Coming into sunday nights game against the Phantoms the Phoenix were without Frankie Bakrlik who had picked up a nasty injury against the same opponents a few games earlier. With one import down the game would be tougher but, the Phoenix should still have enough quality to see off the Phantoms on home ice. A good crowd in the Ice Dome, buoyed by the festive holidays and, possibly, some returnees from the Groupon offer from the Flames game previously, the last game of 2013 got underway.
First Period: The game got off to a quick start with the Phoenix scoring after just 66seconds. The Phoenix gained the zone on the powerplay and Hand took the puck behind the net, rolled out to the far corner and centred the puck. The puck deflected off a Phantoms D man and through King's legs. A great start for the home side and a bit of luck going the home side's way. The Phoenix found controlling the puck easy in the early stages, the domination continued as the Phoenix scored their second at 8min 58sec when Kovar continued his rich vein of scoring. The Phoenix made it 3-0 on another powerplay when James Archer tucked away a lovely flowing move at 13min 15sec. Not to be outdone this goal sparked the Phantoms into some chances and, about a minute and a half later Piatak got the visitors on the board. Scoring at 14min 41sec. The final goal of the game came for the home side, this time on a penalty kill. Michal Psurny picking up the puck taking it up ice and pulling a lovely move on King to open up the goal. The Phoenix 4th coming at 16min 48sec.
Second Period: Most home fans would have been forgiven for thinking the game would head the way of the Phantoms last visit to Altrincham. In a comprehensive home win. The second period certainly felt like the result was a foregone conclusion! The atmosphere was a bit flat and, the Phantoms offered little going forward. Having said all that, it would be the visitors who would get the only goal of the period. Midway through Koulikov found some space in the hash marks and slotted a great shot past Fone to make it 4-2.
Third Period: The Phoenix found their mojo early in the third period and, on another powerplay, Kovar got his second of the game. That goal coming at 43min 26sec. The home side were in control but the Phantoms were still giving the home side things to think about. Midway through the period the Phoenix extended their lead through a booming shot from Schanbel, goal timed at 50min 16sec. The Phantoms managed to make the scoreline a bit more respectable and capitalise on some Phoenix mistakes when, James Ferrara scored two goals in the last 5 minutes. The Phantoms 3rd coming at 56min 31sec and the 4th at 59min 35sec.
Verdict: Not a classic by any stretch. After the high of the Guildford game this was a bit of a low when compared. The hockey fan would not have liked the game, the atmosphere was flat the Phoenix were below par buy any newbie, or returnee tempted back after their Groupon game, would probably have enjoyed it. 10 goals and a fight? Good value! So, a poor game by Phoenix standards but, another win, another win at home and a win while playing badly bodes well for the future!
Attendance: A good one again, i'll say 1,500 in the Ice Dome.
Phoenix 6 Peterborough 4 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 6 Peterborough 4 - Phantoms Article
Phoenix 6 Peterborough 4 - Bolton News
With the injury to Frankie the Phoenix looked to fill that gap with the announced signing of former Phantom Cesky, a fellow Czech winger coming in as injury cover.
An EPL veteran, while not putting up the same sort of numbers as Frankie, he is used to the EPL and a player I have always fancied seeing in a Phoenix jersey since we moved to the EPL.