A rare mid-week game for the Phoenix saw the visit of the Sheffield Scimitars to the Ice Dome. This game having been re-arranged from a pre-christmas fixture that succumbed to the ice and snow. In addition the game would have a bit of a fancy dress theme after the gauntlet had been thrown down by the Scimitars! Payette was still suspended for the match and Ryan Johnson was also not icing for the Phoenix.
First Period: All our games so far against Sheffield have been very entertaining affairs, and in the early stages this was no different! Most of the entertainment coming from the Phoenix as they mounted the early pressure. The period began with the Phoenix camped out in the Sheffield zone, then Mark Stewart found James Archer who rushed out on the break with just Luke Boothroyd and an Ice Berg (sorry Ed Courtenay) back in defence. Archer rounded Courtenay with ease and zoomed in on Fone to put the Scimitars ahead after just 1min 28sec. The Phoenix re-established their camp in the Scimitar's zone and piled on the pressure. Surely a goal was imminent! It was, after 15min 20sec Ed Courtenay pulled out some top draw skill to atone for his earlier error. After that goal the two teams would go into the break on level terms, but the Phoenix deserving to be ahead.
Second Period: Pretty much a carbon copy of the first period, the Phoenix camped out in the Scimitar's zone, Ben Bowns in net standing on his head, and the Scimitar's creating a few break aways. Only one goal, that came for the Phoenix after 30min 30sec and Courtenay pulling off some fine skill to skate (yes skate) through the Scimitar's line and create his own chance, and a riffled shot into the net. So far in the game no penalties had been called, cant remember the last time that has happened! But the main talking point was a ten minute misconduct penalty for shooting the puck after the whistle had gone!
Third Period: By now the Phoenix really should have been clear of the Scimitar's but thanks to Bowns in goal the Scimitars were still close and could get something from the game. The Phoenix raced ahead with their third goal of the game coming after 42min 37sec, Stephen Wallace finally getting the goal he had deserved against his old club. Judging by his performance in the game, im sure there will be some Scimitar fans who wonder why on earth they got rid! The fourth goal came after 46min 30sec when Tony Hand scored through the five hole on the powerplay! Job done.....you would think! But hey thats not the Phoenix way! The Scimitars would start a mini revival when Mark Turner would net their second after 52min 30sec. The team from Sheffield would then ensure a period of squeaky bum time when Peter Slamir, easily the Scimm's best player, scored at 57min 04sec. In the last few minutes the Scimitar's did try to pull Bowns for the extra skater but the Phoenix managed to keep the puck either in the Sheffield zone or center ice preventing him going for the bench. So the Phoenix managed to hold on for the win!
Verdict: As per the Swindon game but less goals! The Phoenix played well being camped out in the Sheffield zone for most of the game. But because of this they looked a bit vulnerable on the break away. Having said all that it was a deserved victory for the Phoenix and another valuable two points. Im sure the team and the fans would have preferred to win by a good few goals but Ben Bowns in the Scimitar's goal stood on his head!
Attendance: As normal a mid week crowd is slightly down on a weekend crowd, but a good crowd in none the less! Im going to guess at say 7-800. Must mention that after the Scimitar's had thrown down the gauntlet to challenge the Phoenix fans to who has the best fancy dress, I have to say the Sheffield fan's failed spectacularly! I couldn't see one person in fancy dress! Booooooo!
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