Monday, 15 October 2012

Lightning Strike Twice but Phantoms Fire Five

One of several lengthy stoppages for disciplinary reasons


Heat from the lights in the penalty sections of the scoreboard has made a significant contribution to global warming this weekend.
A Ferrara.  Could be James, Robert or Luke, who knows?

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Sunday 14 October 2012 at the Peterborough Arena
Peterborough Phantoms 5 Milton Keynes Lightning 2
English Ice Hockey Premier League
Number 7 on my rinkhopping list.  Peterborough is the only town in which I have ever skated myself.  This is of no significance whatsoever.
Pre-match preparation
MK won the reverse fixture 4-1 yesterday – they are the higher-placed of the two teams in the league at the moment.
This match in one sentence
Let’s give sticks to twelve angry men and send them out on ice to chase a puck and see how many different penalties they can accrue in 60 minutes.
So what?
Lightning drop to 5th and Phantoms remain 9th but close the gap on the Bracknell Bees.
The drama unfolds
Phantoms took the lead on the unzambonied ice within two minutes.  Will Weldon was given the goal, which trickled over the line under netminder Alex Mettam, and there were assists for two of the three Ferraras in home colours.  I thought it might even have hit the post initially before bouncing back and in off Mettam, but I can’t be sure.  In any event … 1-0

After about 4 minutes we had the first of several stoppages while the officials regained control and filled in penalty paperwork in triplicate.  Lightning’s Adam Calder was given a match penalty for high sticks and everyone’s adrenaline level went up by a few notches.  Eventually the game restarted with 5 on 3 – not sure what the other Lightning player had been penalised for, probably for comparing the referee’s DNA to that of a sea slug.  One of the fouls was so obvious even I saw it.  Ondrej Lauko smacked in a shot assisted by a Ferrara, maybe the same one as before, who knows.  Much merriment in the home seats.  2-0

The game was really rather tetchy (and very entertaining for that, it has to be said), and I took a long clip because I was expecting a UN Peacekeeping Force to turn up any minute.  Phantoms are in white.  The penalty count went up, but crucially, Lightning failed to score in their period of 5 on 3.  One Phantom was unluckily caught up against the wall next to the Lightning bench, who tried to pull his head off and eat it.  I don’t think there was any significant time where both teams were at full strength on the ice.  Phantoms’ Jozef Sladok was dismissed for roughing.  2-0 at the end of the 1st period

There was enough of the Sladok penalty left for Lightning to pull one back at the start of the second through Lukas Zatopek.  2-1

It was still 4v5 however as Phantom replied with a shorthanded goal from Tom Carlon on the break.  A crucial moment.  3-1

Grant McPherson pulled the margin back to one very soon afterwards, though.  There were less than five minutes gone in the period.  3-2

It was soon time for another rush of penalties.  I am still coming to terms with the intricacies of this game but it appeared that a Phantom accused a Lightning player of pulling his stick out of his hand in a routine midfield tussle.  This impression was heightened when said Lightning player seemed to furtively swap sticks when he got back to the bench.  I can't be 100% sure, but I was suspicious.  Sticks look remarkably alike to the novice.  The stickless Phantom was not happy to say the least.  We ended up with penalties for Lightning (holding stick) and Phantoms (interference).  Interference in this context means rugby-tackle on ice, it would appear.  Then we had a few minutes of 5v5 outfield until Lightning were penalised yet again, for failing to smile when crunching an opponent against the plexiglass or something.  Here’s a clip from the powerplay – but there were no more goals before the buzzer.  3-2 at the end of the 2nd period

The final period was slightly more placid.  Phantoms sealed their win with two well taken goals from Carlon and a Ferrara (James I think).  Phantoms netminder Damien King was kept busy enough but this was a night for the home supporters to savour.  They do enjoy a win over the local rivals in these parts.  Final score 5-2
The programme

A good read, but the A4 format will play havoc with my filing system
Something random
The Northern Hemisphere Net Coriolis Force Zamboni Clockwise Rotation Theory remains intact!  The Peterborough beast was uncooperative after the warm up so I had to remain on tenterhooks until the end of the first period.  I am delighted to report that it followed the same pattern as every other one I have seen on my travels.

What Next?
I hope to get to an FA Vase replay during the week, and an FA Cup tie at one of Fylde, Hastings, South Park or Yate next Saturday, with the aid of a tetrahedron.  Follow @GrahamYapp on Twitter for announcements!

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