The Manchester Phoenix and the Solihull Barons U10’s each scored four times last Saturday. However, the Barons fielded an understrength team ensuring an automatic win for the home team.
Phoenix winners were numerous – the first line demonstrating greater attacking spirit whilst at the same time retaining great shape across the ice. The second and third lines produced their best performance of the season so far. How they didn’t score more goals will go down as one of the great unsolved mysteries – one for Professor Stephen Hawkins, I think (or that fellow who does Stargazing Live on the BBC!). The only loser on the night was Romeo Nixon’s Dad who had to cough up a tenner when Romeo scored his first career goal for the Phoenix. Another first time scorer was Phoenix #32, Bart Hort, who was excellent on the night!
The first period was the most active and early signs suggested that the Phoenix would take control of the game. After 10 minutes the Phoenix were two nil up and looking good! However, Solihull replied with 2 goals. Undeterred, Dylan Harcourt hit back on 16 minutes. His understated celebrations would have put Usain Bolt to shame!
The second period was an altogether tighter and more closely fought affair. The Barons scored after 26 minutes and when Solihull suffered a penalty after 28 minutes it looked like the Phoenix might hit back. However, the Barons stood firm and the Phoenix couldn’t take the advantage.
Romeo Nixon narrowly missed for the Phoenix on 31 minutes but deservedly found the net on 42 minutes cancelling out a goal by the Barons on 37.The second period ended 4 -3 to the Phoenix and the anxious coaching staff knew the match would have been another tight one (had the team not already won!).
The third period started with Solihull seizing the initiative scoring to make it 4 – 4, all square, nothing in it – which team would break first? 50 minutes in and Harry Brown, in goal, made an excellent save which kept the Phoenix in the game.
With 10 minutes remaining the score stubbornly remained at 4 – 4. Joshua Ellis nearly found the net with 5 minutes to go and Romeo nearly got a second with less than two minutes remaining. One final shot on goal in the last minute went agonisingly wide and when the hooter finally sounded the end of the game neither team had managed to break the deadlock. The feeling in the rink was that the Phoenix had done enough to justify all three points, regardless of the score line.
The strength, commitment and determination across all three Phoenix lines were excellent and a credit to the players and the coaching staff - all the hard work on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week is paying dividends. Keep up the good work kids, three more games on the bounce coming up!
Period scores: 3 – 1, 4 – 3, 4 - 4
Scorers: Dylan Harcourt, Romeo Nixon, Bart Hort, Pierce Thomson
PIM 4 - 5
MVP Romeo Nixon