As is customary ill just pass quick comment over the Phoenix’ visit to Coventry the night before. To be honest I was not expecting much! The Phoenix, on the back of a 4 game loosing streak, rolled into the SkyDome, a place where the Phoenix are yet to win a game! (I think!) So Saturday night, I fire up IH Update to keep a track on the score, I check back, fairly late on and, oh my word, the Phoenix are 6-3 up with 10 minutes to go! I go and watch TV for a bit and think, righty ho the game should have finished. Back onto IH Update, refresh the page and bang! We have lost 7-6 in Overtime! The Phoenix were 6-4 up with 25 seconds to go and conceded two goals for the tie. Now I did not go to the game, but to concede 2 goals with 25 seconds to go? In my book that is not acceptable! Feel free to dismiss my thoughts as you want, im fully aware I did not witness the on-ice happenings, but come on 25 seconds? Line the 5 guys up in front of the net and build a wall! Crikey!
Anyway much has been made of this on the Phoenix forum’s with two camps really setting their stalls out. One is those who take the view that to concede two goals in the dying seconds is not good enough, the other are those Fans who were there! I can see the points made from both sides! Yes many people were not there to see how exactly Coventry came back to score, and how under siege our goal must have been. But I also think the other comments are valid, 2 goals up, in Coventry, you must not concede!
I think, the reason that such a debate has come up on the forums is an indicator of how good this years team is! If im honest I did not expect anything from this game, especially on the back of our recent run of results. However seeing how close we came to a win in Coventry, im gutted and disappointed! I would, however, along with many other Phoenix fans would have been one to say ‘Yes Please’ to a point being offered to us before face off!
Anyway enough about that game, if you want more check out the Phoenix forum, other blogs, and in particular Paul over at the Breakaway Hockey Blog. (Him being a Blaze fan an all!)
So Sunday saw the visit of the Devils and the perennial fan favourite Brad Voth! Games against the Devils are always close affairs! I like to compare ourselves to the Devils to get a good idea as to how we are doing!
First Period: This game also saw Ben Wood debut from the ENL game, he ended up not getting any ice time in the end. But the boy looks good! Tall, agile, good skater and good stick-handler! One for the future I think!
The first period began and it was obvious Cardiff were going to be playing their physical type of hockey throughout the game! A lot of hard hitting, from both sides contributed to a great first period. The only goal of said period game from Fulgham at 12min 41sec who finished off a flowing move that really was a work of art! Check out Phoenix TV for the highlights!
Second Period: More or less a carbon copy of the first! The only goal of the period came by way of the Phoenix. Alex Dunn was left un-marked in front of the net, and at 25min exactly lit the red light! The second also saw some superb open ice hitting, and some top quality glass rattling!
Third Period: Again more of the same in the third, however an added tinge of nervousness given the Phoenix’ recent lack of ability in holding onto a lead! In the end the Phoenix needn’t have worried, despite Cardiff upping the pressure the Phoenix, and Smurf were able to hold them at bay! Highlight of the period had to be little Luke Boothroyd laying out Brad Voth! Another bonus to the period was that annoying drum the Devils fans bring, being kept silent!
Verdict: A good win, a good performance and some much-needed space now between the Devils and us. In the end I think the Phoenix dealt well with the offensive thread from Cardiff and looked pretty solid at the back! A definite confidence booster! So a 3-point weekend, one, which should have been 4! But never mind, in the end its been a good weekend for the Phoenix!
Attendance: I was expecting a poor crowd to be honest! 4 losses in a row does not do wonders for attendance. I was proved wrong, a cracking crowd in last night. Great atmosphere and great support! Probably about 1,500-1,600 in. Ive noticed something else recently too, our building, no matter how cold, shoddy or what ever you think. You get it about half full, at least, and we can create a fantastic atmosphere! Who needs big arenas hey!
Manchester Evening News article can be found here.