Next up for the Phoenix in the Ice Dome was the visit of the, currently homeless, Telford Tigers. Forced to open their season away from their Shropshire base the Tigers are awaiting the results of a multimillion pound refit of their home ice. I just hope they included new lights on the bill! The Tigers are a small budget team but one that can be hard to beat. In all games against the Phoenix they up their game and, Declan Ryan usually plays out of his skin. Like Bowns was for the Steeldogs, Ryan for Telford gives them a shot of getting points from any game. The Phoenix need to be sharp in their finishing to secure the two points!
First Period: The first period opened
and, again, the Phoenix took the game to the Tigers with Ryan forced into
some early saves. This years Phoenix seem able to retain possession and
dominate play but, already in the early stages of this game, the Phoenix
just couldn't score. As the period wore on it became more frustrating watching
from the stands as our boys just couldn't turn their domination into results
on the scoreboard. While more play was coming into the hashmarks the chances
were either not on target or not cute enough to beat Ryan. Fone on the
other hand was dealing easily with the few chances the Tigers had.
Second Period: The second continued
just like the first, but the crowd and, to a certain extent, the Phoenix
players began to get edgy. Chances were still being created but were being
snatched at. Cool heads were needed! Thankfully the deadlock was broken
in the second session. The Phoenix moved the puck around the Tigers zone quickly and found Flaten on the hash marks, who unleashed a quick one-time
between Ryan's legs. The relief was evident on the players and fans, especially
as Flaten had the puck on Ryan's back post only to hesitate and fluff the
chance. The period continued but no further goals were scored.
Third Period: With the goal lead the
Phoenix looked to lock up the game, the chances continued to flow for the
Phoenix but the goal column stubbornly remained on 1 for the Phoenix. That
is until half way through the session when the Phoenix made it two through
Psurny at 49min 45sec. He loved that goal too! I must say the Phoenix are
still crap on the powerplay, I mean beyond crap! Their inability on the
PP was rammed home when Telford got their only goal on a man advantage
at 51min 38sec when Luke Brittle was found clear on Fone's back post to
score. This sent to traveling fans ballistic and set up a nervy last 10mins
or so. Thankfully those nerves were eased with a minute to go when Flaten
scored his second of the night at 59min 11sec.
Verdict: Telford are a much better side
this year and wont be the pushovers of previous seasons. That being said,
without Ryan in goal they would concede many more goals. He does give the
Tigers a shot in each game he plays. Credit must go to the Tigers fans
too who, while small in number, made a lot of noise! The Phoenix will be
happy with the win but, with the number of chances and possession, we should
have buried the Tigers. The one thing that keeps me optimistic is, our
forwards are yet to find their sharpness, when they do, this Phoenix team
will be potent! They have skill, toughness and create lots of chances.
The sharpness/fitness is just needed to finish them!
Attendance: A smaller crowd than the
Bison game so i'll say 1,000 in the Ice Dome.
Phoenix 3 Telford 1 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 3 Telford 1 - Tigers Article