A saturday night home game kicked off the weekend for the Phoenix, and a cold night at the Dome welcomed the fans and the first visit of the Swindon Wildcats to Altrincham. Despite the differing league positions the arrival of the Wildcats could not be taken lightly, as the Wildcats were the first team to take points from the Phoenix this season. Encouragingly for the home fan's the past couple of games had seen an improvement in form from the Phoenix.
First Period: The Phoenix began brightly and were keep to show they could deal with a potentially difficult Swindon team. Early pressure was applied but the Phoenix found James Hadfield in goal on fine form. In fact had it not been for Hadfield it could have been a cricket score. Even so the Phoenix had to wait until 6min 07sec before their first goal was scored. Marcus Kristoffersson scored a superb shorthanded goal to get the ball rolling. The Phoenix piled on the pressure and Curtis Huppe broke his dry spell at 17min 17sec getting his first of the night. Before the first period was done James Archer would score his first of the night and a superb solo goal it was. Coming 90sec before the end of the period at 18min 31sec. Steve Fone even got in on that goal with an assist!
Second Period: With Swindon visibly giving up the Phoenix really turned the screw in the second period, and started to convert their chances more regularly. Tom Duggan capped a sting of impressive performances with a goal after 22min 42sec. A minute later Curtis Huppe got his second of the night at 23min 50sec, and then scored his well earned hatrick goal at 26min 44sec. The player's and fan's erupting with delight now the scoring machine had found his shooting boots once more. With five minutes to go in the period, the Phoenix also changed netminders, with Adam Summerfield coming on for a good workout. Swindon would show some life in the game when Josef Liska got their first, and a well worked goal at 28min 26sec. Just 13sec later Huppe got his fourth goal of the game at 28min 39sec capping an explosive period from the Phoenix, and one that crushed any hope of points for Swindon.
Third Period: With the game over as a contest the third period was a bit flat, with Swindon deflated, the Phoenix just needed to close out the game. James Archer got the first goal of the period picking up the puck in the Phoenix zone, skating the length of the ice holding off a Swindon defenceman and backhanding the puck into the goal at 49mi 13 sec. The Phoenix ninth goal came from Kristoffersson at 53min 39 sec. The first line having a great evening with a total of 17points between them. Not to be outdone the Wildcats popped a few goals past Adam Summerfield before the end of the game, Josef Liska proving to be a thorn in the Phoenix side, got his second at 56min 10sec. The final goal coming at 57min 22sec through Matt Foord.
Verdict: A potentially tricky game against a hard working Swindon Wildcats in the end turned out to be a bit easy for the Phoenix in the end. I think this was more down to the improving performance from the Phoenix. As mentioned Swindon were the first team to upset the Phoenix this season, and James Hadfield stood on his head during the game, he just didnt have much of a team in front of him. A pleasing win for the team, and fans, it was encouraging to see the Phoenix creating many chances, and putting them away with some clinical finishing.
Attendance: Saturday night games never produce a big crowd for the Phoenix, last saturday was no different, I would say around 800 in the Dome.
Phoenix 9 Swindon 3 - CB Sport Article
Phoenix 9 Swindon 3 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 9 Swindon 3 - Wildcats Article