Manchester Phoenix 7 - Bracknell Bees 1.
Phoenix scorers: Michal Psurny 3, Andy McKinney, Robert Schnabel, Ciaran Long and Richard Bentham.
After three home wins requiring overtime or penalty shots, Phoenix made sure the fans would be home early by totally dominating the Bracknell Bees.
Ciaran Long returned to the side after suspension and his line played a major part in the fine win.
Phoenix took the lead on 6.57 when Ondrej Pozivil found Andy McKinney all alone in front of goal and the in-form striker beat Annetts for the first goal of the night. With just under 6 minutes left in the period Robert Schnabel doubled the home side’s lead with a great shot from the blue line. Assists went to Tom Duggan and Michal Psurny. It was all Phoenix as the Bees struggled to get the puck out of their own zone and Phoenix continued their domination with a third goal as the period ended. Tony Hand worked the puck to Ondrej Pozivil who played the puck back to Michal Psurny who shot through traffic into the net. 3-0 end of the first period.
The Bees rallied early in the second period and Stephen Fone had to be at his best to keep Phoenix’s advantage, saving twice in quick succession. Bracknell pulled a goal back on 26.55 when Rob Lamey took a pass from Grant Rounding to score from in front of the net.
That goal stung Phoenix into action and Ciaran Long restored the 3 goal advantage with a goal, assisted by Andy McKinney and Richard Bentham. The teams went to the second break with Phoenix holding a 4-1 lead.
Manchester started the third period as they had played the first two with a confident display of attacking hockey. With 44.11 on the clock Michal Psurny scored a fine individual goal when he squeezed the puck between the post and Tom Annetts’ pads after collecting the puck from Tony Hand behind the net. 4 minutes later it was 6-1 Phoenix as the third line came good again. Richard Bentham scored the goal, assisted by Andy McKinney and Ciaran Long.
With the game in the bag, both teams changed netminders, with Carl Ambler replacing Tom Annetts and Jorge El-Hage taking over from Stephen Fone for the last 10 minutes of the match.
Richard Bentham then earned himself a “Gordie Howe” hat trick with a winning scrap against Jan Bendik. It all started with a cross check on Bendik by Bentham and a retaliatory slash by Bendik on Bentham. Pleasantries were exchanged and both players dropped helmets and gloves and set about each other. The short pugilistic exchange ended with Bentham getting the take down and the decision.
There was still time for another Phoenix goal and with just under 7 minutes left Michal Psurny got his hat trick goal, assisted by Ciaran Long and Ondrej Pozivil.
A great win for Phoenix and a 4 point, 14 goal weekend that keeps Manchester on top of the league.