This game was the second leg of our Knockout Cup quarter final against the Stingrays, so on the ‘most’ romantic of days what could be better than a trip across the M62 to Hull! With a 4-0 lead from the first leg most of the 50-60 travelling Phoenix fans will have been in confident mood. I was of the opinion that if we scored first we should win! However Hull are no pushover and, depending on what mood Cruickshank, was in it could be difficult.
First Period: In the end we need’nt have worried, the Phoenix controlled the game from the first period, limiting the chances the Stingray’s had on Smurf. The Phoenix got on the board first at 13min 49sec when Kyle Bruce slammed the puck home. The Phoenix faithful were on their feet again less than two minutes later when our captain Kenton Smith doubled the lead at 15min 24sec to make it 0-6 on aggregate. The Phoenix closed out the period in control and leaving the Phoenix travelling support in fine voice.
Second Period: More of the same this period, the only difference being we missed out any action in the far corner due to the sight lines from the away block. Though I cant really comment as the Dome is not the shining beacon of rink design! More control from the Phoenix, more noise from the fans though none from the home support. I know the team was 0-6 down but come on sing for your team? Anyway the lead was extended at 25min 52sec when Fulgham lit the light. The Stingrays finally got on the board at 32min 20sec when Kalmikov (who was the Rays best player of the night!) netted.
Third Period: I may be wrong but I think at the start of the third, or near the start both teams replaced their starting net minders. With Andrew Jaszczyk replacing the excellent Cruickshank and Adam Summerfield coming in for the Phoenix. The next goal came at 52min 48sec when Beauregard rounded Jaszczyk to score the Phoenix 4th goal. The Stingrays were not to be outdone and in a minutes spell brought the score line a bit more respectability. Firstly Glowa at 57min 49sec and 58min 42sec saw Mitchell bring the Stingrays to within one on the night.
Verdict: A potentially tricky encounter on Humberside, thankfully the Phoenix controlled the game from start to finish, with the added bonus of Summerfield getting decent run out in the net. Great turn out from the Phoenix fans who were in full voice from start to finish.
Attendance: Probably around 500 in the Ice Arena Saturday night. With 50-60 of those being the travelling Phoenix support.
Am still working on my game review for the Basingstoke game from last night (sunday) that should appear, hopefully, tomorrow evening!