Bit of a strange game this one, it’s a game that does not mean much to the Phoenix but means everything to Hull. The Stingray’s knowing a win is vital if they are to make the playoffs. Plus with Edinburgh also in action it makes this game a real nail biter for the Stingrays. For the Phoenix its more a case of getting through the game unscathed, with a big game against the Giants coming up on Sunday the Phoenix need to take it easy to aid recovery ahead of the Knockout Cup Final.
First Period: Well, either the Phoenix are still tired, ill or just playing badly the Stingray’s raced to a 2-0 lead in the first 4 minutes. Not undeserved either, the Stingrays were flying, and hustling the Phoenix hard. If they could only have played all season like this they would not be second bottom! The first goal came on the power play at 2min 29sec when Pavel Gomenyuk rifled a shot above Murphy’s right shoulder, cracking shot! The second came 56seconds later at 3min 22sec when Lee Esders, jumped with Kenton Smith batted the puck down (debatable as to weather that should have been called an infraction!) and swept through unmarked on Murhpy to deak the Phoenix nettie and extend the lead. So far it was a lead well earned by the Stingray’s as the Phoenix had not shown much so far! However the Phoenix did make it onto the board at 13min 07sec on the powerplay through the leagues leading scorer and general all round nice guy David Beauregard!
Second Period: The first interval came at a good time for the Phoenix, as into the second period they shifted out of first gear. Despite this it was the Stingrays who extended their lead to 3-1 at 23min 34sec through Konstantin Kalmikov. Lucas Burnett would finally get the Phoenix on the board at 25min 48sec while shorthanded, he managed to find a gap in Cruickshank’s pads to light the goal light. Now the Phoenix goal machine really swung into action and Adam Walker would score two goals in 50seconds, his first at 30min 12sec with a sweet backhander that deceived Cruickshank, and then at 31min 02sec with a nice one timer to the top corner. This got the Phoenix nose in front for the first time in the evening. It was the Stingray’s who would have the last laugh in the period when, at 32min 41sec, Kalmikov would get his second of the night!
Third Period: Anyone’s game in the third now! The Phoenix were still scrabbling around in the lower gears but were now matching the Stingrays. A fairly clam period was shocked into life when Bruce Mulherin connected with a beautiful one-timer to put the Phoenix in the lead at 45min 29sec. The Stingrays were still fighting hard and fuller deserved to tie the game up again. Their 5th of the night came at 52min 02sec when the dependable Jeff Glowa got his first of the night.
Overtime: Not a lot happened in OT, each team traded chances with Beauregard arguably having the best opportunity.
Penalties: Onto penalties to decide the extra point:
1) Kalmikov – Hull – Scored 1-0
2) Walker – Manchester – Scored 1-1
3) Glowa – Hull – Scored 2-1
4) Mulherin – Manchester – Missed 2-1
5) Reynolds – Hull – Missed 2-1
6) Beauregard – Manchester – Scored 2-2
7) Kalmikov – Hull – Scored 3-2
8) Walker – Manchester – Scored 3-3
9) Glowa – Hull – Scored 4-3
10) Mulherin – Manchester – Missed 4-3
Verdict: As mentioned at the start a very strange game and performance from the Phoenix. A win for the Phoenix would not really do much for their league position so the usual intensity was not required. This showed and I think a mixture of exhaustion, illness and just a below par performance coupled with a tenacious Stingray performance meant I could not begrudge the Stingrays their first win over the Phoenix this season. A win which was much needed as the Capitals vanquished the Vipers in the nights other game! I was a little worried, though, over Murphy’s 5-hole, he seemed to leave it open quite a lot. I just hope the guys are getting rest to recover. If you want to read a review of the game from the Stingray’s perspective head over to the excellent F Block Blog for a quick read!
Attendance: Poor last night, I would say 6-700 in.
MEN Article here.
So the Phoenix still managed a point out of the game, personally I will hope for the same in Edinburgh Saturday night. That’s another game where the Phoenix don’t need a result, just get through it with the least amount of effort expended and injury free in readiness for Sunday. Which I hope the Phoenix will come out all guns blazing for!