The second half of the Phoenix home double header saw the visit of the Bracknell Bee's to the Altrincham Ice Dome. The Bees would be in search of their first win against the Phoenix, while the Phoenix would look to complete another 4 point weekend. This would not be a given against a good Bees side who play a very physical game. While the Bees may not have the most talented squad on the ice, they do have three star players. Claude Dumas, while getting on a bit, still has the hands and vision to put many to shame! Then the excellent duo of Jaroslav Cesky and Michal Pinc heading up the attack, the Bees cannot be taken lightly!
First Period: Before the game began I thought so long as we stay out the penalty box we should win this nice and easy! That didn't quite go to plan, when in the first 11mins the Phoenix had 3 penalties while the Bees had one! The Bees made sure it was an anxious start for the home side by taking the lead after just 3mins. Shane Moore putting the men from Bracknell ahead. Thankfully the Phoenix replied just 90seconds later, when at 4min 36sec, Andre Mattsson found Tony Hand, who took a shot to score! The Phoenix extended the lead after 6min 14sec when Jaakko Hagelberg scored with assists to Mattsson and Hand. The Phoenix made it three after 9min 48sec when Ryan Johson found Andre Payette in the slot, who turned and took a shot very quick to beat the Bees keeper to make it 3-1.
Second Period: The Phoenix had done well so far to keep the Bees at bay, more of the same required in the second! The Phoenix more or less ensured they got the two points by scoring the first goal of the second session. coming at 26min 24sec Jaakko got his second of the game. Not to be totally blown away the Bees made sure the Phoenix remembered they were there, after 36min 53sec Michal Pinc got their second of the game. The Poenix got the last goal of the period at 38min 16sec when Ian Bowie finished off a great move from the Phoenix, Scores going into the break 5-2.
Third Period: Main aim for the Phoenix in the last 20mins would be to stay out of the box and stay healthy. The Phoenix extra quality really came into play as the Bees began to tire.Robert Lachowicz would get the sixth goal at 44min 44sec. The Bees then responded on the powerplay at 46min 10sec when Cesky got their third of the game. The final goal, and the Phoenix seventh, came at 52min 25sec with Jaakko Hagelberg getting his hatrick goal.
Verdict: The Phoenix really are clicking at the moment, they have managed to recapture their form from the first half of the season. A good time too, with just 5 games left of the season, the Phoenix now look like they could secure 3rd place in the league. This weekend was a tough test, Sheffield and Bracknell are no mugs! Even so the Phoenix kept their focus and dealt with the threat, and ground out the win.
Attendance: Good crowd in the Dome, i'd say around 800.
Phoenix TV Highlights:
Phoenix 7 Bracknell 3 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 7 Bracknell 3 - MEN Article