Phoenix scorers: Joachim Flaten, Michal Psurny and James Archer.
J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix lost their second game of the weekend when they fell to league leaders Basingstoke Bison by four goals to three.
Phoenix got off to a poor start when the visitors took the lead with just 1.22 on the clock as the fast breaking Bison cut through the Phoenix defence. Greg Owen finished off the move with assists going to Greg Chambers and Jaroslav Cesky. Phoenix dominated possession for the most of the period but Bison were the team who finished off their moves and doubled their lead on 16.53 with a five on three powerplay goal. Ciaran Long was sitting out a roughing call when Schnabel was strangely called for interference when it looked to most in the rink that the two players just ran into each other and fell to the ice. Greg Owen took full advantage with a sweet finish with assists again to Chambers and Cesky. The period ended with Bison leading 2-0 despite being out-shot 22-7.
The second period was pretty much the same as the first with Phoenix having a lot of possession but Bison looking the more assured side on the puck. Basingstoke increased their lead at the mid way point in the match with a goal from Jaroslav Cesky. Assists went to Doug Sheppard and Tony Redmond. Phoenix were rewarded for their efforts with the clock showing 36.51 when Joachim Flaten had all the time in the world to find Stevie Lyle’s five hole to bring the score to 3-1. That completed the scoring in the second period with Bison retaining their two goal lead after 40 minutes.
Phoenix started the third period knowing they had a lot of work to do to bring the game back and again peppered Lyle’s goal with shots. Eventually their never say die spirit was rewarded as Michal Psurny found space to roof the puck past Lyle to make it a one goal game. The home fans’ jubilation was short lived as Bison dealt a killer blow just fifteen seconds later when Joe Rand took full advantage of a defensive mistake to beat Fone, one on one, to make it 4-2. Phoenix are a resilient side and pulled another goal back on 54.26 with a neat tip in from James Archer from a Tony Hand pass. Luke Boothroyd was given the second assist on the goal. Then came the most controversial moment of the game with just over 3 minutes left. Phoenix thought they had tied the game with a goal from Michal Psurny but referee Miller washed the goal out after a long discussion with his assistants. The home side continued to press for the equaliser and pulled goalie Stephen Fone for the final minute but Bison saw the game out to take both points back to Hampshire amid a cacophony of boos from the crowd.
A disappointed Coach Hand said after the game: “Bison are a good team and came with a game plan. We had a couple of decisions go against us and I am pleased with the way the lads got themselves back into the game. We will regroup and be ready to face them in Basingstoke next weekend.”