The Steeldogs rolled into Altrincham for another encounter in the war of the roses games. An expectant crowd assembled in a freezing Ice Dome to see both teams take to the Ice, Phoenix without Schnabel with with Barri McKenzie and Derek Campbel. Sheffield, I believe, were at full strength.
First Period: The key with Sheffield is to get a good early start, giving the Steeldogs a goal headstart is not wise as they are one of the most hard working teams in the EPL! Thankfully for the home side that was not to happen. In fact the first goal came on a Phoenix penalty kill. Often, when killing a penalty, the Phoenix will leave someone close to the blue line to capitalise on any breakdowns. This happened and Tony Hand raced up ice with, after an initial stumble, Derek Campbell. Campbell would tap in a simple goal, short handed, to give the Phoenix the lead at 7min 29sec. Phoenix continued to press and were rewarded with a second goal at 11min 07sec when Flaten, practically on the Sheffield goal line, fired a hard shot goal wards, which somehow managed to squeeze past Flavell and into the goal. Andy McKinnie added a third to the Phoenix tally at 17min 19sec and the Phoenix looked strong. You can never write off the Steeldogs and, into the last minute of the period, Elliot got their first of the night at 19min 11sec.
Second Period: What ever Andre said in the interval did the trick, at 21min 35sec, so just into the second session, Ben Morgan brought the Steeldogs to within a goal with a neat tap in on the far post. With the scores now at 3-2 the game tightened up, Sheffield had now woken up and were competing hard as we know they can. As the period wore on clear cut chances were few and far between but it was still a good watch.
Third Period: Just 20 minutes to go and the Steeldogs would get the next goal to tie the game 3 a piece. 45min 23sec and Pasha Gomeniuk scored for Sheffield. That man moves with the agility of an ice berg but, he still has quality! Sheffield upped their game but in doing so began to leave gaps for the Phoenix. Phoenix would score next, and another short handed goal, when Psurny scored at 55min 15sec. With one goal to defend the home crowd upped their noise levels and, with less than a minute to go, the points were made safe. As if written in the stars Campbell would get his second of the night and secure the win, goal timed at 59min 01sec.
Verdict: A good win against a difficult Sheffield side, plus it seemed the Campbell the Phoenix had was different to the one Sheffield had. Two goals, one assist and a fight (albeit a naff one) was a good return for Campbell. So a pleasing win for the home crowd to enjoy.
Attendance: A healthy crowd in the Ice Dome, i'll guess at around 1,000
Phoenix 5 Sheffield 3 - Cheshire Today
Phoenix 5 Sheffield 3 - Steeldogs Article