Last sunday saw the last home instalment of the #PyroDerby with the Guildford Flames arriving, albeit a little late, to the Ice Dome. Flames were coming into this game in second place and on a 7 game winning run. Phoenix, while playing better, were still not finding a consistent run. That being said, games between the two sides are always good fun and a great watch. So, after a slight delay, a large crowd took their seats to enjoy some hockey.
First Period: Phoenix got off to a great start by controlling the game and keeping Hadfield under constant pressure. The Phoenix had a number of early chances through breakaway's. Frankie Bakrlik coming close early on when he was put through on goal. Then, after the 7min mark, Bakrlik was put through once again and, after the earlier sighter, made no mistake second time round. Slotting home a lovely goal, timed at 7min 33sec. Phoenix continued to dominate the period, the Flames were eking out their own chances but were finding Fone in top form. Despite the dominance the period would end with the scores level. After some good work by the Flames in the corner the puck found its way to the net with no-one reacting. It was Longstaff who reacted first and banked the puck in off Fone's skate to level the game. The Flames goal coming at 18min 42sec.
Second Period: The Phoenix train kept rolling in the second piling more and more pressure on Hadfield and the Flames defence. Flames working hard to keep the Phoenix out and the Phoenix were limiting the clear chances for the Flames. The period would see only one goal, it came for the home side as the Phoenix took the lead once again. The Phoenix third line has been a highlight this second half of the season, their hard work and tenacity, perhaps, not getting their rewards when they should. The only goal of the period came for the third line, after some great work by Walker and Graham, Bobby Chamberlain capped off the move with the goal. Time at 33min 01sec.
Third Period: Began close but, around the halfway mark in the period, the game exploded into life. Guildford levelled the game once again when Danny Meyers scored a superb powerplay goal at 51min 11sec to tie the game. That situation only lasted 50sec until the Phoenix re-took the lead. Bobby Chamberlain scored his second of the night with assists from Kovar and Thompson, goal coming at 51min 01sec. Another highlight reel goal followed from the Phoenix new scoring machine, Joe Graham. Joe has really improved over the year and, his new found confidence is showing. Graham scoring the Phoenix 4th goal at 54min 12sec. The late arrival and the blitz in the third period began to take their toll on the Flames as they began to tire. So, a 5th goal followed on the powerplay. Robin Kovar getting his name on the scoresheet at 57min 02sec. The period ended with the Phoenix domination underlined, outshooting the Flames 22-8 in the final session!
Verdict: Superb performance from the Phoenix, dominating for the majority of the game against the second best team in the EPL. Its games and performances such as this that offer a glimpse of what this season could have been for the Phoenix. Tambo mentioned, off air on the podcast, that the Phoenix have lost 65ish games to injury, that's an incredible stat! Still, going into the playoffs and, the Cup final against Telford, the Phoenix is rising! Performances are improving and, Captain Boothroyd is edging closer to a return to the ice.
Attendance: Big crowd in the ice dome for a top game, 1,200 in.
Phoenix 5 Guildford 2 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 5 Guildford 2 - Flames Article
Phoenix 5 Guildford 2 - Get Surrey