The Bison came to town last night, a match up of two ex Elite League teams. The Bison came into this game on a fine run of form, the Phoenix on a pretty poor run of form. The game would see the Phoenix either:
A) Snap back into life or....
B) Continue to frustrate those fans in the stands.
So on to the game.....
First Period: As the Phoenix and Bison occupy 4th & 5th position in the league the early stages of the game proved to be quite close. The Phoenix visibly upping their game and putting much more effort into their play. Which was not that hard given the rubbish of the previous two games! Despite the early optimism for Phoenix fans, it would be the Bison who scored first. After 9min 2sec Steve Moria would get the Bison rolling, on the powerplay. The Bison went 2-0 up after 17min 29sec when Ondrej Lauko scored a short handed goal! Something that is in-excusable in my eyes! The two goals capped a poor finish to the period for the Phoenix.
Second Period: Whatever Tony Hand said in the interval made an impression! The Phoenix came out and applied themselves much better in this period. Still not up to their pre-christmas form but an improvement! The Bison would get the first goal of the period however, when the Phoenix decided to let Steve Moria skate the length of the ice to score, not clever! What came next highlights what is so frustrating about Ed Courtenay. He faf's around and looks like he puts no effort in, then in the space of 3minutes single handily hauls the Phoenix back into the game. On the powerplay after 34min 05sec Ed got his first, then on 37min 44sec he got his second.
Third Period: The mini revival was snuffed out in the third period when the Bison got the important next goal. After 44min 55sec Thompson got the goal. The Bison then continued to disrupt the play of the Phoenix, and Tom Annetts in the Bison goal kept the Phoenix at bay!
Verdict: Sadly a good 10min period in a game does not spark a recovery! Having said that there was a marked improvement in effort when compared to the Guildford and MK games. Though that wouldn't be hard given how poor the Phoenix were in those games! Even so this is a worrying time for the Phoenix, confidence is obviously low, its low in the stands too, and its hard to see where the recovery will come from. The Phoenix also missed Hagelberg last night, he provides so much energy to the Phoenix it was obvious we missed him! The tough games don't let up just yet, the Phoenix have the second leg of the EPL Cup on wednesday against MK, then away in MK for the league game next saturday, then see the Jets come to the Ice Dome on sunday!! It must also be said that Ben Wood, yet again, got no ice time!
Attendance: Some poor weather, and recent home games did have an effect on the attendance, not a poor crowd though! Ill say around 8-900 in the Ice Dome.
Phoenix TV Highlights:
Phoenix 2 Basingstoke 4 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 2 Basingstoke 4 - MEN Article