Milton Keynes Lightning are still searching for their first win of the season after they went down to Peterborough Phantoms twice at the weekend in the Planet Ice Shield.
Both of the two legs were played at Peterborough’s Bretton rink - Lightning awaiting their return to the city in October, once their Leisure Plaza home is ready after refurbishment.
Lightning started the weekend without influential defenceman, Michael Farn having sustained a wrist injury in the first pre-season challenge game at Swindon Wildcats.
Phantoms struck first on Saturday, scoring on the powerplay after Lewis Christie was called for cross-checking - James Hutchinson on the mark at 11mins 59secs.
The Cambridgeshire outfit then made it 2-0 while short-handed, Hutchinson getting the assist on a Luke Ferrara shot at 17mins 14secs.
Things didn’t get any better for Lightning once the second session got under way - giving up another short-handed affair as Marc Levers registered within 19 seconds of the restart.
It took until 28mins 27secs before Lightning got on the scoreboard - Ross Green supplying Blaz Emersic to score.
Phantoms’ James Ferrara was penalised for roughing in the 30th minute, allowing Lightning to narrow the gap on the powerplay thanks to a Stan Lascek strike, assisted by Petr Horava and Adam Carr.
But that was as good as it got for the team with Phantoms restoring the two goal gap four seconds from the second break through James Ferrara.
With 6mins 6secs remaining Luke Ferrara put the game beyond Lightning with the ‘away’ side’s fifth of the night.
The return game saw Lightning billed as the ‘away’ outfit. Once more they slipped behind on 13mins 37secs when Hutchinson assisted Levers to beat goalie Jordan Hedley.
Lightning levelled the game through Carlon on 30mins 37secs just as Phantoms were returning to full strength after a penalty on Milan Baranyk.
But the joy was short-lived - Green was sent to the sin bin for interference and within nine seconds at 38mins 38secs Darius Pliskauskas put Phantoms back in front.
With the score still 2-1 in Phantoms’ favour going into the final minute Lightning had a ‘goal’ washed out after Hedley had been withdrawn for the extra skater. Phantoms then wrapped up the win with an empty net goal by Luke Ferrara on 59mins 23secs to seal the shield 8-3 on aggregate.