The Angry Budgie Live

Monday, 1 October 2012

Phoenix v Telford Tigers 23rd September Game Review

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

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