Nottingham Jaguars 0 - 10 Phoenix Under-18s
A confident Phoenix Under-18 team travelled to Nottingham last Sunday without forward Sam Leaver and defenseman Guy Boryczko, but welcomed back forward Joe Mann. The team currently unbeaten in eight league games are sitting proudly on top of the league and were in a determined mood to continue their winning form against the hometown Jaguars.
With coaches Nick Crawley and Pete Winstanley expecting a tough encounter, they switch John Murray to defence as cover against a Jaguars outfit with a full bench. The game started with both teams attacking, but it was evident that the Phoenix players had much improved since the two teams last met and their fast skating and slick passing started to show. The Nottingham defence was soon under long periods of pressure and after six minutes Dan Bullock tipped in a shot from the point by Ryan Pike to open the Phoenix account. Nottingham immediately tried to respond, but the Phoenix defence held firm, continuing to look dangerous on the break. On eleven minutes Phoenix broke out of their zone and a superb pass from Rick Ravey found Phil Hamer who fired in his first of the game. Both goalies were then kept busiy as both teams took penalties resulting in more open and attacking play, but Phoenix took their two goal advantage to the locker room at the first break
Determined to keep their good form going, Phoenix began the second session showing a high level of intensity. A fine move begun by John Murray on 25 minutes saw the makeshift defenceman find Rick Ravey who again fed Phil Hamer to slot home his second and Phoenix third goal. Once again both teams started taking penalties, which disrupted Nottingham's game more than Phoenix and on a powerplay the Phoenix scored their fourth, Ravey again the provider with Ryan Pike blasting home. Quick line changes by the visitors confused and frustrated the home team no end and it was no surprise when Rick Ravey breaking out of the Phoenix zone split the Nottingham defence with a pass right to the tape of Phil Hamers stick, the Phoenix hitman making no mistake after deking the goalie to complete his personal hat-trick. With the Jaguars in disarray and taking penalties, Phoenix punished them on a two-man advantage as excellent work from Mike Townsend enabled Ollie Bayne to score Phoenix sixth marker before the second break.
Nottingham had lost their discipline and again paid the price as Phoenix bagged their seventh two minutes into the final period, Shaun Dippnall scoring assisted by Dan Bullock and Murray. The Jaguars only hope now was to prevent Phoenix goalie Adam Summerfield from keeping a clean sheet. But Summerfield, training of late with the Phoenix Elite squad was in no mood to be beaten and aided by some fine defensive cover with Murray performing well in his unaccustomed role, the Jaguar attacks were rebuffed. Phoenix weren't finished scoring though and on another powerplay, Bullock burst through to score his second. Phoenix even managed to score their ninth in short-handed fashion as they burst out of defence with Hamer this time the provider for Rick Ravey to tally. Inside the final five minutes, Ryan Pike fed John Murray inside the Phoenix zone and he then proceeded to waltz past four Nottingham players before burying the puck in the home net for number ten. Ironically, the game ended with Tom Hammond failing to put away a rare penalty shot and the post-game celebration was all for goalie Adam Summerfield.
Phoenix Stats: Phil Hamer 3+1, Dan Bullock 2+1, Rick Ravey 1+4, Ryan Pike 1+3, John Murray 1+2, Shaun Dippnall 1+0, Oliver Bayne 1+0, Mike Townsend 0+1. Adam Summerfield - 14/0.
Phoenix Pen Mins - 46.
Phoenix SOG - 66.
Phoenix MVP - Rick Ravey
A Phoenix spokesperson drooled, "This was an impressive performance from the team, what pleased the coaches most was the players putting into practice the hard work done at training over the last few weeks."