Last sunday saw the Phoenix and Wildcats continue a remarkable two weeks where they would play each other 4 times. Starting with the Challenge cup first leg in Swidnon (tied 3-3), the two sides met sunday in Altrincham for an EPL clash. Before playing the Challenge cup second leg (thursday) and an away EPL clash this saturday. By this weekend the players and fans will be sick of each other! The plus side being, the games are usually good ones to watch!
Sunday nights EPL game would serve as a good marker for the 2nd leg cup game, also taking place in Altrincham. Phoenix were still without their captain Luke Boothroyd and, to my knowledge, Swindon were at full strength.
First Period: The game began at a fantastic pace, both teams in good form testing the goaltenders early on. Phoenix edged the first 5 minutes pressuring Lyle into some great saves. Bakrlik picked up his usual early penalty from ref Brown and, the powerplay brought the Wildcats into the game. The penalty was killed off but, it was the Wildcats who would take the lead first. Kostal scoring at 15min 28sec on a tight angle on Steve Fone. The period ended with the Wildcats fortunate to be ahead, both sides playing well and, in fairness, the teams should have been level.
Second Period: With former Phoenix man Kenton Smith in the penalty box the Phoenix equalised early in the second period. Frankie Bakrlik getting some revenge with a well taken goal at 20min 31sec. Scores level and the period picked up where the first left off, with some great end to end hockey. Swindon re-took the lead approaching the half way mark in the game. When, at 29min 27sec, they capitalised on a poor Phoenix line change which gave Kana all sorts of time and space to score. In a sign of what was to come, ref Brown gave a stange holding call on Bakrlik, despite Bakrlik being sat on by Shane Moore....go figure! Moore also picking up the same penalty. Phoenix would level the game again at 37min 58sec when Bobby Chamberlain manage to fool Lyle, winding up for a slapshot, Bobby released a slower shot which trickled past Lyle into the Swindon goal.
Third Period: Scores level, 20minutes to settle it! Phoenix got the best possible start by scoring early in the final session. Robin Kovar getting the puck down low and banking it into the goal of Lyle's skates. Phoenix 3rd timed at 42min 07sec. Then, possibly the most controversial moment of the game, Phoenix on a break with Hand on the puck. Hand takes a shot, scores, but the goal is washed off as the net had been kicked off by Lyle. I can say kicked off as Lyle was assessed a two minute penalty for delay of game. Needless to say Phoenix players and fans were not too happy with this. It did seem to affect Lyle though, his play for the next few minutes was awful. Not looking sure of himself at all, he played like he knew what he did! A recent TV comedy show said, 'Karma's a funny thing' and, perhaps it was Karma but Phoenix got their vengeance soon after. Tony Hand scoring again, this time officially, at 46min 02sec when he scored from the back post. With a clear gap on the scoreboard the Phoenix really took control and, would add one further goal before the buzzer. On the powerplay, Kovar found Psurny who roofed the puck, scoring the Phoenix 5th at 58min 12sec.
Verdict: A really good game of hockey between two excellent teams. Phoenix proving that, despite their season, on their day they can beat anyone in this league. It was a good win and a good marker for the cup 2nd leg to follow. Also pleasing that karma came back and bit Lyle on the ass for his actions.
Attendance: Good crowd in the Dome, i'll guess at 1,000.
Phoenix 5 Swindon 2 - Phoenix Article
Phoenix 5 Swindon 2 - Wildcats Article
Phoenix 5 Swindon 2 - Swindon Advertiser