A tough weekend for the Phoenix saw them make the trip south to Swindon and then welcome the Basingstoke Bison to the Ice Dome. Swindon has never been an easy place for the Phoenix to go and saturday saw them experience a 4-2 loss, despite taking the lead twice. With the Bison next up, and with how they play in mind, this could be the first null point weekend!
First Period: As the game got underway
the farmiliar patter emerged, Phoenix with the puck, most of the possession
but restricted to long shots and no whiff of goal. The Bison were employing
the same tactic as their last visit to the Ice Dome and, it was working
a treat. The Bison sat back to defend and rely on Lyle, while looking to
hit the Phoenix on the breakout. It worked so well that the Bison took
the lead after just 1min 22sec when Owen got his first of the night. The
Bison extended their lead after 15min 53sec when Owen scored again on the
Second Period: The second continued
as the first had left off, the Phoenix far outshooting the Bison but not
getting in Lyle's face of causing him much trouble. Around the halfway
mark of the period the Bison scored a lovely breakaway goal with Csesky
tapping in to an open net after 30min 29sec. For me, that was game over.
It was a beautiful goal and I couldn't see the Phoenix getting 4 to win.
Even when Flaten finally got the Phoenix on the board at 36min 3xsec it
still looked a tall order.
Third Period: The Phoenix finally changed
tactic in the third and began get in Lyle's face and upset him. This period
would also see a very controversial incident which has been talked about
on twitter and the forums for the past few days. Anyway, the game, the
Phoenix got their second of the game through Psurny at 50min 28sec which
got them within one but, the Bison hit right back. At 50min 42sec Rand
extended their lead to 4-2 and looked to have secured the points. Phoenix
hopes were lifted when James Archer got their third at 54min 26sec and
the Phoenix kept up the pressure to force OT. With around a minute to go
the Phoenix thought they had scored, the puck was in the light was on and
yet the ref washed it off. Many in the stands, myself included, saw Lyle
kick the net off its moorings after the puck had gone in. I know there
are plenty who will disagree but I know what I saw. The Phoenix had been
robbed of a perfectly good goal and, a disgraceful action by Lyle. A keeper
I had much respect for! Anyway the goal did not stand and the game ended
Verdict: For two periods the Bison played
as expected and were heading for another comfortable win. The third period
the Phoenix finally got through to Lyle and started to make it count. On
balance, however, the Bison deserved the win, but not the fasion they got
it! Lyle disgraced them sunday night, that is sure! Putting that aside,
it is difficult to look past the Bison for EPL winners this year, while
there are better skater teams in the EPL in Lyle they have a goalie on
another level. For me, now, it is their title to loose.
Attendance: A decent, but not the biggest,
crown in the Ice Dome. I'll say 1,100 in.
Phoenix 3 Bison 4 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 3 Bison 4 - Bison Article