Last night the Wildcats came to visit, the Phoenix had pulled off a fine win in Basingstoke the previous night so had some good momentum going into the game. Not that that filled me with much confidence as the previous weekend the Phoenix had won saturday, only to produce an absolutely bilge performance sunday! Any way this was a new weekend, so roll on face off!
First Period: All memories of that performance were dismissed in the first 10 minutes. The Phoenix came out and controlled the game. Pressing Swindon hard and creating a fair few chances. It was no surprise that the Phoenix would light the goal lamp first! After 5min 47sec Adam Walker got the first with the assist going to Tony Hand. After the first 10 minutes something switched off in the Phoenix camp. Worryingly the performance reverted to match the previous sunday's effort against Slough. During the last 10mins of the period Swindon exposed the Phoenix mistakes. The home crowd were stunned into silence whe, in the space of 1min the Wildcats took the lead. Both goals the result of some pretty sloppy Phoenix defending. The first fell to Aaron Nell after 12min 12sec when the Phoenix D failed to clear a routine rebound. Worse was to follow, at 13min 16sec Raimonds Danilics fought with Luke Boothroyd in front of the net and forced a backhand high above Fone's left shoulder.
Second Period: Every Phoenix fan's thoughts would now turn to which team would appear for the second period! Thankfully the Phoenix came out fighting, they began to get the basics right which then enabled them to mount the pressure. As it would turn out the Phoenix won this game in the second period! In a 4 minute period the Phoenix would score 5 unanswered goals in the space of 6 minutes. First up, Ian Bowie scored at 24min 22sec, with both teams subject to a powerplay Bowie got on the board. Next, Swindon allowed Tony Hand to get in on Woolhouse with the great one lifting the puck over Geoff with the back hand, timed 25min 10sec. Ian Bowie got his second of the night after 26min 24sec, I think it was after this goal that Swindon called a time out to regroup. It didn't seem to do much as the Phoenix scored again at 28min 13sec when Tony Hand found Andre Mattsson directly from the blue line, for the big Sweede to rifle home an awesome shot. The only downer on the period came after 29min 56sec, the Phoenix were on the penalty kill when they allowed Jozef Kohut to skate in on Steven Fone and score. Steven would not be happy with that one, allowing Kohut to score through the five-hole. With the game effectivly won, the main threat to the Phoenix would be complacency, the Phoenix would have the last laugh in the period, when Ed Courtney got in on the act scoring at 30min 38sec.
Third Period: The main worry for the Phoenix in the third was complacency, however Swindon came out and evidently didn't have the will to fight in the third. Nothing much happened in the final 20 mins except for Adam Summerfield getting a good 4mins at the end of the game to stretch his legs.
Verdict: A big game for the Phoenix, to try and banish thoughts of last sunday's game against the Jets. Also important to regain some points on the teams around them in the league. Barring the last 10mins of the first period, this was a good performance from the team.
Attendance: Slightly larger crowd than against Slough, ill say 950 in.
Phoenix TV Highlights:
Phoenix 6 - Swindon 3 - MEN Article