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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Phoenix v Bracknell Bees 28th October Game Review

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 clock.

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 Ice Dome.

Slough 5 Phoenix 7 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 7 Bees 1 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 7 Bees 1 - Bees Article
Phoenix 7 Bees 1 - MEN Article

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