Goal drought costs Phoenix

Saturday, 18th October 2003

A worrying shortage of goals cost the Manchester Phoenix dearly on Friday night as they went down two-nil at home against the Belfast Giants, and have now gone over nine periods of hockey without hitting the back of the net.

Goals from Paul Sample in the first period and Sean Berens in the third session gave the visitors the spoils in a game which the Phoenix showed enough skill and flair, but lacked that vital element that wins games.

Head Coach Rick Brebant commented, “I thought we played some very good hockey tonight and we made more than enough chances, but the cutting edge was missing. For the most part, we kept the Giants on the outside and apart from two lapses on which they scored both their goals, we played them very well defensively.”

He added, “I’ve spoken to the players after the game and told them this now a reality check. We’ve played eleven games and even though I think we’re a good team, we have to start scoring goals, winning games and making life harder for our opponents. The bottom line is that if that means I have to make changes, I will do. I don’t think we’ve recruited badly, on the contrary I think we have a good team, but there is a difference between being a competitive team and a winning team – and I need to find that which will make us into a winning team.”

Brebant again praised his British players noting, “They have made great improvements in their game in recent weeks, and I have growing confidence in putting them out there. They work hard and they are not letting me down in our defensive zone – very pleased with all of them, they can be proud of their efforts again tonight.”