Manchester Phoenix 7 - Slough Jets 3
Phoenix scorers: Michal Psurny x 2, Ondrej Pozivil x 2, James Archer, Luke Boothroyd and Bari McKenzie.
J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix bounced back from Saturday’s disappointment with a resounding win over the Slough Jets.
Phoenix made their usual blitz start at home and were rewarded with the opening goal on 6.04. Tony Hand found space on the right and fired the puck across the ice just outside the crease and it hit Michal Psurny on the leg and deflected into the net. Fortuitous maybe, but Lady Luck has not smiled too much on Phoenix recently. Phoenix doubled the lead on 10.15 with an exquisite goal. Andy McKinney passed to Tom Duggan on the goal line to the right of the net. Tom looked up and sent a pinpoint pass to Bari McKenzie to fire past Greg Rockman for 2-0. Slough had their chances but Phoenix held out and went to the break two goals to the good.
The Jets were looking for a spark in the second period and got it with two goals in two and a half minutes. Ex Phoenix D man Pavel Gomeniuk, playing as a forward for the Jets, scored with a rocket on 22.40 that beat Jorge El-Hage all ends up and another ex player, Ciaran Long, broke down the middle, taking a pass from Gomeniuk to score on the breakaway to make it 2-2 after 25.11. With just over half of the game gone it was Phoenix who broke out of defence to get the go ahead goal. Ben Wood sent a pass down the middle and Michal Psurny raced through to roof the puck past the helpless Greg Rockman in the Jets goal.
Four minutes later, the two goal advantage was restored when Tony Hand found Ondrej Pozivil in the centre and the D man fired the puck into the net. The home crowd were on their feet again 33 seconds later as James Archer scored a fifth goal for Phoenix. Dominant Phoenix ended the period outshooting their opponents 20-10 and taking a 5-2 lead to the second break.
Any chance Slough had of getting back into the game was lost less than two minutes into the period when Pozivil scored his second goal, this time a power play effort, as Frantisek Bakrlk sat out a holding penalty, To compound his woes, he argued again with the referee as he left the box and was promptly sent straight back on a 10 minute misconduct penalty. Long added a third for Slough but Phoenix had the last laugh with another powerplay goal on 52.45 through Luke Boothroyd.
Tony Hand was awarded the man of the match for his 4 assists but there were plenty more candidates in a superb team performance by Phoenix.
Coach Hand said after the match: “A great all round effort by each and every one of the guys tonight. Last night was a big disappointment. We needed a big performance in front of our own fans and we certainly did that.”
Phoenix now head on the road next weekend with games against Guildford and Peterborough without player coach Hand, who will be leading Team GB in Latvia in their quest to qualify for the Sochi Olympics.