The Phoenix had the first of their triple double header weekends last weekend. First up the Bees, then Swindon then Telford. As usual the Phoenix were away on the Saturday and home on the Sunday. Saturdays away game down at the Hive is where the Bees managed their first win against the team from Altrincham and, since their side improved, a much tougher place to get a result. Thanks to a second period blitz the Phoenix were able to leave Bracknell with the win and set themselves up for a 4 point weekend.
A decent crowd filled the Ice Dome and a hardy 4 away fans made the trip north.
First Period: The period began with the Phoenix dominating possession, however the Bees had brought their physical play and, backed up by Ambler in goal, were frustrating the Phoenix. It was clear the Bees did not want to play hockey with the Phoenix, but preferred the physical approach. Bit hits, chippy play and numerous after play infringements slowed the Phoenix. The Bees did not offer much going forward but did score the games first goal against the run of play. Jasik netting after 7min 43sec. Not to worry though, the Phoenix were creating chances they just needed a bit of luck for a goal. The goal did come, and came on the powerplay! In what would be a theme of the night! Ladislav Harabin, a 'favourite' of the Bees fans rifled a shot from the blue line levelling the game two mins after the Bees first marker. The period continued with the Phoenix trying to play hockey and the Bees frustrating with their physical play. A perfect road game you could argue!
Second Period: In reality the second played out just as the first had. The Bees kept running into penalty trouble affording the Phoenix numerous advantages. It was, again, a powerplay opportunity which gave the Phoenix the lead. James Archer continuing his rich vein of form scoring after 24min 45sec. Carl Graham, fast becoming the pantomime villain of the Bees, continued to ingratiate himself to the Phoenix faithful with his 'new' style of play. He seemed to pay alot of attention to Ciran Long, but Long was up to the job.
Third Period: The first 15mins of the period carried on much as above. But the last 5mins really started to get interesting. The Bees continue to contain the Phoenix in their own zone and going into the final two minutes began to press forward in search of a game tying goal. Things looked to have taken a decisive turn when Martin Masa scored at 58min 22sec almost guaranteeing the extra OT session. But, it would be the Bees indiscipline that would cost them, again! Shortly after the goal the Bees took an interference penalty which out the Phoenix on the advantage for the rest of regulation and, with just 18sec to go James Archer scored the game winner. The Ice Dome exploded and, on the final buzzer, so did the Bees tempers. A number of Bees players took penalties at the end of the game including a misconduct for firing the puck at an official. Poor losers!
Verdict: Not a game of hockey by anyone's imagination. More a brawl! The Bees had obviously decided they couldn't compete in a game of hockey, so played the rough physical type of game that Sheffield are famous for. Im so so glad the Phoenix adapted to it and ground out the win. Games against the Bees are one's we have to win to keep up the pressure on Guildford and, with the way they played the game, im glad they got no reward. Given how some of their players reacted on twitter after the game, its a shame the Bees name is tainted by their actions.
Attendance: Good crowd in, again with some groups, i'll say 1,200 in the Ice Dome
Phoenix 3 Bees 2 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 3 Bees 2 - Bees Article
Phoenix 3 Bees 2 - CB Sport