The Angry Budgie Live

Friday, 29 October 2010

Telford Tigers weekend 23/24th October

Sorry for the late post this week, ive been a little way laid with things but anyway here is a quick re-cap of the tough weekend the Tigers faced last saturday/sunday.
As weekends go for the Tigers, it was their toughest of the season so far, and you could argue, the toughest they are going to get. An away game to the current league champions and then the first visit of the current league leaders to the Telford Ice Rink.

The game away to MK was always going to be tough, and having a goal washed out in the first period player coach Tom Watkins could be forgiven for thinking it was not going to be the Tigers night. The Lightning then took a 2-0 lead which would be tough for the Tigers to overturn. Despite big Chris Allen scoring halfway through the game the Lightning would close out the win with a goal and an empty netter to seal a 4-1 win.

Then on to the big game of the weekend, a home game against the Phoenix on sunday. All week the build up was electric, the first visit of the Phoenix to Telford and a big crowd expected. Early estimates of 100 Phoenix fans proved way to conservative, in fact 200 Phoenix fans made the trip filling just about a third of the balcony. With more Tiger fans turning out too I wouldn't have been surprised if the balcony was only a couple of seats short of a sell out! It was a great atmosphere in Telford that night and very pleasing to see lots of interaction between both sets of supporters. There seams to be some sort of mutual respect between the two clubs, not surprising given both clubs history and reliance on their fans in the past! Anyway the game was a real contest for the first period. The Tigers were quick, moved the puck well, but seemed to just loose a bit of quality in executing their chances. Plus they came up against Adam Summerfield in fine form for the Phoenix. Sadly for the Tigers, I thought they ran out of steam during the second period. The odd man rushes dried up a bit, and they began chasing the puck. In the end the Phoenix chalked up a healthy victory, but the Tigers more than acquitted themselves.

Despite the loss, this was a game that did wonders for Telford, over 700 fans in the building! With the Phoenix remaining away games on a bank holiday and a saturday, Telford can expect large away crowds for those three fixtures!

This weekend, sees the Tigers play one fixture on sunday, hosting the MK Lightning. This will be another tough game as MK are quick and move the puck very well. MK should, while not as big, bring quite a few fans to Telford. For me, the Tigers need to work on preserving their energy, you cannot win a game in the first 20 or 40 minutes, you have to go the full 60! So Tom has to reign in their massive enthusiasm at the start. Telford should be able to get at least a point on home ice, but they need to play without mistakes. Given the recent release of Chis Allen, that job has only got tougher!

Good luck Telford!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Telford Tigers v Manchester Phoenix 24th October Game Review

Sunday saw the Phoenix make their first visit to Telford to take on the supporter owned Telford Tigers. This was a game many Phoenix fan;s, myself included, had looked forward to for some time. There is some sort of mutual respect for each other born out of each club's history. The Tigers taking time out from the support and being rescued by their fans. Some of you may recall top flight hockey in Manchester had gone down a similar path. When the Storm went bust the supporters stepped in to return a team to top flight hockey in the MEN Arena, only for the decision to be made to mothball the team for two years. So supporter support figures greatly for both teams. This game was a prime example of how social media can also help the game, with both sets of supporters using Forum's, Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about the game. The Tigers usually enjoy crowds of 3-400 in the 700 seat Telford Ice Rink, but with the Phoenix bringing an estimated 120 plus fans, and more Tigers fans expected to turn up this was going to be a big night for the new look Tigers.

First Period: The Tigers were really up for this, their first game against the league leading Phoenix, both fans in good voice created a real party atmosphere in the Ice Rink. It was the Phoenix who scored first to silence the home support, after just 36 seconds! Greg Wood scoring the first of a few for the emerging second line unit. Despite the early goal the Tigers would not let the Phoenix settle, and their pressure would disrupt the Phoenix play in the Tigers zone leading to too many odd man rushes for my liking! It was on one of these rushes that the Tigers tied the game, scoring through Brittle on the powerplay. This was a poor defensive display from the Phoenix on the penalty kill, allowing Brittle up to the hash marks to unleash a slap shot past Summerfield in goal. I doubt even Fone would have saved it! The Tigers continued their frenetic pace and the Phoenix kept soaking it up. While the Phoenix looked a little wobbly at the back it was obvious they had a fair few gears to go through if needed. This showed when the first and second lines combined to put the Phoenix well clear. After 8min exactly the first line clicked for the first time and Sir Tony of hand delighting both sets of supporters by scoring to put the Phoenix 2-1 ahead. Next it was James Archer's turn to score from the second line, after 14min 06sec.

Second Period: With the Tigers visibly slowing due to their first period efforts the Phoenix started to change up through the gears and exert more pressure of their own. The second line got their hatrick of goals and Stephen Wallace finally scoring after an excellent scoreless performance against the Steeldogs. Wallace making the score 4-1 after 26min 38sec. Sir Tony of Hand got his second of the night after 33min 49sec, the game now looking beyond the Tigers, the atmosphere started to drop. The last goal of the period came after 38min 40sec to Marcus Kristoffersson, this really should have been his hatrick, Marcus shooting boots looked a little off last night, but his hard work and skill remained.

Third Period: The game now won, the third period was left for the Phoenix to close out the game. Not take any silly injuries and not blow the game. The Tigers slowing up more allowed the Phoenix to ease up and enjoy the game. But the Tigers did manage to inject a little urgency and lift their supporters by scoring their second of the night after 51min 58sec through Chris Allen. Marcus Kristoffersson finally got his goal when he scored after 55min exactly. That goal capping a good weekend of hard work for the big Swede! The final goal of the night came from James Neil and capped of a brilliant 8-2 victory for the Phoenix, the final goal coming at 57min 48sec.

Verdict: In the end a convincing win for the Phoenix, but this game was never about the game! It was about the Tigers icing a team against the Phoenix, a reward for their hard working fans. A chance to really push Telford Tigers to the local community and fill the old Telford Ice Rink. A great atmosphere was enjoyed by all in attendance. The Phoenix playing well, and Adam Summerfield showing how he is close to becoming a decent starter in his own right. The Phoenix second line is really showing how valuable it is to the Phoenix by hard work and pointage. The Tigers have a hard working and skillful team, but it was obvious they could not keep up their first period pace. This seems to be an issue for the Tigers as the same happened against Sheffield the weekend before. Tom Watkins, Tigers coach, must re-look at their tactics and reign in their early efforts. Im sure the Tigers can go the full 60, but at the moment they burn out quickly!

Due to the big away support and a great turn out by the Tigers fans ensured full stands in Telford, this resulted in a few Tiger fans mixing in with the Phoenix support. Not a problem as both sets of supporters got on well and much mutual respect shown. But we did have a group of lads behind us who chose some interesting heckling during the game. Favorites of which were:

Eyore eyore at Tony Hand, the same Tony Hand, the greatest British player ever, one who had scored twice and set up on goal in the game, and a player who could walk into the Tigers squad.....
Dodgy shooter at Kristoffersson, ok he could have had about 4 goals himself last night, but again he is a player who could walk, not just into the Tigers squad, but every other squad in the EPL!

Work on your heckling lads!

Attendance: With Telford Ice Rink seating around 700 fans, I would say there must have been over 650 in the rink, and as mentioned at least 190 of them being Phoenix fans!

Shropshire Star TV Highlights:

Telford 2 Phoenix 8 - Telford Tigers Article
Telford 2 Phoenix 8 - Manchester Phoenix Article
Telford 2 Phoenix 8 - CB Sport Article

Monday, 25 October 2010

Phoenix v Sheffield Steeldogs 23rd October Game Review

The first game of a double header for The Angry Budgie, the Phoenix had a home game against the Steeldogs on saturday night. Before an away trip to Telford on sunday. This would seam an 'easy' weekend for the Phoenix but these were two teams who, not necessarily brimming with skill and flair, could grind an opponent down through grit and hard work. Add to that Phoenix would be without their starting netminder Steve Fone, who picked up a nasty injury the previous weekend. Ben Wood would also be nursing an injured shoulder, but he would ice for the weekends games.

First Period: The Phoenix were a little slow out of the blocks during the first period, and the Steeldogs were quick to start a physical type of game. It was clear this game would not be the usual flowing type of hockey seen at the Ice Dome this season, but it would be the Phoenix who scored first. After 4mi 09sec Marcus Kristoffersson blasted a shot through Ben Bowns to light the lamp for the Phoenix. With Adam largely untouched so far in the game it must have been difficult for him to settle into the flow, and he will defiantly want the Steeldogs first goal back. A shot from Edgar Bebris seemed to get deflected of Adam's stick and just leapfrog him into the goal. The game tying goal coming after 8min 27sec. The Phoenix went back in front after 14min 32sec when Curtis Huppe scored and put the Phoenix back in front.

Second Period: Ben Bowns was performing brilliantly in goal for Sheffield, by rights the Phoenix could have been a good 6 goals clear had it not been for Ben. He was single handedly keeping Sheffield in the game. During the second session he would continue to frustrate the Phoenix attack. The Phoenix faithful must have wondered if tonight was not going to follow the script when the Steeldogs tied the game after 24min 49sec through Andrew Hirst. At least, when ever the Steeldogs did score the Phoenix were able to shift through the gears and re-take the lead. James Archer would provide the Phoenix with the lead heading into the third period scoring after 28min 24sec.

Third Period: With the Steeldogs tiring the Phoenix had to just shut up shop and see out the game. They kept up the pressure but Ben Bowns continued his man-of-the-match performance by keeping the Phoenix attack at bay. The only goal of the third period came to the fantastically hard working Brit line, and a second goal for Ben Wood. The Phoenix crashed the net and kept the pressure up on Bowns, he then spilled the puck to Ben Wood who, on a very tight angle, slotted the puck home, sparking a big celebration from fans and players alike. With the game now won, the Phoenix just had to finish off the game and collect the first two points of the weekend.

Verdict: A tough game against a determined Sheffield side. While they may not have the obvious flair of other teams, Sheffield will grind many team down through their hard work and determination, and being backed up by Ben Bowns. This lad is a talent and could very well win a few games for the Steeldogs himself. This was a game that proved the Phoenix could win without flair and flashy plays, and a game that really proved how valuable our British lines are this season. Plus another great performance by Ben Wood, this year really could be a stand up and take notice season for him!

Attendance: 884 in the Ice Dome.

Phoenix TV Highlights:
To come.....when ever the Phoenix get round to doing them!

Phoenix 4 Sheffield 2 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 4 Sheffield 2 - CB Spprt Article

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Telford Tigers weekend 16/17th October

A real testing weekend for the Tigers just gone, facing teams at the top and bottom of the table. The Tigers faced the Guidlford Flames saturday night and I doubt you would find many Tigers fans who expected two points from this game. Sadly for the Tigers the table doesnt lie and the Flames ran out 8-3 victors.

The sunday home game against the Sheffield Steeldogs would be a game where the Tigers should pick up a win and two points. Sadly some defensive frailties exposed the Tigers and the Steeldogs were able to claim a 7-5 win.

So a tough weekend for the Tigers, and a weekend that will make the team re-focus and concentrate and ironing out any silly mistakes. The Tigers must start getting results against those sides around them in the table if they want to make a playoff push.

The weekends don't get much easier for Telford, with this weekend (the 23rd/24th October) bringing a trip to Milton Keynes saturday night, before hosting the Phoenix, and their large following to Telford Ice Rink for the first time this season! The ice rink will be rocking sunday night!

Telford Tigers weekend reports.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Phoenix v Bracknell Bees 17th October Game Review

Last weekend saw the Phoenix take on the Bracknell Bees both at The Hive and back at the Ice Dome. In theory these should be two games the Phoenix should win easily. However, if anything from the Phoenix first season in the EPL will tell you, there are no easy games! The Bees very capable of beating the Phoenix, especially with the likes of Pinc and Cesky on the ice! Saturday saw the Phoenix make the long trip south to Berkshire, and by all accounts blow the Bees off the ice, skating to a comfortable 7-1 victory. Both teams returned to the ice on sunday in Altrincham, the Phoenix looking to secure another 4 point weekend and the Bees wanting to exact some revenge.

First Period: The puck dropped and early signs were not encouraging for the Bees, the Phoenix attacking at will. It was also evident from the posture of the Bees players that they were not terribly up for this game. It was frightening, in a good way, to see how quickly the Phoenix could go through the gears and rip the Bees to shreds! In fact it took only 64 seconds for the Phoenix to score. Kristoffersson ripping an awesome one time slap shot to the Bees top corner. The Bees should have seen this coming as Kristoffersson had at least three identical attempts prior to scoring! A real show reel goal! Then, just 44 seconds after that some excellent work from Stephen Wallace, saw Greg Wood put through to score his first of the night. Despite all this pressure the Bees did score against the run of play, on the powerplay Nicky Watt scored a well taken goal, being found on the post to easily slot home. The Bees reminding the Phoenix that they are still a threat! The Phoenix kept the pressure on and Greg Wood would score another, a beautiful wrap around goal after 11min 36sec.

Second Period: The relentless Phoenix pressure continued in the second period, Marcus Kristoffersson let fly once more to score after 25min 43sec. Both he and Greg Wood were now on for hatrick games. Ben Morgan would get in on the scoring too, when he scored after 27min 49sec while the Phoenix were on a 5 on 3 powerplay. By now you could see the Bees were visibly disheartened, they were not creating too many chances, and it seamed that Pinch and Cesky were being relied upon to do most of the work. In fact, if you took those two players out of the line up, I doubt the Bees would be able to create many chances at all. Greg Wood won the hatrick race when he scored on the powerplay after 28min 25sec. The game was effectively won now, and the two points firmly grasped when Kristoffersson would grab his own hatrick of the night after 37min 08sec also on the powerplay. One sad note to end the period on, Ben Wood, after sitting out a tripping penalty came out the box, skated hard for the Phoenix bench, only to fall, shoulder first, into the boards. He got up grasping his shoulder and went straight off the ice into the locker room.

Third Period: Ben Wood did not return to the ice, and the word from the locker room was he had dislocated his shoulder. Thankfully the team physio was able to relocate his shoulder, but it was understandable he did not play the third period. Sadly the third period did not get much better! Just 30 seconds into the period, Stephen Fone took a full slap shot to the facecage which floored the big man. He remained motionless on the ice as both teams doctors came out onto the ice to help out. Thankfully Stephen was able to get back up and skate off the ice, leaving a large pool of blood for the zamboni to clear up. It transpires that the strength of the shot opened a cut just above his eye which will require stitches. This, of course, meant young Ben Brown was thrust into action. The young 17 year old keeper getting his first taste of EPL action. Sadly he did look a little overwhelmed and the Bees were able to chalk up a few goals. Their second of the night coming after 42min 20sec, when a shot from Ben Austin deflected up into the net. The Bees third came at 46min 44sec when Ashley Calvert slotted the puck between Ben's legs. The Bees fourth and final goal of the game came after 57min 22sec on the powerplay from Michal Pinc.

Verdict: A real up and down game for the Phoenix, easily dominating the game and extending a 7-1 lead, before a double injury blow forced a young inexperienced net minder into action. Thankfully that early lead was enough for the Phoenix to win the game. But I think a lesson has to be learnt. The Phoenix have to have an EPL standard goalie as back up! I know Adam Summerfield will want to see as much ice time as possible, being absent from this game on Metro duty, but that gamble was really shown up. Ben did as best he could for the final period, but he was no where near ready. Had we been playing a Slough/Guildford/MKL we could have lost that game. That is no slight on Ben, but it just showed the Phoenix up a little. The loss of Ben Wood also hurt, the Phoenix are a man down anyway after Dean Holland left, losing Ben would mean a short benched team, at more of a disadvantage.

As for the game, it was scary how much better the Phoenix were, almost scoring at will. It wasn't a great game of free flowing hockey, but you still have to beat the team on the ice in front of you. So another 4 point weekend secured, just at some cost! Hopefully both Stephen and Ben will be back for this weekends games, but at least if not, it is not such a bad weekend to lose them for. A home game against the Steeldogs and an away trip to the Tigers. The rest of the squad will just have to be at their best!

Attendance: Probably around 1,000 in the Ice Dome.

Phoenix TV Highlights:
To come......

Phoenix 7 Bracknell 4 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 7 Bracknell 4 - CB Sport Article
Update on Stephen one - CB Sport Article

Bracknell 1 Phoenix 7 - CB Sport Article

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Inaugural Telford Tigers Post

As many of you may have read in previous post's, I have a soft spot for the Tigers. When I used to play junior hockey for Trafford/Altrincham im pretty darn sure I remember playing in Telford Ice Rink many many years ago. Im also sure I have been there as a support of the Trafford Metros/Altrincham Ace's way back when. So, when the decision was made to move the Phoenix to the EPL, I was excited. As this would mean returning to Telford Ice Rink, I bet not many people have ever said that!

Anyway, that excitement turned to sadness as the Tigers were put on ice for the 09/10 season, so the Phoenix would not be going to shropshire for games. The Tigers have returned as a supporter run club, the first of its kind, certainly in UK ice hockey. So the Phoenix will be going to Telford, the first trip being the 24th October and yes, yours truly will be going and tweeting from the game.

Anyway due to the aforementioned soft spot, I have decided to cover the Tigers results on these pages, but don't expect in-depth all covering write up's as, quite simply, other than Phoenix games, I wont be in person to watch the Tigers play. So my intention is to do a brief summary, link in various articles on each game and, if possible add links to video highlights. My intention for doing so, is to help spread the word. Which really was the basis behind setting up my blog. Hopefully this added coverage will spread awareness of the Tigers, in the end, us hockey fans, we have to help each other out!

To date the Tigers have played 8 games, one win, two overtime losses and 5 regular losses for 4 points and, unfortunately for the moment, propping up the rest of the table. As with the Phoenix when they returned to the ice after two long seasons of it, Tiger fan;s will not be worried about their league position for this season, the fact they have a team to support means more than anything else right now! The goal for the Tigers must be to see out the season and get some stability back into top level shropshire hockey.

The season so far:

Swindon 5 - 3 Telford
Telford 0 - 6 Basingstoke

Telford Tigers opening weekend match reports.

Slough 5 - 1 Telford
Telford 3 - 4 Sheffield

Telford Tigers versus Slough and Sheffield

Peterborough 4 - 3 Telford
Telford 5 - 2 Swindon

Telford Tigers versus Peterborough and Swindon

Basingstoke 6 - 5 Telford
Telford 3 - 7 Slough

Telford Tigers versus Basingstoke and Slough

So not the best of starts for the Tigers, but given that they , probably, have the smallest budget in the league, just making it onto the ice every weekend is a success! What they need are lots of bums on seats and passionate support. Two things I know us Phoenix fan's will bring to Telford on the 24th October! Get ready Telford, the Phoenix are coming!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Phoenix v Swindon Wildcats 10th October Game Review

Another weekend gone, another weekend of EPL hockey chalked up. This weekend just gone was another tough test for the Phoenix, a long away trip to Slough followed by the only team to have taken a win off the Phoenix, the Swindon Wildcats. For the vast majority of the 09/10 season the Phoenix could not buy a win against the Jet's, and yet this season, the Phoenix managed a 3-0 win on home ice. As ever with away games against tough opposition, im usually happy with a point, anything more is a bonus.The result, in the end, was a 6-4 victory for the Phoenix, and coupled with the pair of victories against the MK Lightning show that this Phoenix team mean business!

So onto sunday's game against the Wildcats. This is a team that was tough to crack, but once you did, usually crumbled. The goalie in Douglas veering from outstanding to a down right liability. Anyway the Cats took a penalty shootout victory over the Phoenix in the link center when the clubs last met. By most accounts it seams the Phoenix were not on top form and possibly lost the game themselves. So this return fixture was a chance for some revenge and complete another 4 point weekend.

First Period: Both teams took to the ice and began the game in a very cagey way. Neither side able to fully dominate the opposition just yet. The Phoenix were quite subdued in the early stages and were unable to click into the fast free flowing type of hockey we are used to. Even so the Phoenix struck first after 7min 47sec, when Pavel Gomeniuk scored the first of his 'Gordie Howe' hattrick. A beautiful flighted shot from the blue line that just sailed past Douglas in goal. To be fair to the big man, there were many bodies in his way! This goal didn't quite ignite the Phoenix and Graham Newell would tie things up after 10min 14sec. It was this goal that lit the Phoenix blue touch paper, what followed was near enough 6minutes of explosive hockey that really blew Swindon out of the water. In those 6 or 7 minutes the Phoenix scored 5 unanswered goals that left the Wildcats reeling and quarreling with each other. Those 5 goals as follows:

2-1 Scored: Huppe, Assist: Gomeniuk on the PP 13min 21sec
3-1 Scored: Archer, Assit: Wallace 14min 19sec
4-1 Scored: G Wood, Assist: Wallace & Archer 17min 24sec
5-1 Scored: B Wood*, Assist: Harabin & Neil 18min 03sec
6-1 Scored: Kristoffersson, Assist: Huppe & Morgan 19min 46sec

I've highlighted goal number 5, this was scored by the young lad from Bollington Ben Wood. This is the youngster that really came on a developed brilliantly in the latter stages of the 09/10 campaign. So far this term, the development has continued, and despite being put back on the forward lines, he is growing in confidence and ability. This goal was a cracker, and rewarded his perseverance!

Second Period: What a difference 15 minutes makes! That is the amount of time Widlcats coach Ryan Aldridge had to get into his squad. The Wildcats caught everyone by surprise, catching the Phoenix napping and scoring after just 32sec of the second period. Jozef Kohut making the scores 5-2 and instilling some uncertainty into the Phoenix and their fans. For the duration of the second period, the Phoenix were a shadow of their first period selves. The Wildcats finally showing the type of grit and determination that beat the Phoenix in the Link Center. Tensions were ratcheted up further when Ryan Watt capped off a brilliant flowing move from the Cats zone to make it 5-3 at 27min 09sec. The fans in the stands, at least Phoenix fans, even more worried, knowing there was at least half the game left to play. Thankfully this 3rd Wildcats goal woke the Phoenix, and the boys from Manchester re-grouped and began to disrupt the Cats comeback. The period would end with a dramatic penalty shot for Swindon. Ladislav Harabin pulling Josef Liska down from behind for a legitimate penalty shot. Sadly Liska's attempt was utterly terrible and easily saved by Stephen Fone. The Widlcats advance halted as the second period ended with the score 6-3 to the Phoenix.

Third Period: Im sure I was not the only Phoenix fan who hoped the second interval saw Tony Hand give the Phoenix the proverbial rocket! The second period being one of the worst seen in the Ice Dome this season. The side that came out for the third was a much improved version. Not quite hitting the first period high, but getting close and dealing easily with what the Wildcats had to offer. With the game still, relatively, comfortably in hand the Phoenix just had to cope with the Wildcats offense whole still trying to capitalize on the odd chance that was created. The only goal of the period came for the Phoenix on the powerplay. Tony Hand seeing an opening in the goal and then lazering a shot into the back of the net, scoring at 47min over!

Verdict: A game which, despite a near second period collapse, could have been a Phoenix blowout. Had the Phoenix kept up their first period form a double figure score could have been easily reached! Still, it was good to see the Phoenix gain revenge for their early season loss to Swindon, and it was pleasing to see the Phoenix 3rd line getting plenty of ice time. A big shout out to Pavel Gomeniuk for getting a 'Gordie Howe; hattrick (Goal/Assist/Fight), and an even bigger shout to Ben Wood, for scoring his first of the season and capping off a near Man of the Match performance. In fact young Ben could have bagged a couple if a few third period chances fell kinder to him! So with a good win, and Guildford not playing on sunday, the Phoenix ascended to the top of the tree. It'll be interesting to see what happens when the Flames and the Phoenix meet for the first time this season!

Attendance: A bit smaller than against MK, but still over a thousand, so until I see next weeks powerplay magazine, I will guess at about 1,050 in the Ice Dome.

Phoenix TV highlights:
To come....

Phoenix 7 Wildcats 3 - CB Sport Article
Phoenix 7 Wildcats 3 - Phoenix Article

The Angry Budgie has decided to add a second team to its blog. More will follow with a post sometime this week.....hopefully!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Phoenix v Milton Keynes Lightning 3rd October Game Review

Saturday night saw the Phoenix head down the M6 to Swindon for the first visit to the link centre. In the end it seem's and improved Cats team met a Phoenix team that struggled on the night. The two sides locked together at 2-2 going into a penalty shootout the Cats would succeed and win the extra point. A disappointing result for the Phoenix, however if you are going to loose, at least get something out of the game!

The Milton Keynes Lightning were the visitors to the Ice Dome sunday night, a very tough game which would see the Phoenix emerge from the weekend with either a disappointing 1 point weekend, or a pretty good 3 point weekend!

First Period: Previous games against the Lightning have been particular highlights for many a Phoenix fan. Last nights game started off, not quite at the same fast paced franetic exhibition of hockey! It was clear that MKL wanted to avenge their opening season game loss to the Phoenix, with pure aggression. This is a Phoenix biased blog I will admit, but messers McPherson and Jamieson were prime protagonists. The former going after Kristofferson right from the get go! There was plenty of niggly chippy tactics going on, and it was clear this could become a very bad tempered game! An example of which was an early scuffle involving Sir Tony 'Killer' Hand getting into another fight, and teaching Mr McPherson a lesson. Despite all this some hockey was played, and the Phoenix were first to break the deadlock when Kristofferson scored at 15min 25sec. After McPherson decided to slash Kristofferson, getting himself ejected from the game, the resulting re-start saw the Phoenix fast asleep. MKL capitalised on this to draw level, scoring through Monir Kalgoum at 16min 17sec. The Ice Dome erupted with emotion when Tony Hand found Tom Duggan who scored to put the Phoenix ahead, the emotion in his celebration showing how much it meant! Goal scored at 17min 57sec.

Second Period: I think both teams had done alot of cooling off during the period break, the two clubs came out and a proper hockey game started, with the odd hint of cheeky play. MKL got the first goal of the period when Lukas Zatopek scored after 23min 49sec. The game continued to be close, but the Phoenix slowly asserted their authority on the game, and a mistake by the MKL defence allowed the Phoenix to pull ahead. Greg Wood pouncing on a free puck not 2 meters from Barry Hollyehead, pausing just enough and slotting the puck throught the 5-hole. The next goal would be key to how the rest of the game would pan out, thankfully it came to the Phoenix! After 33min 43sec James Archer capitalised on another MKL mistake to send them into the break 4-2 up.

Third Period: The old addage, next goal win's applied in the third period! MKL get it and its game on, Phoenix get it and its game over! After frustrating MKL in the early stages Curtis Huppe scored for the Phoenix after 55min 46sec. Game over! The rest of the game passed off without much incident and the Phoenix were able to cap off a great weekend!

Verdict: This weekend just gone could have been so so different! MKL will always be a very very tough test for the Phoenix, and are a team by which the Phoenix must judge themselves. Coming off the disappointing loss to Swindon the night before it was going to be tough to make the weekend a success. But it is a testament to this years Phoenix squad that this team, quite clearly, will not be bullied off the ice! They played well, lived with MKL for half the game, before dominating the rest! Yes some fans will moan there was an increased chippyness about the Phoenix, but I would argue, the Phoenix are only doing what every other EPL team does!

Phoenix TV Highlights:
To come........

Attendance: I'll guess maybe 1,250

Phoenix 5 Milton Keynes 2 - CB Sport Article

Phoenix 5 Milton Keynes 2 - Phoenix Article