After a week of playing the Swindon Wildcats the Phoenix, finally, welcomed different opposition to the Altrincham Ice Dome. The MK Lightning were the team in town, making their final trip north to Altrincham of the season. MK, like the Phoenix, are having an in-consistent season, plagued with injuries neither team has been able to solidify any kind of long run of results. For the Phoenix, the wins at home against Swindon, especially the big cup blowout, were glimpses of what could have been for the Phoenix this season. MK, perhaps, are at the point where they need to blow up the roster and bring some flesh blood in. Refresh the team, with the renewed Ice Rink, 2015/16 could be a big year for MK!
The Phoenix have a mixed record against the MK Lightning, winning at home in Altrincham and a win/loss record at the Thunder Dome. Phoenix went into the game without the services of their captain Luke Boothroyd and Jack Watkins.
First Period: Phoenix started slowly in the game, perhaps the result of spending most of saturday on a bus! MK made the early running and had the early chances on Steve Fone. Phoenix would take the lead just before the halfway mark of the period when the 3rd line would combine to produce a superb goal. Corson-Heron and Walker combined to fine Chamberlain free on the back post who slotted home into an open net. Wall and the MK defence having been pulled out of position. That goal coming at 9min 44sec. The first of a few big incidents happened towards the end of the first period. John Connolly high sticked Adam Walker, drawing blood, which resulted in an automatic match penalty. On the resulting powerplay the Phoenix extended their lead when Kovar fired in from the blue line past a screened Wall. Goal timed at 19min 43sec. A further kerfuffle followed at the buzzer, MK picking up a bench penalty.
Second Period: With both teams up to speed the second opened with even play between the two sides, Wall and Fone in top form to deny the chances. Phoenix would score the next goal at 37min 27sec when Kovar and Bakrlik combined to feed Thomspon in acres of room who scored for the Phoenix. The period settled into a pattern with neither side asserting full dominance in the game, and Wall and Fone dealing with the shots that came their way.
Third Period: The final session opened with two bazar goals, MK scored their first of the game, quite deservedly too. At 45min 51sec Corson-Heron deflected a puck past Fone into the goal, Leigh Jamieson being credited with the marker. Phoenix followed that up, minutes later, with their own wacky goal. Hand had the puck in the corner slowing the play down. With a crowd in front of Wall, Hand fired the puck in and banked the goal via another deflection. Hand's goal timed at 47min 43sec. As the game moved into its last 10 minutes, the Phoenix extended their lead once again with a superb short handed goal from Robin Kovar, the Phoenix 5th coming at 51min 53sec. That lit the blue touch paper and the game exploded with ill-discipline. Bakrlik and McPherson had a coming together which resulted in 10mins of penalties for Frankie and 8 for Grant. Then, in the last minute Corson-Heron and Kosturek had a big coming together on our near boards, meaning I couldn't see it unfortunately. The resulting penalty mess had both players recieving 6 minutes each in minor penalties. Corson-Heron getting an additional 10 minute incitement penalty, and Kosturek getting additional penalties for a check-to-the-head and two attempted spearing penalties. It really was a long announcement on those!
Verdict: Another good win for the Phoenix at home in the Ice Dome. A win which came from hard work and grit! The Phoenix showed they would not be pushed around and, gave as good as they got! Phoenix looked in control for most of the game and, if they can keep this sort of play up. they should have a good run going come playoff time!
Attendance: Good crowd at the Ice Dome, 1,100.
Phoenix 5 MK 1 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 5 MK 1 - MK Article