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Manchester Phoenix 7 - Peterborough Phantoms 5
Phoenix scorers: McKinney x 2, Schnabel x 2 Flaten, Long and Archer
J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix extended their winning home run to eight games with a hard fought victory over the plucky Peterborough Phantoms.
Phoenix blitzed out of the traps at the start of the game and took the lead after just 27 seconds. In their first attack of the game Michal Psurny found Joachim Flaten all alone in the slot and his shot found a way through Damien King’s pads for 1-0. Although Phoenix were having most of the play, Phantoms looked dangerous on the break and equalised on 14.05 as sniper Ondrej Lauko scored from in front of goal, assisted by Tom Carlon. The period ended 1-1 with Phoenix on top, possession-wise.
The second started much like the first with an early Phoenix goal. Michal Psurny found Robert Schnabel on the left and a blue line rocket was past King before he could move. Two minutes later, on 23.12, the big Czech D-man netted his second of the night with another trade mark one-timer. Phoenix were well on top and another 2 goals in three minutes gave them a comfortable 5-1 lead. Both goals came from the in-form Andy McKinney, tipping a James Archer pass at the back post for his first and scoring from a Flaten pass for his second and Phoenix’s fifth. The period ended 5-1 and Phoenix were looking good for the points.
Peterborough, however, had other ideas and they reduced the arrears with a James Ferrara powerplay goal on 44.37. Ciaran Long restored the home side advantage with twelve minutes left. Phantoms are a side with plenty of resilience and two goals in 63 seconds through Glowa and Carlon made it 6-4 and a nervous Phoenix called a time out to steady the ship. All was well until Ciaran Long was called for a clip in centre ice when everybody in the house apart from the referee was congratulating a perfect hip check. Peterborough took advantage and Glowa scored his second of the night on the powerplay to make it 6-5 with just under five minutes left. Robert Schnabel took exception to the call and the resultant goal and earned himself a 10 minute misconduct penalty followed by a game penalty for continuing his remonstrations. Peterborough’s tails were up and looking more likely to score as Phoenix got everybody behind the puck. James Archer calmed the faithful’s nerves in the last minute when he pounced on a King rebound to seal the win 7-5.
Man of the match for Phoenix went to Andy McKinney but there were two or three other candidates in a well-worked victory. Ondrej Lauko picked up the award for the visitors.
The victory kept Phoenix at the top of the league table and ensured a home second leg semi final tie in the cup semi finals.