TCW Match Summary – Phantoms 0 Panthers 5

I love rinks like Peterborough, proper old time hockey arena’s with a proper bar, a café selling proper chips, plastic seating and crap ice! I guess going to such rinks reminds me of our greatly missed old barn. A reasonable sized crowd, with a large contingent travelling from Nottingham, packed into the small rink for the game.

Despite my prior misgivings on the quality of the opposition, the EPL Phantoms gave the Panthers a good workout, however the visitors were missing four imports in Tessier, Galbraith, Ndur & Molin. This meant that Corey Neilson gave plenty of ice time to Panthers young contingent and they stepped up to the plate admirably, with Tom Norton and Sam Bullas looking the pick of the bunch for me.

This was also our first opportunity to see new netminder Davis Parley and the first impressions are good. Although he will have more difficult nights in the net, he made some very good stops and his puck handling and distribution was excellent. A well-deserved shutout and he would have been my choice for man of the match.

In defence I was particularly pleased with Nick Toneys. I feel the value of a stay at home D man can never be under estimated, and Toneys fits the bill. He looked confident and assured on the puck, the one mistake he did make he quickly cleaned up.

Up front the obvious pick at this early stage was Bruce Richardson. A gritty, skilful, in your face forward, who will get his fair share of points this season. The best way to describe him would be Ryan Finnerty with talent! In fact, from now on I’ll refer to Finnerty as Bruce Lite!

The penalty killing was particularly impressive; Panthers killed two lots of 5 on 3 and also managed two short-handed goals, the opener from Marc Levers and a solo breakaway effort from Matt Myers. The other goals were from Richardson, David Clarke and a superb solo effort by Brendan Cook.

In conclusion it was a fair performance, but the lack of four imports turned this into a match fitness exercise rather than Neilson being able to play with line combinations and see how the forwards worked with each other. I just hope that the delay in the arrival of Tessier & Galbraith does not cost us at the weekend.

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