s McKenzie who scored his first Bees goal assisted Will Stead and Josh Smith. The Phantoms stepped up the pressure, the Bees just seemed to soak it up. James Galazzi picked up an elbows penalty at 16:12 which they killed off. So at the end of the period the Bees finished the period 2-0 up.
The teams stepped on the ice for the second period and the period was 54 seconds old when Jasper Foster was sent to the box for the Phantoms for holding, The Bees powerplay then went off to work again and it paid off again when Ed Bradley scored from Blue Line with a rocket of a shot, assisted Dominik Gabaj. The Bees were 3-0 up. Josh Martin picked up a 2 minute cross checking penalty at 25:21, the Phantoms didn’t respond in their usual way. The Bees knew that both Padalek and Stepanek were going to a threat and marked them and successfully killed off the penalty. The Phantoms were on the board six minutes later at 31:57 when Will Weldon scored assisted Jarvis Hunt and Jasper Foster, the Bees seemed rattled by this as 28 seconds later at 32:25 the Phantoms scored again through Petr Stepanek, assisted Callum Buglass and Tom Norton. The Phantoms could now see a way through and piled the pressure on forcing themselves onto the Powerplay at 32:37 when Josh Smith was sent to the box for Hooking and again at 34:58 when Joe Baird was sent to the box for Interference, all these were killed off by the Bees. The Bees restored the 2 goal advantage at 37:24 when Ed Bradley scored his second of the night assisted Joe Baird and Ryan Webb. The score at the end of the second period was Bees 4-2 Phantoms.
When the teams came out for the final period, we knew what to expect, a much more physical style of play from the Phantoms and the Bees wanting to consolidate their lead. The Bees scored their 5th of the evening at 43:09 through Juha Lindgren assisted Adam Rossbottom. The Phantoms continued to dominate in stages and the Bees got some relief at 47:45 when Nathan Long of the Phantoms was sent to the box for Kneeing. But this back fired at 48:32 when Glenn Billing scored short handed at 48:32. The Phantoms were getting more control of the puck in the last 10 minutes of the game and they got their 4th of the evening at 55:17 through Scott Robson and were in 1 of the Bees. This sparked the Bees back into life as they were not going to give this up so easy. Slava Koulikov rolled the dice at 58:13 when Jordan Marr was pulled. The Bees were equal to the pressure. The Phantoms could not get a clear clinical chance, equally the Bees were unable to find the empty net. The Phantoms called a timeout with 11 seconds left of the game. The Bees held on for the win. Another 2 massive points.
Match Report- Steve Merry