Flames too strong for short-benched Phoenix

Sunday, 13th November 2011

Guildford Flames 9 - Manchester Phoenix 4

Phoenix scorers : Koulikov (2) Cingel and Faith

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix made the long trip to Guildford, buoyed by a good performance against Telford but that good feeling was tempered by the news that player coach Tony Hand will not ice for the team tonight. Phoenix have drafted in John Connolly for one more game to add to the already depeleted bench. Guildford will be without Nathan Rempel and Matt Towe.

As always Guildford come out of the traps fast and hard and took the lead on 1.28 with a Longstaff goal, assisted by Potts and Dixon. 44 seconds later Phoenix equalised with their first foray into the Guildford blue zone. Juraj Faith was in the right place at the right time, taking a pass from Josh Ward and beating Mark Lee for 1-1. On 3.16, the small band of Phoenix fans went wild as their favourites took the lead. Martin Cingel took a pass from Ladzi Harabin and drove behind the net, finding space out front and netted for 2-1. Half way through the period, Greg Chambers found himself alone at the left hand post to score the equaliser. Assists went to Longstaff and Liddiard. Less than two minutes later, Flames regained the lead with a short handed goal after a mix up in the Phoenix rearguard allowed Hemmings to skate in and score. End to end stuff till the end of the period and a score of 3-2 to the Flames.

Guildford increased their lead on 22.49 after a defensive error. Ben Campbell scored, assisted by Branislav Kvetan. 5 minutes later they made it 5-2 with a Curtis Huppe rocket assisted by Melicherik and Dixon. Things got worse for Phoenix on 38.27 as the Flames scored again with veteran David Longstaff scoring his second and Flames 6th of the night. Second assist went to Ben Campbell.

James Archer and Branislav Kvetan had a little disagreement and both sat out 2 minutes for holding and slashing respectively. The referee’s hand went up again shortly after, this time in Phoenix’s favour but they did not need the extra man and scored a delayed penalty goal. Slava Koulikov was given the credit, assisted by Luke Boothroyd. End of the second period 6-3 to the Flames.

Phoenix were under the cosh early in the third and Curtis Huppe grabbed his hat trick with goals at 42.49 and 45.44. Flames made it 9-3 on 53.41 with David Longstaff scoring his own hat trick goal. Phoenix scored a consolation in the last minute through Slava Koulikov to make the final score 9-4.

Man of the match for Phoenix was awarded to Martin Cingel.

Owner Neil Morris said after the game: “ I just want to give my grateful thanks to the players and fans tonight in Guildford. We will soldier on until we get bodies back and continue to play attractive hockey. Thanks again to all“