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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Phoenix v Sheffield Steeldogs 9th September Game Review (War of the Roses)

After a long long summer Ice Hockey is back! The new look Phoenix returned to the ice for the, now traditional, war of the roses series against the Sheffield Steeldogs. Leg one, over in Sheffield, took place thursday night and the Steeldogs come into Altrincham holding a 3-2 lead in the tie. A big crowd turned up, in the sun, to the Ice Dome to see hostilities renewed!  

First Period: The first period showed that this new Phoenix team will not be bullied on the ice. Flaten and Kuulivainen have strength and skill. Schnabel on D is a monster and can make players turn with the shake of a head. McKenzie looks just as good as he did playing for Telford. The Phoenix look good, but a little rusty when compared to Sheffield. The Steeldogs, who had played 3 games before coming into the series, looked at full speed. The Phoenix were a bit down on their best so maybe 70%. That being said it was another physical encounter. Not too many clear chances being created but Sheffield, probably, had the better of the first period.  

Second Period: The second continued where the first left off but, with the Phoenix upping their game. The Phoenix slowly began to get through the Sheffield D, but only long range shots or shots from the side. The Sheffield defence is as organised this year, it seems, as they were last year. Sheffield began to offer less and less going forward but were, stubbornly, hold the Phoenix at bay. The second period passed with no goals, Sheffield still ahead on aggregate.

Third Period: For the third period, see the second. The Phoenix continued to pile on the pressure but still not clear cut chances emerged. As much as they tried they could not get through and get a decent chance on Dimitri in the Sheffield goal. As time ticked down the Steeldogs held on for the win and claimed the rose bowl. Celebrating like they had won the stanley cup!  

Verdict: I cannot begrudge the Steeldogs the bowl, they got the lead in Sheffield and worked hard to keep it. Sheffield will not surprise any EPL fan with their 2012/13 output. Remember how they played last season, there doing the same again. Sheffield will not score alot of goals but they will concede even less. Also, for any EPL fan thinking, now Bowns has gone the door to Sheffield's goal has now swung open, you'll be surprised. They will be as tough to score against again this season. As for the Phoenix, this team may not be as flashy as teams gone past but they will be tough, quicker and hard working. There were plenty of positives to come from sunday's game, im disappointed to lose the competition but, there are bigger cups to win!

Attendance: Really good crowd in the Ice Dome, especially as this one was not on the season ticket. I'll say about 1,100 in for the derby game

Phoenix 2 Sheffield 3 on aggregate - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 2 Sheffield 3 on aggregate - Steeldogs Article

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