Phoenix ground the Jets

Sunday, 24th February 2013

Slough Jets 2 - Manchester Phoenix 6

Phoenix scorers:  James Archer x 2, Liam Chong, Richard Bentham and Tom Duggan x 2

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix made the long journey to Berkshire looking for some points to get their season back on track. With Stephen Fone still out and Tony Hand also missing with a niggling injury, Andrew Jaszczyk was given the nod in goal over Jorge El-Hage.

Phoenix made a bright start to the game and took the lead through Liam Chong who took a pass from Richard Bentham and hit a slapshot high into the net. Phoenix were playing a good road game, limiting Jets’ shooting opportunities, and went to the first break with a 1-0 lead, outshooting their opponents 10-5.

The visitors doubled their lead on 26.20 after an absolute howler from ex Phoenix D-man Pavel Gomeniuk. He tried to play the puck out in front of the net but lost control and Richard Bentham pounced to pop it past Greg Rockman for 2-0. The sizeable Phoenix crowd at the game all had worried looks on their faces as firstly Ben Wood had to sit out a fair bit of time after a nasty slash to his leg and then Liam Chong, having a superb game up to that point, had to be helped off the ice after a knee on knee clash at centre ice. Phoenix were looking comfortable at this stage but ran into penalty trouble and found themselves on a 3 on 5 penalty kill after Luke Boothroyd was penalised for a hook and then a surprising clipping call on Joachim Flaten gave the Jets an advantage. With half a minute left on the 2 man advantage, hot shot defender Mindy Kieras hit a shot through traffic that beat the Phoenix goalie for 2-1. Phoenix saw off the second part of the penalty and regained control of the game to their second cup of tea with a 2-1 lead.

Phoenix have had the better of the Jets in the 3rd period all season at the Hangar and this game was no different. Two quick goals by James Archer and Tom Duggan in the first 4 minutes of the period gave Manchester a comfortable lead. The first was a great sniper shot after a good break out by Bari McKenzie and a neat back hander from Duggan made it 4-1. Darius Pliskauskas made it 4-2 just over a minute later, forcing the puck past an unlucky Jaszczyk. However, Phoenix were not to be denied and Tom Duggan deked Greg Rockman out of his pads with a clever left-right-left combination for 5-2. James Archer scored his second of the night on the power play to make it 6-2. He was credited with three goals but Phoenix’s fourth goal was put on the scoresheet as an Archer goal.

This was a really good road performance by a Phoenix side who picked up the result their effort and play deserved.

Coach Hand was delighted after the game and had this to say: “The lads were fantastic tonight and thoroughly deserved the win. It was great to see the British lads get the goals and Andrew had a good game in goal. We will move on tomorrow with confidence and be looking for a good win in front of our own great fans at the Dome.”