So an unusual saturday home game for the Phoenix, saw the visit of the Sheffield Scimitars, their umpteenth game against the Phoenix so far this season! A game which would be too close to call, I like to benchmark the Phoenix against the Scims, and the games never disappoint!
First Period: The Phoenix got off to the best start possible with their two high-flying Brits putting them two goals to the good. First up was Ian Bowie who shot from the left wing past Raitanen in the Scims goal, first goal timed at 5min 49sec. Next up Rob Lachowicz doubled the advantage after 15min 45sec when he picked up a loose puck in the Sheffield zone. In, what must have been planned, Ian Bowie capped off a pulsating first period by dropping the gloves with the Scims Rob Farmer, it was Farmer who won that fight. The last incident of the first saw the Scims pull one goal back through Tom Squires at 17min 32sec.
Second Period: After the first period going to the Phoenix, the second was all Sheffield. The Scims upped the pressure and were soon rewarded with the equalizing goal coming at 25min 15sec through Matt Haywood. With the home support becoming uneasy with the Scims pressure, the Dome fell silent when Sheffield took the lead at 27min 07sec. The period was to end with the Phoenix blanked and the scores 3-2 to Sheffield.
Third Period: Make or break period for the Phoenix, the second period wake up worked and the Phoenix came out with their own pressure. The Phoenix finally levelled the game at 45min 01sec when Adam Walker deflected an Ed Courtney shot and the home fans were delighted. In what was to become a bit of a see-saw period of the game Sheffield restored their advantage after 53min 44sec through the excellent James Archer. The Phoenix finally asserted their supremacy and won the game with a superb 3 minute spell! First up, Tony Hand got on the score sheet (shock horror I know!) after slotting the puck home, timed 56min 15sec. Then at 59min 09sec the one man you would love to have 3 feet from the net, Ed Courtney, was left all alone to make it 5-4. In the dying seconds, Sheffield pulled Raitanen for the extra skater, only to mess up the change and have the face off back in their own zone. Sheffield then surged forward into the Phoenix zone, only for Tony Hand to pick up a loose puck and score the empty netter. Timed 59min 54sec to send the fans home happy! It was a sad ending to the game though, on the last goal I was sad to look across and see a Phoenix fan celebrating and taunting the Sheffield fans. This is not acceptable and something we do not see at Phoenix games! We are proud to have some of the best fans in hockey and the actions of this idot are a real shame! For a further comment on the game head on over to The Pyre to read up what Rob though!
Verdict: A close game that could have gone either way, Sheffield are a very good team, but a team the Phoenix should beat on their own ice.
Attendance: Not helped by the rugby final at Old Trafford, it seems a good proportion of Phoenix fans are rugby fans too. But a good crowd creating a great atmosphere! Probably around 960 in the Dome.
Phoenix TV Highlights:
Phoenix 6 Sheffield 4 - MEN Article
The Phoenix were in away action to Peterborough sunday night, capping off a great weekend the Phoenix skated out with the points. You can read all about it here.