First Period: With El-Hage once again backstopping the Phoenix play got under way with some early chances for both sides. Perhaps, learning from previous visits, the Bees set their stall out early to work hard and protect Ambler in goal. This meant the Phoenix had allot of possession but no clear cut chances on goal. Shots were getting through, but none good enough to test him. In some ways opposition clubs have figures out a good defencive setup when playing in Altrincham. The period progressed and the Phoenix began to get frustrated. The Bees offered little going forward other than Masa/Smital but the Phoenix own poor play wasn't helping. Sloppy passing and some of the most god awful play on the powerplay began to get the home fans worried.
Second Period: With a bit of concentration the Phoenix could well take the game but Bracknell proved they were a much improved team versus the one that got hammered at the Ice Dome previously. No matter how hard they tried the Phoenix were below par and nothing was happening. Bracknell then, over a 4 minute period, stole the game. A perfect example of a team weathering the storm only then to take the few chances presented to them. A couple of sloppy passes turned over the puck and, at 22min 56sec Smital scored the first goal for the visitors. Their second came at 26min 33sec through Martin Masa, in truth both of Bracknell's goals were brilliantly worked and well taken. The Phoenix huffed and puffed both no goals came for the rest of the period.
Third Period: With Bracknell two ahead the tension level rose in the Ice Dome as the Phoenix struggled more and more. Frustration in the stands was evident as the home fans feared another result like the Peterborough one the previous weekend. They tried and tried but nothing was working, as the period wore on it became more and more obvious the Phoenix were not going to score. So the game ended with the Phoenix suffering a poor home loss.
Verdict: A second poor poor performance from the Phoenix in a row, nothing got going. The passing was poor the powerplay I know you will have heard but, the Phoenix powerplay is beyond awful and, I wouldn't be surprised if its the least successful in the EPL. When Tony is on the ice its slow, predictable and doesn't work. The Phoenix were out of idea's and it showed. For me, the silence come the end of the game said it all, I don't think the fans could believe what they had just watched. Credit to the Bees though, they must have hurt after their lost last time in Altrincham, changed their play and got the result.
Attendance: A few big groups in, which I doubt we will see again sadly, I'll guess at 1,100 in the Ice Dome.
Phoenix 0 Bracknell 2 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 0 Bracknell 2 - Bees Article
Almost as if to right the wrongs of saturday nights game, the Phoenix travelled down to Bracknell for the return fixture and, this time, skated away with a 3-1 victory.
Bees 1 Phoenix 3 - Phoenix Article
Bees 1 Phoenix 3 - Bees Article
Bees 1 Phoenix 3 - Cheshire Today
Bees 1 Phoenix 3 - Bolton News
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