Phoenix triumph in real War of the Roses

Sunday, 26th October 2003

Overcoming the loss of three players to sickness and injury, the Manchester Phoenix pulled off a stunning twice-come-from-behind victory in Sheffield tonight over the high-flying Steelers.

Two goals inside six minutes gave the home side a huge start, but once the Phoenix settled, they struck back with two highly efficient powerplay goals from Mike Lankshear and Shin Larsson-Yahata. Sheffield regained the advantage early in the second period as Joel Irving crashed home on a powerplay but in the third period as the game became ever more tense and physical, the Phoenix struck through Miroslav Skovira to again tie the scores before Mike Lanskshear grabbed his second powerplay goal of the game, and his fourth marker in his last three games, with just over a minute to play.

What followed resembled the medieval War of the Roses more than a game of hockey as the Steelers lost their cool and fighting broke out between the two teams. When the dust had settled, over 200 minutes of penalties were totted up, but it was the Phoenix who took away the valuable two points for the hard-fought victory.

Head coach Rick Brebant noted, “At the start of the season, I said I wanted my team to be ‘team-tough,’ to stand up for one another and tonight I think we showed that not only are we a good hockey team, but that we can’t and won’t be intimidated. I’m enormously proud of the effort from every one of my guys tonight, we came in short and with guys still not 100% fit and we did a tremendous job. We’re building some real momentum right now and we need to carry that on into Sunday’s game with the Bison.”