So the Vipers rolled into Altrincham for the BMI Baby Elite League clash, which for the Phoenix, was the umpteenth game in 2 nights, or so it seems! With Tuesdays 2nd Leg of the CC final looming this was a game, which in my opinion we could have done without!
First Period: So the first period began and as ever when the Vipers come to town it was going to be a tough physical game! As it turned out it was the Vipers who were to have the best of the opening 20 minutes. The first Vipers goal came after only 2min 16 seconds when Derek Campbell came down the right side of the zone and let fly and stonking wrist shot that beat Murphy on his glove side. The Phoenix broke back at4min 42sec through Nathan Ward, assisted by Dunn and Garbutt. The Vipers regained the lead at 8min 47sec through the eternal David Longstaff, slid the puck under Murphy’s pads.
Second Period: With 40mins left in the game I think most Phoenix fans were still hopeful of this game. It was clear, however, that the Phoenix were either holding back or absolutely exhausted as the recent fixture crunch began to take its toll! The Vipers made it 3-1 at 25min 56 sec when Rob Rankin deaked Murphy and again slid the puck under the Phoenix nettie. What amazed me about this goal was, despite the deake Murphy stayed with Rankin and I couldn’t believe it when the goal light was lit!
Third Period: Three goals in this period and sadly an embarrassing scoreline! The Phoenix began brightly and after 47min 45sec MOM (in my eyes) Bruce Mulherin made it 3-2. Any hope of a recovery was killed off in a frenetic 18 second spell. Ben Campbell got the Vipers 4th at 49min 34sec and Ed (Big Nose) Courtney got the 5th at 49min 52sec.
Verdict: Pretty depressing really and a little worrying. The Phoenix were second best all night, the Vipers looked fresh and very quick! This result could have been predicted as the Phoenix are playing a crazy schedule at the moment. I had thought that the Phoenix performance was more the team holding back for the CC Final 2nd leg on Tuesday. But as I think back to it now, it was probably more exhaustion! What worry’s me know is the recovery time, the boys only have one free day where as the Giants will have had two!
Attendance: OK tonight, probably around 1,200 in.
Phoenix TV Highlights:
So that’s it really, pretty depressing but hey ho, the Vipers can’t catch us, we (probably) wont catch Cardiff. So 6th place it is and as I post a playoff game against the Panthers! At least it wont mean the 50th game against the Giants in a month!
I have a couple of posts on the go or due to get going, a recent post on the Phoenix forum regarding attendances has prompted me to write another post, sort of re-visiting my earlier rant here (link to well supported post). Plus my own post on finals weekend and the various ways to keep up to date.
Finally, you may have noticed the dates for the two legged Knockout Cup Final against the Giants have been agreed and published. If you have read the Phoenix forums you will be aware of the farcical nature of the dates. I had planned to post a quick comment regarding this on today’s game review. However that small post has become a rant in its own right, and one that has been toned down about 4 times to make it family friendly! Anyway ill hopefully have that online tomorrow night!