Weekend preview

Thursday, 17th January 2013

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix continue their quest for the EPL title with a tough road trip to Basingstoke on Saturday before heading back to the Dome to host Peterborough Phantoms for the second time this season.
The tie down in Hampshire is another mouthwatering clash following on just a week after Phoenix showed the whole league their title credentials with a resounding 6-1 victory over Guildford Flames.
Bison have the Indian sign on Phoenix so far this season with four victories out of four and Phoenix will be looking to redress the balance a little on Saturday.
They have what is recognised by many as the best net minder in the league in Stevie Lyle and up till recently complemented this with a solid defence. However injuries have taken their toll with Kurt Reynolds suffering a broken leg, leaving them a bit threadbare at the back.
The goal scoring has been shared by Greg Owen (50pts), Greg Chambers (56pts) and Doug Sheppard (45pts). Jaroslav Cesky is also playing his part with 32 points from just 22 games.
Tough stuff is provided by Carl Graham and Joe Greener, giving the Bison a fairly balanced all round team this year.
Phoenix are on top form at the moment and hit six goals in both games last weekend. The injury crisis appears to be lessening and Liam Chong is proving his worth, having just joined the squad after injury.
Coach Hand said of the upcoming encounter with Basingstoke: “Tough games are coming thick and fast but we are ready for Bison. They have had the upper hand so far this season but we go to their place with confidence and looking for the points.”
Peterborough visit the Dome on Saturday for the fourth meeting between the teams this season. Two of the games have gone to penalty shots and the only meeting so far at the Dome was a goal fest with Phoenix winning 7-5.
Peterborough have an entertaining side with the Ferrara brothers, James, Robert and Luke all playing an integral part in the Phantoms’ season. Luke is the team’s second top scorer with 17 goals, only surpassed by the mercurial Ondrej Lauko who has hit 23 goals in 35 games this season.
They also have a tough side to their game with Josef Sladok, the big Slovakian defenceman, amassing 173 penalty minutes so far.
This is a game Phoenix will be looking to win to keep their home streak going and cement their place in the top three in the league.
Face off is the usual 1730hrs and if it is goals you want, the Dome is the place to be on Sunday evening.  Why not get yourself a 50/50 ticket while you are there and be in with a chance of another large wad of dosh to help keep the recession back a tad.