The Angry Budgie Live
Monday, 14 September 2009
Phoenix v Sheffield 13th September Game Review
Yesterday saw the Phoenix kick off their EPL season with their first home game of the season. This was the 2nd leg of our pre-season friendly with the Sheffield Scimitars. In the battle for the War of The Roses Cup, the Phoenix held a 3-2 lead from the first leg saturday night. Goals coming from Lachowiz, Hand and Haelberg.
So to sunday night, and a rather weary Angry Budgie, op account of arriving that sunday morning back of holiday, made its first pilgrimage to the Ice Dome. A little nervous as we really had no idea what sort of hockey we were going to see! Then at 5.30pm the long summer of nothingness was banished as two sides set battle on ice!
First Period: Off we went and crikey, were in for a treat this season! Not only did the Phoenix look good, but Sheffield looked good too! Anyone who thinks the EPL is a drop in class is 100% wrong! Both sides traded early chances with both goaltenders called into early action. End to end hockey coupled with a few penalties meant chances for both sides. However it was the Phoenix who broke the deadlock first, while on the powerplay Andre Mattsson stepped off the blue line and fired an absolute stormer past the Scimitars goalie. Phoenix off the mark at 5min 29seconds. The Phoenix were not to have it all their own way and at 11min 12seconds James Archer stole in on Steve Fone to bring the Scims level.
Second Period: It was as if the interval hadn't happened each team continuing the aggression from the first period. The Scimitars broke first after just 55seconds of the period gone, the Scims excellent captain Slamiar got his first of two after finishing off a neat move. The Phoenix upped the pressure and were rewarded at the half hour mark when a typical Tony Hand laser accurate pass found Greg Wood on the far post who brought the Phoenix level on the night, and ahead on aggregate.
Third Period: The Scimitar's hit the Phoenix early again in the third, as they levelled the game at 40min 25seconds, through their captain Slamiar. It looked like OT was beckoning as Sheffield dealt well with the Phoenix pressure, and caused a few scares as the Phoenix often left Fone exposed. The young British netminder standing on his head, and proving why he is loved by the Phoenix faithful. The final goal of the game, and the tie winning goal came from Greg Wood at 36min 25seconds. The Phoenix did score a 4th through Andre Payette however the goal was washed out, as Payette was adjudged to have strayed into the Scimitars crease. Sheffield piled on the pressure in the remaining minutes but the Phoenix stood strong and held on to lift the War of the Roses cup.
Verdict: Cracking game and a great first performance from the Phoenix! Considering the team had only two training sessions and had only been together for 4 days, the team did well. Still much more work needed, while the Phoenix did well going forward, they did leave defence exposed. This will, if not sorted, hurt us badly! Still very encouraging, considering most in the Dome will have been watching the Phoenix for the first time this season! early season favourite players are turning out to be Andre Mattsson (hes massive and has a great shot!), Jakko Hagelberg (seems to be this seasons Luke Staufacher/Kyle Bruce type of forward) and young Greg Wood (who passes a great resemblance to one Joe Tallari!)
Attendance: Really good turn our for a friendly, and a game not on the Season Ticket as a result. I would guess at around 6-700 in the Ice Dome. As usual a great atmosphere, hopefully the Dome will become known as an intimidating venue within the EPL! So a cracking night was had, and a really encouraging start for the Phoenix!
Phoenix TV Hilights:
Phoenix 3 Scimitar's 3 - MEN Article.
Hopefully this week will also see my reviews of the three Collage Football games that had occured while The Angry Budgie was on tour. That tour will also see a posting in the not too distant future too!