It's Play-off time

Wednesday, 27th March 2013

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix are gearing up for the most important weekend of the season, qualification for the Finals in Coventry.

Phoenix will face Bracknell Bees in a six period, winner takes all match up on Saturday and Sunday.  The first leg will be in Bracknell on Saturday with an 1800hrs face off.

The teams will play the second leg at the Dome on Sunday with the usual face off at 1730hrs.

Phoenix, who finished the league campaign in 3rd place, and Bracknell in 6th place, have the edge in regular season play with 5 wins out of 6. However, play-off hockey is a different kettle of fish and Phoenix will have to be at their best to get to the big weekend and stop the Bees making their first appearance in 4 years.

Phoenix may be on top in the head to head but there are several Bees players they will need to be careful off.  Defender Jan Bendik has hit 13 goals from the blue line this season and is a dangerous man on the power play. Up front, veterans Martin Masa and Lukas Smital have hit 149 points between them this season and despite them “getting on a bit” are two of the most experienced and dangerous forwards in the league. They are complemented by Shaun Thompson with 34 goals of his own. Bees are a physical side and that part of their game is normally provided by Scott Spearing, with 204 penalty minutes, and James Galazzi (132). Pocket dynamo Alan Lack is also one to watch with his “up and at em” style of play.

Phoenix have been scoring freely recently but defensive lapses, especially in the third period will need to be cut out if they are to make it 4 appearances in a row at Coventry.

Coach Hand said: “The season is now all about getting to the play off finals and we are totally focussed on this. We are ready to do what it takes to be there for the 500 Phoenix fans making the trip. We will be doing everything we can for the best fans in the league.”

Well, there you are, all to play for this weekend, so get yourself down to the Dome on Sunday evening and do as you always do and shout Manchester’s fastest and most entertaining sports team to the end of season party in Coventry.