The war continues...

Wednesday, 25th January 2012

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix take on fierce rivals Sheffield Steeldogs in an English Premier League match on Thursday night at the Dome. Face off is the usual midweek time of 1930hrs with doors opening at 1845hrs.

Phoenix have, up until now, had the upper hand over Andre Payette’s team but they have improved immensely this season and even managed their first ever win against us in the first match up at the Dome in November with a 4-1 win. Phoenix, however, lead the series with a 3-2 win in Sheffield and a 5-4 win after penalty shots at the Dome in the Christmas holiday fixture.

Men to watch in a highly competitive Sheffield side include the league’s top goal scorer Janis Ozolins. The little Latvian has been outstanding since he joined the Dogs and has hit 32 goals in 30 games so far this season. Of course you cannot take your eyes of number 7 Andre Payette. He has certainly galvanised the young players at Sheffield and has a few of them playing his very noticeable style of hockey and, true to form, the player often seen as a pantomime villain has picked up 141 penalty minutes this season in a team total of 771 points. Up there with him in the bad boy stakes is another ex-Phoenix favourite, Pavel Gomeniuk who is just 4 points short of a century of penalty minutes.

Steeldogs have surprised many this season and Thursday’s game is sure to be another high impact, physical tussle for local bragging rights.

Hot off the press

The Dogs have signed their fourth import of the season. Raivis Kurnigins, a 6 foot Latvian who has been playing in the Latvian first league this season, scoring 42 points in 23 games. Coach Payette is hoping he will prove as big an impact as Ozolins has been.

Phoenix had been on a great run of 9 wins in a row before going down to Guildford last Sunday. Despite that loss, they are definitely an in form team with confidence and morale high and your local favourites are up for this game and eager to start another winning run.

Martin Cingel is third top goal scorer in the league with 30 goals but the team are scoring from all three lines with Tom Duggan having an excellent season with 15 from just 29 games.

Games against the Steeldogs are never without talking points, fast hockey and physical battles all over the ice. Phoenix do not have a home game this weekend, so for your hockey fix, get down to the dome and help your Manchester Phoenix send the Dogs back over the hills with their tails between their legs. Phoenix fans are the loudest and proudest in the league, so be the 7th man on the ice for Tony’s team on Thursday and shout them to victory.