The Phoenix welcomed the Bracknell Bees to the Altrincham Ice Dome and hoped to disrupt the Phoenix quest for a second EPL title. The Bees visits to Altrincham have, generally, been fruitless but this EPL season has seen the Bees claim their first win on Phoenix ice. With the season now nearing it's end the Phoenix will be keep to send the Bees back south with no points.
First Period: Off we went and the Phoenix looked to take the early initiative. The Phoenix have to start taking games by the scruff of the neck early as visiting teams have found success by frustrating the Phoenix and keeping the scores close long into the game. The Bees do carry a threat going forward so they can never be totally written off. The home side did score the first goal, Robin Kovar continuing his purple patch scoring at 10min 04sec. The Bees came right back with some sustained pressure of their own, pressure which finally told when Smital brought the two sides level at 14min 47sec. Just under two minutes later the Phoenix restored their lead through Tony Hand, his goal coming at 16min 21sec. Battle recommenced but no further goals were scored in the period.
Second Period: The second period was much more evenly contested with both goalies putting in a good show to stop some good scoring chances. The second was not completely bereft of scoring, the Phoenix lit the lamp first just after the half hour mark. James Archer scored again at 32min 07sec on the powerplay after some good work by the PP unit. The Bees hit right back when their own PP unit capitalised with the extra man when Rounding scored a controversial goal. The build up to the goal saw allot of traffic around Stephen Fone and, when the puck crossed the goal line there was clearly a Bees player in the crease behind Fone. Im not expert in the rules but, I thought, man in the crease meant no goal? Controversy aside the goal stood and by the buzzer, the Phoenix lead 3-2.
Third Period: With the business end of the season upon us the Phoenix really took the game in the third period. Every single point was now vital as the Phoenix shared top spot with the Bison. Just 49sec into the period the Phoenix took the lead through Robin Kovar. The Phoenix upped the pressure and by the mid point of the period, had won the game. Andy McKinnie kept up his great contribution from the third line with the Phoenix 5th goal at 48min 54 sec then, about a minute later Frantisek Bakrlik got the Phoenix 6th and winner.
Verdict: Potentially a tricky game for the Phoenix, the Bees are a tough team to beat. Thankfully the Phoenix dealt ok with the Bees top line and were able to get some goals early to retain control of the game. The third period was the icing on the cake as the Phoenix ran out deserved winners.
Attendance: Good crowd in the Ice Dome, 1,200.
Phoenix 6 Bees 2 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 6 Bees 2 - The Bolton News