The last weekend of games before christmas saw the Phoenix make the 'wonderful' journey to Peterborough saturday night. It has been a tumultuous time for the Phantoms recently. Coach sacked, Slava Koulikov coming in from Slough, bringing in a few players from the Hangar, some players leaving. So the best or worst time to play them? It would turn out to be a tough night for the Phoenix but, a night wich saw the away team grind out a shootout win. Worrying for Phoenix, an injury to Bakrlik saw him leave the game early.
Sunday saw current EPL champions the Guildford Flames come to the Ice Dome for their second visit of the season. The game would also be the second on the current Groupon offer so a larger crowd came to the Ice Dome. Guildford were suffering from a few injuries but, so were the Phoenix. Despite warming up Frankie Bakrlik did not ice for the game.
First Period: With the Dome rocking the puck dropped on the top of the table clash. Both teams had the prize of being number one at christmas at the end of the game. The first period saw a close chess like game from both teams, each getting some chances in on the goalies but nothing clear cut. Both Lee and Fone were keeping all early chances at bay. The officiating was, shall we say, questionable! For both teams in fact! We had a four man system in place but, as usual, that did not seem to improve the game!
Second Period: With an unusual goaless first period the second got off to a good start for the home side. With the Phoenix on the powerplay the home side set up in the Flames zone moving the puck around. With Hand on the puck, Boothroyd ghosted round the back of the Guildford box to the far post to tap in, un-challenged. Phoenix getting the first goal at 23min 54sec. The goal really ignited the atmosphere in this Pyro derby and the Ice Dome started rocking. The Phoenix started to exert some control in the game and extended their lead 4 minutes later. Michal Psurny getting the Phoenix second at 27min 26sec. Phoenix continued to control the game, with Duggan the most notable performer for the Flames. With 30sec to go in the period Robin Kovar capped off an impressive second stanza for the home team.
Third Period: 3-0 with one to go is a good position to be in but, you cannot count the Flames out. While they were missing Kristoffersson and Huppe there was still more than enough talent on that bench to get back into the game. The next goal would be crucial and, it was the Phoenix who got it. James Archer scoring a neat powerplay goal after some precise passing. The 4th goal coming at 48min 22sec. The Phoenix extended their lead soon after, you have to watch Phoenix TV for this one! Robin Kovar broke down the left win, held off a Flames player and slotted the puck past Lee for a beut of a goal at 49min 44sec. Flames heads visibly dropped and the game was done. The Phoenix had to work hard still to keep the Flames out, in an effort to give Fone the big SO! Robert Schnabel capped off an impressive victory with a booming slapshot from the blue line at 52min 01sec.
Verdict: Big crowd, big performance and a big win! Phoenix will be number one for Christmas! While the Flames bench was depleted that takes nothing away from a superb Phoenix performance. This will be a game the players and fans will savour!
Attendance: Biggest of the season probably, i'll guess at 1,800 in the Ice Dome.
Phoenix 6 Guildford 0 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 6 Guildford 0 - Flames Article
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Phoenix 6 Guildford 0 - Sky Sports
Phoenix 6 Guildford 0 - Get Surrey