The Bees came to town last at the weekend for a rare saturday night game at the Ice Dome, the only previous game between the clubs seeing the Phoenix take the points in Bracknell.
First Period: For the first 10 minutes the game was pretty even, both sides working hard but not many clear cut chances. The Bees then shocked the Phoenix by taking control, the first goal coming at 9min 47sec for Jaroslav Cesky. The Phoenix continued to struggle and the Bison extended their lead after 13min 49sec through Michal Pinic. Worrying times for the Phoenix, while they had restricted the chances for the Bees, the Bees had at least taken them. The Phoenix had yet to make any clear cut opportunities.
Second Period: What ever Tony Hand said in the interval worked, it took just 1min 10sec of the period for the Phoenix to get on the board. Ed Courtney scoring for the Phoenix with the assist to Tony Hand. Phoenix' second of the night summed up the frustration that is Ed Courtney, a sublime pass cross ice found Ian Bowie on the back post to even the scores. Now 2-2 after 23min 21sec. The Phoenix mini-revolution would be short lived as the Bees would get the next goal. Ryan Watt scoring the Bees third at 23min 35sec. Ed Courtney would level the scores once again at 28min 50sec.
Third Period: With some questionable refereeing this game really could go any team's way at the beginning of the third. By no the Phoenix had the bit between their teeth, and perhaps the extra quality on the Phoenix bench began to shine through. The final 20 minutes would see the Phoenix score 5 goals to take the game away from the Bees. The first would be the Phoenix third powerplay goal of the game. Ian Bowie netting his second of the game at 43min 04sec. Bowie would go on and get his hatrick at 44min 44sec. With the Bees goalie visibly shaken, and with the Phoenix support unsettling him the Phoenix really took control. Phoenix 6th goal would come at 45min 47sec through Robert Lachowicz. James Neil would be next to get on the score sheet, his goal coming at 47min 34sec. Lachowicz would pop up and get his second and the Phoenix last of the game at 52min 02sec. With the scores now 8-3 to the Phoenix, Adam Summerfield would get a valuable 8 minutes of ice time. The Bees also taking the opportunity to send their back up nettie out on the ice.
Verdict: After the first period you did start to worry whether the Bees would cause an upset at the Ice Dome. But an improved second period and a stunning third underlined the quality in the Phoenix locker room.
Attendance: A combination of a saturday night game and bonfire night affected crowd numbers. I'll guess at around 850 in the Ice Dome.
After the battling back from the first period and getting the win, the Phoenix traveled to Milton Keynes for a top of the table clash. It would turn out to be a close game, but the Phoenix skated away with a 3-2 victory and a place at the top of the table. So a great weekend for the Phoenix!!