Penalties cost Phoenix dear

Saturday, 22nd November 2003

Phoenix grabbed an early advantage at 4.19, with Eric Lind taking a pass from George Awada before letting a slapshot fly past Niklas Sundberg in the home net. The Panthers began to assert the more physical side of the game shortly after, with David Kozier and Marc Levers tangling. Ref Carson sent both players to the box for 14 minutes each, a combination made from roughing and slashing infringements.

Shin Larsson-Yahata doubled the Manchester lead at 13.31 from Parrish and Awada, before three minutes later, with Mikko Niemi sat in the penalty box for tripping, Kim Ahlroos pulled a goal back to send the home side into the first break 1-2 down.

John Craighead had assisted on the first goal and he scored himself at 24.32 to bring the Panthers level before yet more penalties, Calle Carlsson off for tripping (24.45) and Eric Lind 61 seconds later for the same infraction. The Panther powerplay again cashed in as Lind was off the ice, Kristian Taubert putting the home side ahead at 27.12.

The middle session ended with more penalties as Mark Thomas tangled with Calle Carlsson at 38.12, both players receiving 2+2+10 for roughing, with the Swede awarded an extra minor for instigation to send the Phoenix into the final period a goal down, but on the powerplay.

Unfortunately Panthers killed the powerplay and swiftly extended their lead through Mikko Koivunouro (41.33) and despite working hard, Phoenix ran into penalty trouble and a succession of minors prevented them from mounting sufficient attacking momentum to peg back the home side.