April 13, 2019
Peterborough Phantoms have the chance of a fourth domestic trophy of the season on Sunday after overcoming Sheffield Steeldogs 9-4 in their NIHL Final Four clash at Coventry this afternoon.
Phantoms will face off against Hull Pirates in the Grand Final on Sunday at 5pm looking to add to their Autumn Cup, South Cup and South Playoff titles. Hull will be looking for their own treble after winning league and playoffs in the North.
The second semi final saw two sides renowned for solid defence play a cagey opening frame, which looked to be finishing goalless until Adrian Palak banked the puck in off Jordan Marr in the last minute of Steeldogs took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room.
An uncharacteristic run and gun second period saw the teams trade seven goals and finish 4-4 after 40 minutes.
Just a couple of minutes in Glenn Billing was at the back door to equalise for Peterborough, followed just over a minute later by Corey McEwan’s go-ahead marker at 23.24.
Sheffield took advantage of a Nathan Polland holding the stick minor to level at 2-2 with Nathan Salem setting up Ashley Calvert for the powerplay goal at 25.56.
Parity lasted barely two minutes before Phantoms retook the lead through Will Weldon, who converted a cross-crease pass for 3-2 at 27.42.
Milan Kolena skated through the Phantoms zone going forehand-backhand and pulling move after move before sliding the puck past Marr for a great solo goal and the third equaliser of the period and it was only 31.21!
Special teams returned to the fore for Peterborough with a powerplay marker finished off by Martins Susters at 33.31 and we had six goals in just over ten minutes from the two best defensive teams in the NIHL.
The period wasn’t done yet though as Steeldogs bagged a fourth inside the final two minutes as Charlie Thompson’s shot found the top corner past Marr and was awarded by referee after consulting the goal judge and his two linesmen.
Seven goals in the period and the teams headed to the dressing rooms all square at 4-4.
We didn’t have long to wait for the opening goal of period three, Will Weldon’s second going high on Stones and finding the net inside the first minute of play. Peterborough would have the lead for good.
Taylor Romeo’s tripping penalty gave Sheffield a chance to come back again, but it was the Phantoms who capitalised – Glenn Billing finishing a short-handed break for a 6-4 lead at 48.04.
You had the feeling that sixth goal was the killer goal for the Steeldogs, and Peterborough were able to add further markers from Susters, Ferrara and Jarvis Hunt in the final minute.
Man of the match honours went to Ashley Calvert for Sheffield and James Ferrara for Peterborough.
Phantoms are the home team for the grand final against Hull, which goes off at 5pm. Earlier on Sunday the NIHL 2 National Championship sees Widnes Wild face off against Slough Jets at 1pm.
There are limited seats available for Sunday with no day tickets available – supporters should contact Skydome box office on 02476 630693 to check availability.