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
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