BRACKNELL Bees shared the spoils with Peterborough Phantoms with both sides recording a win apiece on the opening weekend of the new National League season.

Bees won a thrilling encounter 5-4 at The Hive on Saturday night, but were then beaten 3-0 in the return leg on Sunday despite the two sides being locked until the final period.

The opening game had started badly for Bees when Glenn Billing converted on a powerplay to put Peterborough 1-0 up on 2:50, and Petr Stepanek doubled the advantage at 13.36 before Stuart Mogg pulled a goal back with just 28 seconds remaining of the opening stanza.

Mogg levelled matters at 31:21, only for the visitors to go back in front courtesy of a James Ferrara strike.

Vanya Antonov equalised for Bees on 42:13, and his second then put the hosts in front nine minutes later.

Zack Milton's effort made it 5-3, and despite a late goal from Will Weldon, Bracknell held on.

However, Peterborough gained revenge the following evening, Stepanek, Ales Padelek and Martins Susters with final-period goals.

Reflecting on the weekend, Bees head coach Doug Sheppard said: “There are so many positives to take away from the weekend.

"I’m pleased with the way we played and competed and to come back from two goals down on Saturday to take the win showed the character in our team."

He continued: “We knew Sunday would be tough in Peterborough, especially going short-benched, but it was 0-0 after two periods.

"We gave ourselves every chance to win, but hit penalty trouble in the final period and the Phantoms capitalised. We learned we need to tighten up on our discipline and we’ll do that.

“We put on a good show in the opening weekend of the new national league. It’s exciting, fast paced, competitive hockey at a good standard. We have things to work on which we will but I’m looking forward to next weekend.”

Bracknell Bees travel to nearest rivals Basingstoke Bison on Saturday (6.30pm) before hosting the Streatham Chiefs on Sunday (5.30pm).