With Christmas done and dusted for another year it was time for the lunatics (fans) to assemble once again in a damn freezing Ice Rink in Altrincham. Tonight's victims, err team, was the Telford Tigers. A team who, being 10th in the league, should be a nailed on 2 points for the Phoenix but, as I have found out on a few away games, seem able to put one over the Phoenix every now and then. Plus, in Declan Ryan, they have themselves another Ben Bowns!
A large crowd, possibly the biggest of the season, filled the Dome and a good representation from the Tigers fans helped create a great pre-game atmosphere.
First Period: Just like games against the Steeldogs, early goals are essential against the Tigers. Even without Ryan in the lineup (absent through illness) the Tigers can be a difficult, park the bus, type of team to beat. There were many who were relieved it was the Phoenix who scored first. Psurny adding to his impressive tally with the first goal scored at 5min 37sec. The Tigers hit back straight away when new import Jaroslav Kruzik got them on the board at 8min 21sec. Thankfully, for us Phoenix fans, that goal woke up the Phoenix offence. The Phoenix engaged gear and really took the game by the scruff of the neck. Michael Psurny completed a wonderful natural hattrick with two further goals at 9min 13sec and 14min 39sec. Tony Hand then capped off an excellent first period with the Phoenix 4th goal at 16min 19sec.
Second Period: After a great first period it was up to the Phoenix to close out the game now. So many times the Phoenix have got into good leads against teams like Telford only to let them back in. The second showed the Phoenix could close down a team and secure the win. Pozivil got the Phoenix going in the second period when he ghosted round to the back post to tap in a lovely goal at 23min 14sec. Telford showed they could still hit twine when Selwood scored at 24min ??sec. I don't know the exact time as, only a few seconds later Tom Duggan scored the Phoenix 6th goal. Flaten was next up to get a share of the spoils as he scored at 27min 40sec. Then new guy Barri McKenzie opened his scoring account with a goal at 36min 21sec.
Third Period: With the score now 8-2 to the Phoenix the game and atmosphere fell at this point. The game was won, the only question was, would the Phoenix (Tony Hand) look to improve their goal difference or, not embarrass the opposition? Halfway through the period the Phoenix got number 9 when Luke Boothroyd scored a power play goal at 49min exactly. With the game winding down it was Tony Hand himself who would score the Phoenix 10th goal at 58min 47sec.
Verdict: The Phoenix finally ran up the scoreboard when they had the chance. The Tigers could have made this game difficult but, due to illness, lost too many key players to challenge for the full 60 minutes. The Phoenix were professional and ruthless at times and sent the large crowd home happy.
Attendance: The christmas season was good for the Phoenix, i'd guess at 1,300 in the Ice Dome.
Phoenix 10 Telford 2 - MEN Article
Phoenix 10 Telford 2 - Phoenix Article