After drawing 6 – 6 at home against Grimsby earlier in the season the Phoenix U10’s, along with the coaching staff and fan base were early looking forward to a re match. After a long journey to Grimsby all was set to go. The Phoenix were under strength and an agreement between both sets of coaching teams allowed for Dylan Harcourt and Jordan Griffin to support the Phoenix 3rd line but only in a defensive capacity – it was agreed that any goals they scored for the 3rd line would be disallowed.
The first period started like lightning with Dylan Harcourt finding the net after just 49 seconds. End to end play then followed with the Redwings striking back on 5:48 swiftly followed by a second for the Phoenix scored by Joshua Ellis.
Half way through the 1st period the consensus amongst the crowd was that the game was pretty much even, mirroring the earlier encounter in Manchester.
Joshua Ellis scored his second on 12:51 making the score 1 – 3. Two further goals; one for each side brought the first period to an end 2 – 4. The first period was one of high intensity play and the second and third periods were eagerly anticipated by all at the rink.
The second period was a shocker for the Phoenix. The level of intensity in the first period all but evaporated and the Redwings struck time and time again. Scoring for the period was 4 – 0 to the Redwings leaving the score 6 – 4. The pendulum had firmly swung in favour of the Redwings and just as they had done at the home fixture, the Phoenix had let a commanding lead turn into a fight for survival.
The Phoenix coaching staff were clearly frustrated with the second period and took the unusual step of taking the guys of the rink and back into the changing room for a team talk. A rousing pep talk did the trick wonderfully and resulted in a truly exciting third period.
The intensity returned and the Phoenix were well on top. The third period only produced one goal; a second on the night for Dylan Harcourt. As each line took to the ice, the Phoenix grew stronger and stronger and finally scored a disallowed goal in the last minute as it was Dylan Harcourt who scored when he was on the ice supporting the 3rd line.
So, it ended 6 - 5 to the Redwings. A telling statistic from the Official Game Sheet recorded that the Grimsby netminder made 49 saves and Harry Brown 19. Shooting practice clearly needed and on the agenda for the following week’s training sessions.
Emily “killer” Cooke earned herself her first MVP (which she proudly showed off on the coach heading home) and if there had been a Spirit of the Game for coaching staff, it would surely have gone to the Phoenix coaching staff for playing in the true spirit of Junior Hockey rules. Their management of the squad of players ensured that the match was fairly played and gave all players, on both teams, has a fair crack of the whip.
Period scores 2 – 4, 4 – 0, 0 – 1
Phoenix scorers Dylan Harcourt 2-0, Joshua Ellis 2-0, Michael Hort 0-1, Pierce Thomson 0-1, Bart Hort 1-0, Craig Orr 0-1
PIM 2 – 1
MVP Emily Cooke