The Phoenix are in the middle of a fixture crunch at the moment, last nights game was a re-run of a week last Sundays first attempt at playing this fixture. That game was called off as the Basingstoke bus broke down and decided to explode around Birmingham. The hockey gods must have had something in for this fixture as it almost happened again last night! Details to follow!
As mentioned this game is part of a hectic march for the Phoenix, with a million games in a month! (OK slight exaggeration there but still!). Never the less points are still up for grabs and that 5th place is to be taken back! I would usually expect home games against the Bison to be won and won easily. But the Bison are no pushover, especially with the excellent Reiter in goal!
First Period: For the first few minutes the Bison had the better chances but in the end the extra quality the Phoenix have started to show through. The first goal was a thing of beauty, a Phoenix 3 on 1 break saw a quick stick to stick exchange between Kyle Bruce and Lucas Burnett which left Burnett free on the back post to slot home! Phew first goal to the Phoenix. From then on the Phoenix pressed home the advantage and in the final minute of the period Alex Dunn slotted home a power play goal at 19min 19sec.
Second Period: The aforementioned hockey gods were obviously not pleased with this fixture when, 28 seconds into the period the Dome was, momentarily, plunged into darkness. After a 10minute cool down the lights were back up and we were underway!
Kyle Bruce and Lucas Burnett combined again after 30min 21sec to produce a more or less identical goal to the first of the night! The game was wrapped up less than two minutes later, when at 32min 09sec, Brett Clouthier latched onto a centring pass and scored a lovely breakaway goal.
Third Period: A combination of the Phoenix easing off and the Bison continuing their hard work almost allowed the Herd back into the game. The excellent Reiter held the Phoenix at bay for most of the period, and the Bison scored twice to give the tie some respectability. The first for the Herd at 44min 38sec came from Shaun Thomson and the second at 54min 52sec from Ivo Mocek. The Herd replaced Reiter with Graeme Bird for the last 10 minutes, ish, and pressed for more goals. The Phoenix, however, stood strong and the last goal of the game was an empty netter for Luke Fulgham at 59min 06sec.
Verdict: The Phoenix did just about enough to get the win and not suffer any major crisis or injury. In the end I do think the scoreline flattered the Herd a little. In reality Basingstoke are having a tough time, the team are poor and were it not for Reiter in net the score could have been double figures for the Phoenix. I only hope we do see the Bison in the top flight next season! The only black mark for the Phoenix, for me, would be letting the Bison back into the game in the third. But that’s a minor point.
Attendance: Poor, pushing 1,000 if we were lucky! A couple of things contributed to the poor crowd: Midweek game, Cold weather, Playing the Bison (no way support – except, rather randomly two Sheffield fans!), Re-Arranged fixture and a further 5 home games this month! Not including an extra home Cup final and home leg of the playoffs!
So next up for the Phoenix is the visit of the Capitals this Thursday night, sadly its a game im missing due to gig commitments. Ill be eagerly checking my phone for updates from the game. Its another game we should win comfortably, but you can never take wins for granted. Ill do a quick review based on reports from the game as normal and that should appear Friday if all goes well!
Last nights game is the beginning of March madness for the Phoenix, and here’s why:
Thu 5th March – Capitals – Home
Sat 7th March – Stingrays – Away
Sun 8th March – Giants – Home (CC Final)
Wed 11th March – Devils – Away
Thu 12th March – Devils – Home
Sat 14th March – Bison – Away
Sun 15th March – Vipers - Home
Tue 17th March – Giants – Away (CC Final)
Thu 19th March – Stingrays – Home
Sat 21st March – Capitals – Away
Sun 22nd March – Giants – Home
Add to that the two legs of the Knockout Cup v Devils/Giants and a two legged playoff game the Phoenix are looking at a possible 15 games in March! I just hope that the heavy fixture schedule does not harm the Phoenix’ best chance of winning some silverware this season!
So keep an eye on this blog as March is going to be a busy time for it, and the Phoenix!
Anyway, as ever go support local hockey!