The season marches on and waits for now one, the Phoenix weekend saw a trip along the M62 to visit the Hull Pirates and the most versatile arena in the country. This before welcoming the Flames in the latest instalment of the pyron derby.
Saturdays away trip saw a clinical Phoenix race out to a 6-0 lead into the third period, the Pirates would get a consolation goal but the Phoenix would head back with the two points. Possibly securing their playoff hopes too.
Two points in the bag, the weekend was already a good one for the Phonix. With our season going the way it is, to get 50% of the points available will do for me! Plus, the last time we played the Flames we stole the win so, you never know! What would be certain would be an entertaining game. Both teams lined up on the blue line with similar numbers actually but, the Flames quality across the roster was evident. This would, again, be a tough game for the Phoenix to get some points.
First Period: The game opened with speed, as they always do! The Phoenix would then fall foul of some questionable officiating calls, Martin Baranek was called for tripping which gave the Flames the advantage. The games first goal followed on the resulting powerplay when Ozolins was found free in acres of space on the back post, with about half the goal free, he lit the lamp at 4min 33sec. The Phoenix fought back with Stan Gron getting a few chances close to Richard Ullberg but sadly not able to convert.
Second Period: Phoenix were on the board early in the second period when Phil Hamer intercepted the puck and released Trent Hope who unleashed an awesome shot to score at 24min 28sec. The game continued to swing from side to side and, sadly for the Phoenix, the questionable officials continued to baffle the home fans and Phoenix players. Flames would re-take the lead on another powerplay opportunity when Jez Lundin fired home 4 seconds into the powerplay at 25min 41sec. Midway through the period the Flames were given a penalty shot, probably a fair call to be honest. Ozolins with the chance and was denied by Fone with an excellent pad save. Phoenix clambered back into the game and began to force their own chances, the highlight being a post hit by James Neil.
Third Period: The score was 2-1 Guildford so plenty of time for the Phoenix to get back into the game. That hope was quickly extinguished when the Flames opened up a two goal lead at 41min 39sec when Tom Duggan scored. Satek offered some hope when he scored off a feed from Stan Gron at 43min 14sec. With 10min to go the Flames sealed the game. Two quick goals from Andy McKinney at 50min 13sec and 51min 57sec saw the game won. Janis Ozolins would get his second of the night on a breakaway goal at 56min 58sec to make it 6-2 Guildford.
Verdict: It was disappointing to see the game slip away so much in the third period despite all the hard work in the first 40mins. That being said, the Flames were good for the win. The strength in depth meant they could roll strong lines across the board than the Phoenix. Plus they were more clinical than the Phoenix, chances were there for the home side but, they werent being put away. Had Gron had more luck he could have had a hattrick on his own. With the win in Hull the night before, it wasnt a catastrophic loss, disappointing but not the end of the world!