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Hagelberg treble sinks Phantoms

Sunday, 11th October 2009

Peterborough Phantoms 3 - 5 Manchester Phoenix

Another excellent advert for the English Premier League saw two hat-tricks in the game, one for Maris Ziedins of Peterborough and the other for Phoenix Finnish star Jaakko Hagelberg in a game that was played at a breakneck pace throughout.

A fast and furious first period saw the hometown Phantoms belie their lowly place in the EPL standings as they came from a goal behind to take a 2-1 lead into the first interval. Phoenix had started brightly and opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute, Jaakko Hagelberg firing home, assisted by Iain Bowie and Greg Wood with the teams playing four-on-four. Wall then denied Iain Bowie from adding the early lead and the home side responded by equalising in the seventh minute, Maris Ziedinis netting at close range. A succession of penalties disrupted the flow of the period and with both teams again a man short, Peterborough edged in front, Ziedinis claiming his second of the game.

The second period saw the pace and at times frenetic action continue unabated, but this time it was the Phoenix who were in the ascendancy. Adam Walker missed a glorious chance to tie the score shooting narrowly wide, but with the visitors on a powerplay in the 29th minute, Ed Courtenay and Tony Hand combined to set up Hagelberg for his second with a vicious blast from the blueline that Wall didn't see. Phoenix killed what they thought was a harsh Charging penalty on Andre Payette before re-taking the lead on the 32-minute mark. Good work from Bowie and Hand gave Ed Courtenay the chance to shoot from the left circle and his shot squeezed through the legs of Wall. Having nosed in front, Phoenix needed just another 45 seconds to double their advantage, Greg Wood and Hagelberg driving to the net with the Flying Finn squeezing home his hat-trick marker. Wall in the home goal was facing a lot of shots and he made a superb save to deny Tony Hand from increasing the Phoenix lead.

The relentless pace of the game continued in the final period with Phoenix enjoying more of the possession and but for the heroics of Wall in the home goal, the result would have been put beyond the home side. The Phantoms used his performance as a springboard to launch a fightback and with just over seven minutes remaining, Ziedins completed his treble to make it a one-goal game. Peterborough, roared on by an enthusiastic crowd put the Phoenix under mounting pressure, but the visitors stood firm despite one hair-raising moment when the puck escaped Steve Fone and stopped on the goaline before he was able to recover. In an audacious move, Phantoms coach John Irwin pulled Wall for the extra skater with over ninety seconds to play, but inevitably the brave move was punished as Courtenay fed Greg Wood for the empty-net insurance goal in the final minute.

Phoenix player coach Tony Hand commented, "I'm very pleased to have taken maximum points from the weekend, we've had two tough games and the guys have battled hard in both of them. Tonight was another end-to-end scrap that I thought we had much the better of without killing the game off early. Again, I pay credit to our opponents, they certainly didn't look like a team that hasn't won a game and it says a lot for their spirit that they played so hard."

" We've got a few bumps and bruises and a few guys struggling to overcome a cold bug that's hit the locker room, so with two big games coming up next weekend, we'll look to get fully fit and healthy with a solid week of training."

Phoenix travel to the free-scoring Slough Jets next Saturday before a visit to Altrincham of the high-flying Basingstoke Bison with a 5.30pm face-off on Sunday.

Jaakko Hagelburg

Jaakko Hagelberg scored 3 goals for Phoenix


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