Last weekend saw the Phoenix take on the Basingstoke Bison and Peterborough Phantoms, two tough games where the Phoenix must try their best to remain on pace with the top two teams in the EPL. The Phoenix have yet to figure out the Bison and saturdays away game didn't see any surprises. The Bison getting the win and the Phoenix seeing Steve Fone injured.
With Fone out of the lineup the Phoenix went into sundays home game versus the Peterborough Phantoms with El-Hage between the pipes. The Phantoms had not previously secured a win on Phoenix ice.
First Period: The game began and both teams we searching each other our during the first few minutes. The first goal did come and, it was the Phantoms who scored it. At 4min 43sec Line had the puck and forced it through on goal, in a stroke of obscene fortune the puck bobbled up and down El-Hage's back and into the goal. If it is clear on Phoenix TV it'll be one of the jammiest goals you will ever see! But hey, they all count! Less than two minutes later the Phoenix were on level terms through Psurny, adding to his impressive tally, the goal timed at 6min 38sec. The game continued and became quite a tight messy affair. Usually the Phoenix are able to take control in home games but, maybe due to tiredness or, more likely, the Phantoms hard work this wasn't the case. One more goal came in the period and it was the Phoenix who scored it, amazingly, on the powerplay! Bentham, this time, scoring at 14min 01sec.
Second Period: The second period continued where the first left off, the game being very tight with neither side able to stamp their authority on it. The Phantoms goal was being peppered with shots, but the Phantoms also had their chances. El-Hage proving to be up to the task so far in the game. Around the halfway mark of the period two goals were scored. The Phantoms were first to level the scores with a goal at 31min 14sec through Graham. Phoenix came back quickly and scored another powerplay goal at 33min exactly through Psurny. No further goals were scored in the second period.
Third Period: The third progressed and both teams began to tire. Peterborough, once again, scored the levelling goal through Glowa at 45min 48sec on a well worked powerplay. With the scores tied both teams tried for the winner but neither could find a way through each goalie. The full 60 mins ended with a tied scoreline.
Overtime: The 4 on 4 period began and the Phoenix quickly went on the powerplay. What followed was a frustrating two minutes for the home faithful as the Phoenix struggled to create a meaningful chance. As the Phantoms returned to full strength Ferrara would break home fan hearts and give the Phantoms their first win in the Ice Dome ever. The winning goal coming at 63min 10sec.
Verdict: First off, well done Peterborough! The Phoenix looked tired and out of ideas at times and, in truth, it was a below par performance. Maybe all the energy was taken during the previous nights game in Basingstoke? Even so the Phoenix should have enough quality to beat the Phantoms on home ice. What makes it even worse, this was another game where the Phoenx could have capitalised on a Bison slip but didn't! A poor game really and one I hope the Phoenix can move on from quickly!
Attendance: A decent crowd in with a fair few groups, i'll guess at 1,100.
Final Thought: Sunday's game was the first where Phoenix fans could purchase finals weekend tickets. To date the Phoenix had an allocation of 322 tickets spread over two blocks. According to the club this was a strict allocation. Tickets were on sale for two intermissions during the game and in that time, 369 were sold. Bearing in mind the Phoenix took over 500 fans to last seasons finals weekend, 322 was never going to be enough! I will be interested to hear how the EPL board meeting goes this week and if Neil has been able to secure more seats! As finals weekend didn't sell out last season, I dont know why clubs are not allocated the number of seats they have previously sold, would seem the simple way of doing things to me!
Phoenix 3 Peterborough 4 AOT - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 3 Peterborough 4 AOT - Phantoms Article
Phoenix 3 Peterborough 4 AOT - MEN Article