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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Phoenix v Basingstoke Bison 25th November Game Review

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 powerplay.

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 4-3 Bison.

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

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