Last saturday the Phoenix played their second game in MK of the week, this time it was for two EPL points. Anyone who is a regular on these pages, or on the Phoenix forum, or indeed anyone who pays attention to EPL results will know the Phoenix are not having the best of times at the moment. Confidence is low, and recent results have seen the Phoenix loose touch with the top of the league.
Originally I had decided to make the trip down to MK pre-christmas in much happier times. So given the Phoenix run of form coming into this game I was not looking forward to this game. In fact the performance was more important for me! The Phoenix were playing in MK the wednesday prior, in the EPL Cup semi-final second leg. By all accounts the Phoenix played much better and managed a 3-3 draw. So a little optimism filled the 30-40 or so Phoenix fans who made the trip!
First Period: The game faced off and a decent crowd responded creating a great atmosphere! The worrying thing for the Phoenix fan's in attendance was the early defensive mistakes being made by the whole team! I cannot single the D out, it was the team who were leaving Steve Fone out to dry! He is, as we all know, not at full strength, and this shows! So it was no surprise Mk scored the first goal of the game, coming after 4min 30sec eternal annoyance, but a damn good player, Leigh Jamieson scoring. Things didnt get much better for the Phoenix, as they pressed MK in their own zone it left them open to the odd man rush. This has been the story of the Phoenix defence for a while now. MK extended their lead after 12min 03sec when the excellent Nick Pool scored. The period finished badly for the Phoenix when MK went 3-0 up, this time after 18min 44sec Michael Wales scored.
Second Period: Phoenix fan hopes for a revival were well and truly crushed in the second period. 4 un-answered goals would put the Lightning 7-0 up. The first goal of the period came after 25min 15sec from Leigh Jamieson. Next up to score was Michael Wales again after 27min 54sec. Third goal of the period came from Monir Kalgoum after 32min 24sec on the powerplay. Mercifully the final goal of the period came from Lukas Zatopek at 33min 32sec. With the game won the Phoenix swapped goaltenders to give young Adam Summerfield some experience. The damage was done, and the main thing for the Phoenix would be to avoid a humiliation. The Phoenix did finally break the MK defence and Robert Lachowicz would score the only Phoenix goal of the game at 39min 18sec.
Third Period: The Lightning also took the opportunity to send out their back up nettie. So the last 20 mins would hopefully see a Phoenix goal and some life. Sadly only on of those came true! With much of the sting taken out of the game MK would score only two further goals. The first coming at 43min 42sec when Leigh Jamieson scored his second of the night. The last goal of the game came at 50min 58sec shorthanded, when Lewis Christie broke down the ice to score.
Verdict: A terrible performance from the Phoenix, and one severely punished buy the league leaders. The Phoenix are in a slump right now, and it is obvious confidence is rock bottom. Also worryingly the Phoenix seem to lack ideas on the ice. This game was evident of that, plus some players on the roster are just not putting the effort in. As evident by some of the comments from MK fans, Ben Wood put another great performance in, and yet he gets overlooked so many times!
So there we have it, a painful loss to MK, if you want to go and read a review of the game from an MK point of view, head on over to Tanya's MK Lightning Blog. Next up for this blog will be a review of the Phoenix home game against Slough Jets, that will go up tomorrow hopefully! Then wednesday a treat, last friday The Angry Budgie went live, and attended the Manchester Apollo to see the mighty Machine Head!
Milton Keynes 9 Phoenix 1 - Phoenix Article