Manchester Phoenix 2 - Guildford Flames 4
Manchester scorers: Michal Psurny, Luke Boothroyd
J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix lost a hard fought battle with Guildford Flames at the Dome on Sunday evening.
Phoenix started well and Mark Lee in the Flames’ goal had to be smart to keep the scores level. However it was Guildford who took the lead on 3.55.Branislav Kvetan found David Longstaff, who sent Curtis Huppe free to score past Jorge El-Hage. Phoenix continued to pressure the visitors and deservedly levelled the scores on 9.21 as Tony Hand passed to Michal Psurny to hit the twine. The period ended 1-1 with both sides having chances to take the lead.
The Phoenix powerplay worked well with just 24 seconds gone in the second period to give the home side the lead. With Andrew Hemmings in the box on a hooking penalty, awarded with 16 seconds left in the first period, Tony Hand passed to Luke Boothroyd for the d-man to score his 12th goal of the season. Just over half way through the game, Flames equalised. Nathan Rempel passed to Rick Plant, who sent the puck through traffic to the unmarked Milos Melicherik to tap in at the far post. Five minutes later Rempel again was the provider as he sent the puck to David Longstaff. The veteran spun round and hit the biscuit through El-Hage’s five-hole for 3-2. No more scoring in the period with Flames just about deserving their lead after a good spell half way through the game.
The third period saw Flames on the back foot as Phoenix threw the kitchen sink at them to try and force the equaliser. The Flames, though, scored the insurance goal with 50 seconds leftKvetan tried a speculative shot that went high over the goal and hit the plexi. The puck bounced back over the top of the goal, hit the back of the Phoenix keeper and dropped into the net. The game ended with no further addition to the scoresheet and the Flames took two valuable points back on the bus to Surrey.
Coach Hand said after the game: “We worked hard again and I thought we deserved something from the game. We had plenty of chances but just did not get the rub of the green. Credit though to Guildford. They are a top side and certainly contributed to a good game of hockey.”