So it begins, the part that the TSI World Bees have been working towards from September to the end of March. The final stages in the Bees’ fight to be a part of the final four teams that make it to finals weekend in Coventry this year is upon us as the Peterborough Phantoms make their way to the Slough Ice Arena on Saturday evening for the Bees’ first playoff game. Then on Sunday evening, the Bees will make the trip to Planet Ice Peterborough to face the Phantoms in this doubleheader weekend. 

During this series of doubleheaders the Bees will face the Phantoms twice this weekend, the Hull Seahawks the weekend after twice and then in the last weekend of their playoff battle will face the league champions the Leeds Knights again twice. 

The Peterborough Phantoms ended the season in 5th place within the league standings as they were able to collect 59 points in 54 games after they won 31 games, lost 23 games and then had 3 games go to overtime but found themselves coming away with an overtime loss. The Phantoms have been able to win 12 of their away games from the season but saw 14 end in a loss and an additional game being an overtime loss. Last weekend, Peterborough were able to walk away from their final weekend of the season with a 4 point weekend as they beat the Bees in Slough on Saturday evening and then beat the Swindon Wildcats on Sunday night with a 3-1 victory.

Through the season, Peterborough were able to build their power play unit to be 21.74% effective as they had successfully used 45 out of 207 man advantage chances they had had in the 54 games completed. Whereas their penalty kill unit has been 73.45% effective during the season as they have been efficient in preventing opposing teams scoring while the Phantoms have been short-handed with them stopping 130 out of 177 chances for teams around the league from scoring on the power play. There have been 9 short-handed goals scored against the Phantoms this season from players across the league while Peterborough have been able to score short-handed goals that have been scored by Luke Ferrara and Austin Mitchell-King. 

From the 54 games completed, the Phantoms’ netminders altogether have faced 1,868 shots on goal against them from players around the league while facing an average of 35 shots on goal per game. While on the other side of things, Peterborough have been able to have 1,867 shots on goal in total during their games this season with their players having roughly 35 shots on goal per game. 219 goals have been conceded against the Peterborough Phantoms this season with an average of 4 goals getting to the back of the Phantoms’ goal per game this season while the Phantoms have been able to get 228 pucks to the back of netminders’ goals across the league. 

Going into this weekend, the Bees will need to watch out for players such as Tom Norton, Austin Mitchell-King as well as Luke Ferrara. Tom Norton is a massive part of the Phantoms’ defence but he also plays a big role for the Phantoms while they are on the power play as we saw on Saturday as he was able to score a power play goal to equalise the game. He has managed to gather 44 points in 54 games from 8 goals and 36 assists with 3 of those goals and 13 of the assists being from power play opportunities. Austin Mitchell-King will be someone the Bees will also need to keep a close eye on while the Bees are on the power play as he is able to turn over any situation and create a chance for his side to take a lead as the Bees last weekend as he was able to capitalise on a chance and score a short-handed goal. He has collected 34 points from 14 goals and 20 assists with 4 of the goals being from power play chances, 1 short-handed chance and 2 game winning goals. 

Luke Ferrara has been an enormous part of the Phantoms’ success this season after he has been able to collect 106 points while only picking up 18 penalty minutes. He has been able to score 50 goals and pick-up 56 assists with 6 of the goals being from power play chances,  from short-handed opportunities and had 9 game winning goals for Peterborough. 

Make sure to Bee loud and proud this weekend Beearmy as the final four push begins!