The Phoenix faced another tough weekend with an away trip to Slough before welcoming the MK Lightning to the Ice Dome. Saturday's away trip, sadly, resulted in a loss for the Phoenix, but it is always tough to go to Slough and get a result. Especially after the Jets signed Adam Calder, one of the best imports to play in the EPL. Next up on the tough weekend were the Lightning, another tough team to play. With the arrival of Emersic they are a potent offensive team!
The Phoenix would be without Harabin for the game as he suffered a horrible slash to the wrist which has left him in hospital for the past few days requiring surgary. Latest I heard was positive though! MK were without Nick Pooleas Kalgoum had returned from injury MK had to rest their 5th import.
First Period: Fans used to Phoenix/MK games will know they are always entertaining affairs, this one would not dissapoint. Both teams played hard from the first puck drop. The Phoenix made a good start when Tony Hand was found on the back post to score after 3min 28sec. Really chuffed with the early goal as Barry Hollyhead has single handedly denied the Phoenix on numerous occasions! Things would get better for the Phoenix at 14min 25sec when Huppe crashed the net and scored from his own rebound. The first period ended with delight for Phoenix fans as their team was, deservedly, ahead 2 goals to 0.
Second Period: More of the same during this session, both teams playing hard, but the Phoenix doing very well in keeping the MK offence quiet. In fact it took until the last minute of the first period before I notcied Emersic on the ice. This guys usually tears us apart, so that was a good thing! Anyway the Phoenix went on the powerplay early in the second and Huppe got his second of the night after 35min 35sec. The game looked to be tied up when Kristoffersson scored with just 45sec left in the period. The score now 4-0 Phoenix.
Third Period: Things got better for the Phoenix when James Neil stepped up and got a goal for the hard working third line. It was att his point that the Phoenix seemed to take their foot off the gas and get into a little penalty trouble. Though, having said that, ref Wardell had a mare! MK got themselves on the board at 46min 47sec when Emersic took advantage of a blatant hook on a Phoenix player to score an odd man rush. The Lightning then closed the game right up and made every Phoenix fan tense when they then scored three goals in about 4 minutes. Their second came on the PP through Kalgoum timed at 51min 38sec, their third then followed at 53min 34sec, and their fourth a penalty shot goal at 55min 55sec through Adam Carr. Im in two minds about the penalty shot, Ben Morgan was the last defender and dived for the puck, im sure he got it, but he got a big piece of Carr who went down. Wardell did not call it initially but after discussions with his fellow linesmen he did. Despite this the Phoenix were able to pick themselves up, survive the late pressure, and close out the win, 5-4.
Verdict: A good performance from the Phoenix, well for the first 50mins of it! for some reason going 5-0 they just switched off. Against an offence like MK's, not a wise thing to do! Im pleased it was another good performance from the boys, they really are clicking now, and Fone in net was superb! MK put up a good fight, but I though lacked a spark with Poole not icing. Given he is their Tony Hand, all their creativity comes through him, and it showed MK lacked a little without him. What made the win sweeter was the Flames loosing at home to Slough. Thus restoring the Phoenix 6 point lead at the top.
Attendance: A good crowd in the Dome, ill say it must have been around 1,100
Phoenix 5 MK 4 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 5 MK 4 - CB Sport Article