Walker treble sinks Phantoms

Sunday, 7th March 2010

Manchester Phoenix 6 - 4 Peterborough Phantoms

A second hat-trick of the weekend for Adam Walker saw him reach 40 goals for the season as the Phoenix overcame a Peterborough Phantoms side who couldn't prevent a confident home side from taking the points in a come-from-behind victory.

Kirkcaldy-born Adam Walker totalled eleven points - six goals and five assists - over a weekend that saw Phoenix record back-to-back wins for the first time since early February.

After Sundays' game Walker noted, "Of course, it's great for me personally to play well and keep scoring, but more important that the team had a four-point weekend. We wanted that more than anything to build confidence for the remainder of the season and the playoffs, and it worked out perfectly for us."

However, when Peterborough opened the scoring with only forty seconds having elapsed - Maris Ziedins netting from close range - Phoenix were set back on their heels. They responded with a howitzer powerplay equaliser from Andre Mattsson on a feed from Tony Hand, but fell behind again when former Phoenix forward Joe Miller fired the visitors back in front on a ninth minute powerplay. Phoenix twice hit the goalpost in the opening period, but trailed at the first interval.

The second period saw Phoenix totally dominate the Phantoms as they outthought, outfought and outshot the visitors 26-9 in the session. Phoenix didn't get their just reward until the 35th minute when Iain Bowie pulled them level for the second time. In total control of the period, Phoenix finally got heir noses in front with Robert Lachowicz netting just over two minutes later.

The final period saw Adam Walker step up to the plate as he smashed his first in the 42nd minute completing on approach play from Tony Hand and Jaakko Hagelberg. With Phoenix shorthanded in the 49th minute, the Hand/Hagelberg partnership again were the providers as Walker added his second with a sweet finish and just over two minutes later, with Phoenix again shorthanded, a long pass from Hagelberg released Walker and he consummately beat Stephen Wall in the Phantoms goal to complete a straight hat-trick and give his side a 6-2 lead. Peterborough gave the score line a degree of respectability as late markers from Brent Gough and Shaun Yardley reduced the arrears, but it was the Phoenix and Adam Walkers night.

Phoenix coach Tony Hand noted, "I wasn't happy after the opening period, but from that pinit we played very well. All credit to Walks, he's had a great weekend and deserved his man of the Match award this evening. Jaakko (Hagelberg) was more disciplined tonight and I thought played one of his best games in recent weeks for us, and overall, it's been an excellent weekend for us. If we can continue to show that level of commitment to a gameplan as well as each other, we'll be okay for the rest of the season."

Adam Walker

Adam Walker scored two hat-tricks in this weekend's games

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