Fire stage comeback but lose Playoff Quarter to Phantoms

Fire staged a late comeback scoring 3 goals in the final 21 minutes of the game, but it wasn’t enough to take the win from the Phantoms in the Wilkinson Playoff Quarter-Final.

On Sunday night Fire hosted the Phantoms at Ice Arena Wales for the second leg of the playoff quarter-final and our final home game of the season. The teams battled it out for a spot in the final 4 and a chance to be crowned playoff champions.

It was the fourth match-up of the season after the regular season series was tied at one win a piece. The Phantoms brought a slim 1 goal aggregate lead to Cardiff Bay after winning the first leg 5-4 in Peterborough the evening before with everything to play for in round 2 of the quarter-final.

Phantoms opened the scoring on the powerplay 17 minutes into the game to take a 1 goal lead at the end of the first period. The visitors extended their lead in the second with 3 further goals to make it 0-4 and 4-9 on aggregate.

With 32 seconds left in the second period, Fire finally got themselves on the scoreboard with a goal by Ben Smith. Fire’s comeback gained strength in the third period when Dylan Webb scored his first home goal for the team at 49:12.

Kris Kasjanovs scored a third goal for Fire at 54:04 to narrow the gap to just 3-4, but even with the netminder pulled for the extra skater it wasn’t enough to catch the visitors. The Phantoms completed the quarter-final with a 9-7 win on aggregate and booked a place in the playoff semi-final.

Defenceman Iwan Davies picked up Player of the Game with Fire outshooting the Phantoms 43 to 27.

Netminder James Whiting finished his final game for Fire with 23 saves on the night as he announced his retirement and hanging up his skates after 6 seasons with the club.

Photos: James Assinder