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Manchester Phoenix 3 - Sheffield Steeldogs 0
Phoenix scorers : Tom Duggan, Ciaran Long and Slava Koulikov
J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix took on local rivals Sheffield Steeldogs in an English Premier League match at the Ice Dome.
Phoenix were missing Tony Hand on the ice and the Steeldogs paraded their new forward, Raivis Kurnigins, who signed for them on Tuesday.
The game started at a furious pace and the first chance of the game fell to Tom Duggan with just over a minute played. The checks were going in hard and fast all period but no goals ensued. The game was end to end and although Phoenix outshot the Dogs 15-6 the first period ended 0-0.
Steeldogs upped the tempo in the second period and took the game to Phoenix for the first 10 minutes, forcing a couple of fine saves from Stephen Fone in the Phoenix goal. Sheffield appeared to tire in the latter stages of the period and Phoenix forced them back into their own zone for most of the last 5 minutes. Stephen Fone, however, made sure the scorer was not troubled with an outstanding save from Steeldogs’ new boy Kurningins who found himself one on one on the goaltender. Fone threw himself to the left to make the save and deny the debut boy a goal. End of the second period and still no goals.
A three goal burst in eight minutes won the points for the home side in the third period. Firstly Tom Duggan stabbed the puck goalwards through tangled legs and sticks to score. On 49.55 Ciaran Long brought the puck out from behind the goal, turned and hit the biscuit goalwards and it seemed to bounce off the glove of goalie Ben Bowns, hit the crossbar and fell into the net. 66 seconds later the points were secured by a fine Slava Koulikov goal from the edge of the right face off circle. Phoenix then wound the clock down without any real problems to record a fine 3-0 win.
Man of the match for Phoenix was awarded to Stephen Fone for his 32 shot shut out.