After the superb win away in Sheffield the Phoenix return to the Altrincham Ice Dome for a home match against bottom club Romford Raiders. So far this season the Phoenix have thrashed the Raiders on home ice, while suffering two away defeats as it seemed the Phoenix struggled to adapt to the Raiders home venue. The Raiders are having an awful season, bottom of the league, not even in double figures for wins. Every game, seemingly a damage limitation exercise! Despite this the Raiders never give up in a game, they always fight to the finish, and, in Frankie Sabine, they have a hot goaltending prospect for the future!
First Period: Even though the Phoenix were 99% sure to win this game, there is always going to be a little unease until that first goal goes in. Just like the Sheffield game the previous night, the Phoenix were ahead in the first minute. After just 32sec Ian Bowie slotted the puck past Charlie Kaylor in the Romford net. It really was one way traffic for most of the first period, the Raiders getting the odd break away opportunity, only to find Stephen Fone in fine form. The inevitable second goal came after 9min 11sec when Jaakko Hagelberg got his first of the night. The final goal of the period came for the Phoenix with just 20sec to go in the first session. Jaakko Hagelberg scoring to make the scores 3-0 to the Phoenix. If anything we could have called a halt to the game their and then, it was obvious the Phoenix were going to secure the points! But still, the Raiders did not give up!
Second Period: The Phoenix had visibly eased up the pace, but even so were out of sight when compared to the Raiders. A sign of this was how long it took for the next goal to go in! Ian Bowie got his second of the game at the 28min 37sec mark in the second session. Adam Walker came next on the Phoenix scoresheet scoring on the powerplay after 30min 54sec. It always seems like Adam needs a few shots to really get his eye in! This game being much like the Scimitar game for Adam, scoring after a few attempts. Something strange was also happening in this game, Tony Hand Was taking shots!!! In fact it was Tony who scored the Phoenix 6th goal of the night, coming after 38min 27sec. The Raiders did break the potential Shutout for Fone by scoring even handed through the Raiders top line. Darius Pliskauskas scoring at 39min 39sec.
Third Period: With Adam Summerfield in goal for the Phoenix, the home side looked to close out the win and not take any stupid penalties or injuries. even with a much reduced level the Phoenix still managed to score just after the re-start. James Neil stepping up and scoring just 54sec into the period. Step up Ian Bowie, the young Scot got his hatrick goal at the 43min 27sec mark, this would also signal the end for Charlie Kaylor in the Romford goal. In goal for the remaining 15 minutes was young Frankie Sabine. All 17 years old and 5ft of him! The young lad played out of his skin, pulling off some damn fine saves, including deflecting a bullet of a shot from Tony Hand with his face! This young lad's performance instantly endeared himself to the Phoenix faithful, with his name ringing out from the stands almost immediately! Unfortunately he could not stop the goals! Stephen Wallace pulling off some nice skill to score after 47min 05sec, and 57min 16sec to close out the game. Making the final scores 10-1 to the Phoenix.
Verdict: Despite the score, as soon as the first goal went in for the Phoenix it was a case of how many can we score? The Raiders are a poor team, but what they lack in terms of skill is made up by sheer effort. All their visits to the Dome, despite the scores, have been characterized by their never say die attitude. They always work for the full 60minutes. You could sum up their commitment in young Frankie Sabine. If their is one bright spot to their season, it is in their back up netminder. A hot prospect for the future. As for the Phoenix, they never needed to move into top gear, sundays game was about securing the two points and not making any silly mistakes. Ben Wood looked to be loving the ice time, I think that game saw him on the ice more than ever! It was also good to see young Mr Summerfield get an extended run out, and Max Drakley getting a fair bit of ice time himself! He is another Ben Wood in the making. Very strong, fast and willing to throw himself around! He is pretty much where Ben was last season in terms of his development. Hopefully he can return next season and, as Ben has, push for more time on the ice!
Attendance: A decent crowd in the Dome, ill say around 800
Phoenix TV Highlights:
Phoenix 10 - Romford 1 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 10 - Romford 1 - MEN Article
Keep your eyes glued to these pages, hopefully tomorrow will see The Angry Budgie's first weekend preview go up. Great timing I know, it being the last regular season weekend!