The Angry Budgie Live

Monday, 14 December 2015

Phoenix Rolling - Bracknell Bees 12/14/15

Last weekend was a huge one for the Phoenix, after news crept out about the withdrawal of Red Hockey support the Phoenix now face the possibility of not being able to finish the 15/16 EPL season. Saturday night saw the first leg of the 'War of the Roses' against the Sheffield Steeldogs, a game which was proceeded by a fan forum with Phoenix owner Neil Morris. There has already been coverage of the main points that came from that meeting via twitter/various forums so I won't go into detail. Other than to say, in essence, the Phoenix need £90k to finish the season! The impression I got from the meeting was, if the Phoenix can make it to the end of the season, the future is bright, very bright! 

There are, of course, many fund raising efforts on the go, below I have a summary of what is ongoing and what is to come: 

Phoenix Supporters Trust 
Phoenix Podcast - Ben's Christmas Jumper

Phoenix Podcast - Chris Chirstmas Pants
@Oobze PTID Kickstarter

After all that, there were a few games played! The first leg of the War of the Roses saw both teams playing back up netminders, meaning Phoenix fans got to see Phil Spanswick in action for the first time. The game ended 5-4 to Sheffield which, I will admit, was disappointing. The Phoenix dominated the first two periods but, ran out of steam in the third and Sheffield deservedly worked their way back into the game. Bright spots for the Phoenix were Spanswick having a solid game in goal and, Jacob Corson-Heron dropping the gloves and owning his bought of fisticuffs. 

Onto Sunday and a vitally important game versus the Bracknell Bees. If the Phoenix have any hope of extending their season its games like these they need to win. 

First Period: Despite all the off-ice troubles the Phoenix hit the ice focussed and took the game to the Bees from the first puck drop. Rotating two lines (as that's all they could) the Phoenix kept the shifts short. Bees slowly to give as good as they got and the game settled into end to end hockey. Not the highest of quality but entertaining none the less. The first goal came on the powerplay to the home team. With Matt Foord sitting a 2 minute minor for slashing the Phoenix went on the PP. After cycling the puck, Ben Wood did well to keep it within the offensive zone, he wound up a shot on goal and, via a slight deflection from Robin Kovar the Phoenix took the lead. Goal timed at 11min 36sec. 

Second Period: After their heroics in Swindon the night before, a one goal lead would not do for the Phoenix. The second began and was only 2min old when the Bees pulled level. A piece of excellent play saw Smital thread a pass out from behind Fone to Kostourek in front to fire home via the post. The game levelling goal coming at 22min 13sec. The game continued with neither side able to control for long periods. Fone pulled off a fantastic save from James Galazzi and Mettam responded to deny an awesome attempt from JCH. The Phoenix were then denied two 2-on-1 opportunities towards the end of the period as both teams went in 1-1. 

Third Period: With it all to play for in the third the Phoenix, surprisingly, did not look too tired and really took the game to Bracknell. After Mettam had pulled off a great save to deny Trent Hope, the Phoenix did  score their second goal. James Archer led the puck into the Bees zone and played a drop pass to Kovar who blasted home from the hash marks to give Phoenix the lead at 43min 25sec. Despite taking the lead the Phoenix continued to pile the pressure on Mettam only for the ninja goalie to deny them. Phoenix were, thankfully, able to closeout the period and the game, despite some 'intresting' calls from Perring in the final 5 minutes. 

Verdict: After all the hoo haa off the ice it was so nice to get down to playing some Ice Hockey. Despite the ridiculously short bench the team on the ice played like a 4 line team! They matched the Bees shift for shift and ground out a superb win, a deserved one too! It was so pleasing to see the players come off the ice with a smile on their face and, the victory wave, which has been absent from the WMMP for a while!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Phoenix Rolling - Basingstoke Bison 06/12/15

Last night saw a hockey game at the West Manchester Municipal Pool.....other than that......absolutely nothing else happened in the world of Phoenix this past couple of weeks.....nope......nothing! 

Ok, so stuff did happen, im not going to go into it on these pages suffice to say, the only place to hear anything close to 100% accurate will be the latest edition of the Phoenix Podcast. On which Neil Morris gave a frank account of all the goings on with Wayne Scholes and Red Hockey. Tambo will also be conducting an interview with WS this week, which will also appear on the podcast. Either added to next weeks show or put up as a stand along episode. There is also a fan forum in Telford Wednesday night which should also offer up more facts, though that will be entirely Telford Tigers focussed. I urge you all, Phoenix fans or not, please don't go on the forums and engage in the endless speculation that has already appeared. Listen to the interviews and make your own minds up! 

Having said all that, the facts are, the Phoenix are in need of funds to help finish the season. Get your thinking caps on, the club will like to hear any good ideas for fund raising. Buy 50/50 tickets, buy shirt raffle tickets, buy merchandise, they are some of the obvious ways to help a club raise funds. Mike Newton (@oobze on twitter)  famous for the 'Sons of Storm' kickstarter campaign and associated merchandise is starting up another Kickstarter campaign for the Phoenix under the #PTID moniker. Keep an eye on his twitter for updates, I (@theangrybudgie) will retweet anything I see to spread the word! 

Housekeeping done? Check! Onto sunday nights hockey! 

High flying Basingstoke Bison came to Deeside boasting a rather impressive roster. Recently bolstered by the arrival of Rene Jarolin and Jon Baston on injury cover. Despite the different league placing, no game on saturday meant the Phoenix were as fresh as they could be. 

First Period: The game began with some great end to end hockey, both Fone and Baston were called into action early and both able to turn away the opening exchanges. Both sides saw their PP units out onto the ice but could not convert. With play being even through the opening minutes the Bison stunned the home crowd by opening up a 2 goal lead either side of the halfway point in the period. Aaron Connolly got the visitors off the mark at 8min 03sec then, former Phoenix man, Shaun Thompson doubled their lead at 12min 34sec. The Phoenix worked back into the game and began to shade play a little, with Michal Satek being denied by the excellent Baston. 

Second Period: Like the first period, the opening minutes were a little hectic for the Phoenix. Some mad max style defence thwarted the Bison then, after those opening skirmishes the home side settled and came into the game. End to end action once more and, like the first, it was the Bison who would light the lamp first. Tomas Karpov slaloming up the ice and unleashing a pin point shot to Fone's top right corner. Unstoppable arguments here! The Bison 3rd timed at 33min 22sec. Like the first period, the Phoenix worked their way back into the game and, were finally rewarded less than a minute later. Michal Satek finding a gap in Baston's defences off a pass from Kovar timed at 34min 04sec. The Phoenix advance was halted when Trent Hope picked up a slashing penalty giving the Bison the advantage. After some superb play by the Bison Rene Jarolin scored what felt like the game winning goal, the Bison's 4th at 38min 34sec. 

Third Period: No goals were scored in the third period but, the Phoenix put their all into finding a way back. Edging the play during the final 20mins the Phoenix began to set up camp in the Bison goal. Excellent chances fell to Kovar and James Neil but, as he had been doing all game and against the Phoenix when playing for Hull, Baston shut the door and closed out the game. 

Verdict: After a tumultuous week the Phoenix hit the ice and put in a very good performance against an excellent Bison side. A 4-1 loss is still a loss but, given the Bison had hammered Telford 7-0 the night before, 4-1 is a good result. One thing that is sure, this team will give its all week in week out, no matter what is going on off the ice. Just wish the scoreboard would reflect that effort a bit more!