Jets send Phoenix to second defeat

Saturday, 17th October 2009

Slough Jets 5 – 3 Manchester Phoenix

Travelling to Slough, Tony Hand and his Manchester Phoenix squad knew they were in for a tough game and so it proved as the Jets powered their way to victory.

As expected the Jets raced out of the traps determined to give the Phoenix plenty to think about and they achieved this taking a two-goal lead by the fifth minute. Missing Zoran Kozic didn’t seem to hinder the Jets as Michael Bowman helped himself to a brace of early markers and the Phoenix were stunned by the blistering start. But if the Jets thought they were on for a runaway night of scoring, they were mistaken as the visitors gradually worked their way back into the game. And when the home side ran into penalty trouble Phoenix reduced the arrears on the two-man advantage, Ed Courtenay opening their account. Phoenix again punished the Jets on the powerplay as Robert Lachowicz tied the score at 2-2 going into the first interval.

Slough used the break to recover from the Phoenix fightback and they settled the better in the second period enjoying more of the possession and leading to them again jumping out a second two-goal lead as player assistant coach Blaz Emersic netted twice in a little over three minutes just passed the half-hour mark. Phoenix again had to dig deep to keep Slough from racing away with the game and their dogged response drew a late reward when Tony Hand worked the puck in deep and Greg Wood joining the rush from the bench arrived perfectly to crash the Hand pass home with just 29 seconds remaining in the second period.

Any Phoenix hopes though of recovering the game were dashed when Andre Payette was penalised on a 2+10 for Crosschecking from Behind and the Jets duly increased their lead on the resulting powerplay in the 46th minute, Ciaran Long the scorer. Phoenix, who were far from their best, tried hard to get back into the game, but they were unable to put the home defence under any serious degree of pressure and the points went to the home side. Phoenix will hope for better fortunes on Sunday when they take on the Basingstoke Bison, who also lost on Saturday evening, going down 5-4 at home to the Guildford Flames.

A disappointed Tony Hand commented, “We didn’t play very well tonight, we worked as hard as we could, but things didn’t feel good from the beginning. We’ve had a cold bug going through the room this past week, and I think a number of us, me included, were far from our best. We knew Slough are good offensively and we didn’t do as good as job as I’d hoped we would in containing them. We’ve got a massive game ahead of us on Sunday and we need to get as much rest as we can before that.”

Greg Wood

Greg Wood scored the 3rd Phoenix goal

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