Last weekends hockey action was back-to-front for the Phoenix, a home game saturday night to the Tigers followed by a tough away game to the Steeldogs sunday night. The Tigers are struggling this season but, one thing you know you will get from them is a tough ride. With Declan Ryan in goal the Tigers always have a chance in their games, but the team in front tend to allow alot of shots! You can be the best keeper in hockey but, the law of averages says your going to conceed. This years Tigers have not been helped by lacking their full import quota and a recent new import jumping ship before he'd even iced! Poor form on his part!
Anyway the Tigers came to the Ice Dome to take on the Phoenix on a cold saturday night in Altrincham.
First Period: The contest began with the Phoenix making the early headway only to find Ryan in his usual top form. Roared on be the hardy few from Telford the Tigers tried to assert some pressure but were not able to string together a concerted period of pressure. Thinking about the Tigers fans from saturday night, thank you for coming and supporting your team, but when you chant could you sound like your saying Tigers a little more than Slough Jets please? Thanks! Anyway the Phoenix broke the deadlock when Koulikov scored at 8min 07sec during a period of 4 on 4 hockey. Harabin doubled the lead at 14min 53sec when a shot from the blue line found its way in while no one else saw it! The reaction from the goal light going on to the crowd cheering was hilarious! Cingel made it a comfortable 3-0 lead for the Phoenix just before the break at 18min 26sec. The game result looking inevitable even at this early stage.
Second Period: To get an idea of what the second period was like, re-read the paragraph above! Phoenix got the early goal in the period at 22min 27sec when Ryan Johnson got a rare goal venturing forward. Tom Duggan underlined his excellent season so far with a short handed effort at 29min 20sec. This goal really knocked the stuffing out of the Tigers and heads did go down. Duggan would get his second, the Phoenix sixth, at 37min 39sec and it really was a goal of beauty, one to check Phoenix TV for!
Third Period: Telford changed netminders at the beginning of the third period with Greg Blais coming in for Ryan, Blais was great for the Tigers, he really tried to direct from the goal and gee the team up. Sadly it didn't have much effect! The Phoenix scored first in the period when Josh Ward got his first in Phoenix colours at 46min 05sec. Approaching the 9min mark in the period it was the Phoenix turn to change netminders and, for the second home game in a row, El-Hage came on to get some valuable ice time. The Phoenix scoring continued and Ciaran Long was the next to score at 49min 03sec. Juraj Faith got the Phoenix 9th of the game at 50min 41sec and after a Phoenix timeout the home side eased off. El-Hage worked hard in goal and looked to be enjoying his time out on the ice, sadly he couldn't hold out for the S/O and the Tigers did find a breakthrough with Tomas Janak getting the Tigers on the board.
Verdict: A big 9-1 win for the Phoenix and in the end, a comfortable win. The Tigers did look quite demoralised in the third period, and I don't know what their solution is. Tigers games so far this season have been characterised by their hard work and in-your-face attitude. Last saturdays fame didn't have much of that, maybe that was the key for them. The weekend didn't turn out well for Telford, as they suffered a second heavy loss to the Phantoms sunday night.
Attendance: An average crowd for the Phoenix this season, saturdays are not our usual hockey nights! I'll guess around 900 in the Ice Dome.
Phoenix 9 Telford 1 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 9 Telford 1 - CB Sport
Phoenix 9 Telford 1 - Tigers Article
The Phoenix then traveled across the Pennines to take on the Steeldogs:
Steeldogs 2 - Phoenix 1 - Sheffield Article
Steeldogs 2 - Phoenix 1 - Phoenix Article
Steeldogs 2 - Phoenix 1 - CB Sport