Phoenix make it four straight as Bees are stung

Sunday, 14th March 2010

Manchester Phoenix 7 – 3 Bracknell Bees

Manchester Phoenix continued their return to winning ways with another solid performance on Sunday night to take their current winning streak to four games, and with no fewer than six players on the scoresheet.

In a first period that saw no shortage of physical contact as the sides sought the early upper hand, it was the visitors who got the scoreboard moving bang on three minutes as Shane Moore crashed a shot from the slot past Steve Fone. Phoenix responded 96 seconds later as player coach Tony Hand bagged the equaliser assisted by Andre Mattsson and Jaakko Hagelberg. Less than two minutes later and Phoenix took a lead they were not to relinquish as Hagelberg bagged the first of his brace on the night, with Mattsson and Adam Walker the providers. And before the ten minute mark, Phoenix made it a two-goal spread as Ryan Johnson found Andre Payette on the edge of the crease and the big man pirouetted before sweeping the puck past Adam Marashi in the Bees goal.

A quieter second period saw Phoenix stretch their lead to three in the 27th minute as Hagelberg found Walker and his shot was deflected past Marashi off the skate of former Phoenix player Carl Graham. Bracknell pegged a goal back ten minutes later through Michal Pinc, but an nice finish from Iain Bowie restored the three-goal margin at the second interval.

With the Phoenix dominating the game in all areas, they produced the goal of the game in the 45th minute as Greg Wood and namesake Ben combined to feed Robert Lachowicz and his rising shot gave Marashi no chance. The Bees pulled another goal back two minutes later on a powerplay strike from Jaroslav Cesky, but Phoenix closed the scoring in the 53rd minute with as powerplay strike of their own, Hagelberg netting his second of the game on assists from Hand and Luke Boothroyd.

Phoenix player coach Tony Hand noted, “In similar fashion to Saturday night, I thought we controlled proceedings well and we scored some nice goals too. It’s good that we’re scoring from right through the roster at this stage of the season as it makes it harder for the opposition to stop our offensive lines. This little run we’re on is a real boost for the team and the club and with tonight’s results elsewhere, we’ve still got a good chance of finishing third in the final table – that would be a excellent end to the regular season and propel us nicely into the playoffs.”