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Monday, 6 December 2010

Phoenix v Bracknell Bees 5th December Game Review

Saturday night's game in Slough was a close one for the Phoenix! Scores finished 1-1 after regulation and overtime so the extra point was decided on penalty shots. Sadly it sounds like the Phoenix attempts were poor and Slough won the shootout 2-0 giving the final score as 2-1 to Slough. While im disappointed with the loss im happy to get a point from a, usual, tough away game at the hangar. I'd certainly have taken the point if offered before hand!

Slough 2 Phoenix 1 - After Penalty Shots

Sunday nights home game against the Bees should be a simple two points for the Phoenix, but as a fair few results have shown, any team can beat any other team in this league! So a professional performance was required from the Phoenix. A hardy bunch of fans made the trip to Altrincham, braving freezing fog and a skating rink of a car park to watch the Phoenix take on the Bees.

First Period: It was clear from the early stages that the Phoenix would spend most of the time in possession of the puck and raining shots in on Marashi in the Bees net. Through a combination of excellent goaltending and less than sharp finishing the Phoenix struggled to find the first goal. Bracknell offered little in terms of offence, in fact most opportunities came from Phoenix defensive mistakes! The Phoenix third line shone early for me with both Tom Duggan and James Neil working very hard and creating a few chances. In fact I would go so far as to say, during the first period, the third was our best line. Sharp included! The eventual Phoenix first goal did come during the first twenty minutes, and it was the top line that scored it. After Tony Hand went coast to coast the first line clicked with some clinical passing around the Bees zone, Curtis Huppe putting the puck into the net after 16min 41sec. The scores ended 1-0 Phoenix.

Second Period: After scrabbling round the gear box during the first period, the second was where the Phoenix engaged gear and began to pull away. Harabin, who was on a mission in this game, showed off some lovely skill to score his first of the night five minutes into the period at 25min 39sec. By now the first line had shook off its early rustiness and really began to turn it on, Huppe scored his second of the night at 27min 04sec. even at this stage the game as a contest was over, the only variables would be: How many could the Phoenix get? Would Huppe get a hatrick? and would someone finally stand up to Andrew Sharp? No further goals came in the period despite the dominant display from the Phoenix.

Third Period: The Phoenix went through the gears in the final period and put the game to bed. Killing off the Bees attack the Phoenix were able to double their score in the last session and put the game beyond the Bees. Harabin stepped in from the wing and put a low shot on goal, which must have squeaked past Marashi's left pad into the goa. His second goal of the game coming after 44min 05sec. So far the Phoenix 4 goals all coming from the top line. Huppe's hatrick came under two minutes later. The Phoenix had the puck in the Bees zone and as the play began to break down the puck broke free at the top of the slot for Huppe, who swung his stick and buried it into the top corner. His hatrick goal coming at 46min 55sec. So, would that be the last goal of the game? Would Harabin get his hatrick? No and No to both questions! The Phoenix 6th and final goal came at 49min 04sec of the game, Harabin and Archer broke free, shorthanded, and went up the ice for Harabin to assist Archer in scoring. With the game now over, both teams played out the final 10mins with little incident.

Verdict: A potentially tricky game negotiated with ease. It was important to get the win and finish the weekend picking up three points. While the Flames also won, the Jets and Lightning faltered sunday allowing the Phoenix to open up a gap to those teams. Now the Phoenix have the dangerous Bison breathing on their necks! As for the game, as soon as the Phoenix went through the gears the game was over. The Bees have a good team, but too much talent is taken up in the first line. Once you shut Cesky and Pinc down you can deal easily with the Bees. But a win is a win, Huppe with a another hat full of goals, and Harabin with 4 points from the game. Who do you give man-of-the-match to? Hatrick Huppe? Shutout Fone? or Four point Harabin? In the end, it went to Harabin, and I doubt you would find many a Phoenix fan who would disagree. This game saw Harabin get some reward for a string of great games for the big man!

Attendance: A little disappointing for me, but I guess the cold, icy and snowy weather will have taken its toll. Plus we are now in December which is never a great month for attendances! I'd guess at maybe 7-800 in the Ice Dome.

Phoenix 6 Bracknell 0 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 6 Bracknell 0 - CB Sport Article
Phoenix 6 Bracknell 0 - Bees Article

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