The Angry Budgie Live

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Phoenix v Peterborough Phantoms 1st April Game Review

After many many weeks, and 52 games the final weekend of EPL regular season hockey was upon us! The Phoenix went into the double header with the Phantoms needing a point to secure second place and a probable quarter final match up with the Swindon Wildcats. The pair of games, going by the league table, should be a formality but, with the Phantoms scraping for the 8th and final post season spot, there was quite a lot riding on both games.

The weekend began with the Phoenix going across to Peterborough, the same day/venue they tried to win the EPL league title a year ago. As with the game last year it was a tough one which saw the Phantoms take the win. However the result was 5-4 after overtime which, bar any disasters on the final game day, secured second place for the Phoenix.

Much sooner than anyone hoped the final game of the season arrived sunday afternoon, another big crowd assembled at the Ice Dome to take in the final 60mins of regular season hockey at the Ice Dome for the 2011/12 season.

First Period: The Phantoms are a tough side to play, and with an incentive to play for, they are a much tougher proposition to play in March/April than in the first half of the season. That being said the Phantoms, despite what was on the line for them, didn't offer much in the opening exchanges. In fact the Phoenix took the lead after 4min 36sec when Wallace found a gap to the left of the goal to light the lamp. As the session wore on the Phoenix continued to dominate, when the Phantoms did manage a shot on goal they found Fone in outstanding form.

Second Period: Much like the first really, the Phoenix kept up the pressure/dominance while the Phantoms looked a little ineffective given what they had on the line. King, in the Phantoms goal continued to perform heroics and keep the Phoenix out, but he was facing a serious amount of rubber! The Phoenix continued to press and were rewarded again with a powerplay goal just before the end of the second period. Juraj Faith scoring the Phoenix second at 38min 22sec. This goal caused King to throw the toys well and truly out the pram with one of the most impressive tantrums seen at the Ice Dome. Despite the puck crossing the line King was so incensed he proceeded to mock the goal judge washing the plexi in front of him. A bit stupid and dis-respectful and, had the referee seen it, would have earned him a misconduct penalty for sure.

Third Period: This period saw the Phoenix almost throw the game away! The Phantoms continued to battle and the Phoenix eased off and, within 35 seconds the Phantoms were on level terms, shocking the home fans. The first for the Phantoms came at 45min 32sec through Lauko and the second at 46min 07sec from Luke Ferrara let a wicked wrister fly past Fone. 2-2 with 14minutes to go, the game was now a whole lot different! Thankfully, the Phantoms fight back spurred the Phoenix on. They re-grouped, re-focused and got back to the early game form. The Phoenix continued to press and got the breakthrough on the powerplay. At 57min 47sec the puck was cycled round the boards and then passed to Archer at the hashmarks who let fly with a quick/hard shot that went through King into the goal. The Ice Dome erupted and the Phoenix had the advantage. One that they would hold onto and see out the game.

Verdict: A tough, well fought win and one the Phoenix deserved. The Phoenix got the win and with other results meant the Phoenix were safe in second place by 4 points. Overall the Phoenix coped well with the Phantoms, but I must admit, the Phantoms disappointed a little. They seemed comfortable in their own zone but going forward didn't offer much. Which given what they were fighting for was surprising. In the end they got the win saturday night and the Bees did them a favour by losing, so the Phantoms got the 8th spot.

Attendance: I'll say 1,500 in the Ice Dome.

Final thought: In a Jerry Springer stylee, I will expand on this in a later post, I wanted to say how proud I am of the Phoenix. At no point during this EPL season have the Phoenix iced a full roster. With all the injuries all season, to finish second and get close to the Flames is a massive achievement for the guys. I can only wonder what they could have done with a full, fit and healthy roster on the ice!

Phoenix 3 Phantoms 2 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 3 Phantoms 2 - Phantoms Article
Phoenix 3 Phantoms 2 - CB Sport 

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