Halloween weekend saw the Phoenix take on the Slough Jets and the Bracknell Bees. My thoughts going into the weekend would be, a tough game down in Slough and a win at home against the Bees. The Phoenix surprised many people with a come-from-behind 7-5 victory over the Jets, including scoring 4 un-answered goals to take the win. This set the weekend off to the best possible start!
The home game, while on paper the Phoenix
should win, would not be easy. The Bees still have Smital and Masa, two
of the best players in the EPL and have increased their muscle this year,
early season reports have the Bees down as a much tougher team to play.
First Period: The game got underway
and the Phoenix took control. Following on from a two goal/1 assist performance
down in Slough, Andy McKinnie continued his recent scoring streak by netting
the Phoenix first goal at 6min 57sec. McKinnie's goal capping a lovely
flowing move up the ice from the Phoenix. Throughout this first period
I was surprised by how poor the Bees were, those early season reports had
obviously inflated my expectations of them. The Phoenix continued to dominate
and the second goal was inevitable. The face off was down in the Bees zone,
the puck went back to Schabel on the point who let rip with a gorgeous
slap shot to the top right corner, lovely goal. The Phoenix finished the
period strong with Psurny getting their third with just 10sec left on the
Second Period: The Bees regrouped during
the interval, it showed too! The second period was much more of a contest,
the Bees were working harder and competing stronger for each possession.
In fact it was the Bees who scored the next goal. A great bit of
passing opened up some space and the puck found Lamey ghosting in on the
back post to slot the puck home. At this point the Phoenix looked like
they were playing in neutral and really needed to engage gear to win the
game. Thankfully they did, got the next goal, to restore their three goal
advantage. Ciaran Long scoring next at 32min 40sec. That would be the last
scoring of the period, end of the 2nd 4-1 Phoenix.
Third Period: Just 20 minutes to go
and the Phoenix came out strong. The second period resistance by the Bees
seemed to disappear. The Phoenix controlled the puck and a blistering two
goal salvo killed the game off. Psurny got his second of the night at 48min
19sec and, just 16sec later Richie Bentham capped an impressive game for
himself with the Phoenix sixth goal at 48min 35sec. With the score now
6-1 to the Phoenix the Bees called a timeout and decided to replace Annettes
for Ambler, at the same time the Phoenix gave Fone his rest and brough
El-Hage in for the remaining 10minutes or so. With the game winding down
only one further goal came, and that was Psurny's hattrick goal. The final
goal of the game timed at 53min 54sec.
Verdict: Given me impressions of the
Bees, coming into the game, I was surprised by how far they fell below
my expectations. The Bees we good, but I had the impression they were a
tough cookie to beat this year. Masa and Smital, when they turn it on,
are still a class act. But they didn't show enough sunday night at all.
The Phoenix, on the other hand, were very impressive. In control for the
majority of the game each player played well. Fone will be disappointed
to loose the SO but very happy with the win.
Attendance: A good crowd in the dome,
with some in fancy dress - including myself! I'll say around 1,100 in the
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