Bees win the extra point in a thriller at the Hive

Sunday, 27th October 2013

Bracknell Bees 3 Manchester Phoenix 2 (after penalty shots)

Phoenix scorers: Jack Watkins and Michal Psurny

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix brought home a point from Berkshire in a thrilling game in Bracknell.

Phoenix travelled without Jorge El-Hage and Liam Chong but were boosted by the return from injury of Robert Schnabel.

In an open end to end attacking first period, neither team could find the go-ahead goal as both netminders showed top form in defending their goals. Phoenix shaded the period on shot count but went to the locker room even at 0-0.

The game exploded on the half hour mark with referee Dave Cloutman having his first real decision of the evening to make. Richard Bentham was assessed a two minute minor penalty for boarding after a late challenge on Grant Rounding. Bracknell’s James Galazzi dived in and started punching at the Phoenix player. Jacob Corson Heron was then adjudged to have been third man in on the altercation between Bentham and Galazzi and was given a game misconduct for the offence. Surprisingly Galazzi was only awarded a two plus two roughing penalty for his part in the affair. Bracknell were aggrieved they were on the penalty kill after the event but were happier just over a minute later after Michal Psurny picked up a tripping penalty. The home side took the lead on the four on four play with a goal from Kamil Tvrdek. Sweeping down the right of centre, Tvrdek appeared to be impeded but as he fell to the ice, managed to sweep the puck past Stephen Fone for the first goal of the evening. The period ended with the home side having the slight advantage, again due to excellent netminding by the two goalies. 1-0 to the Bees after 40 minutes.

Phoenix came out the stronger in the third period but Bracknell’s forechecking was disrupting Phoenix’s usual flowing game and they doubled their lead on 45.38. A mishandled pass out of the Phoenix zone gave Matt Foord the opportunity and he made no mistake chipping the puck high into the net for 2-0. This woke Phoenix up and they had their best period of the match. The visitors pulled a goal back on 48.13 when Richard Bentham took a pass from Ben Wood and went on a mazy run across the blue line, finding Jack Watkins in the right place at the right time to score past the excellent Alex Mettam in the Bees goal. Phoenix had their tails up and pressed the Bees defence at every opportunity and deservedly equalised with a Michal Psurny power play goal on 56.30. Assists went to Robert Schnabel and Joe Graham. The scorer was not troubled any further in the period and the game went to overtime with both sides ruing missed opportunities to win the game.

The five minute overtime was an exciting end to end period of hockey with the better chances falling to the home side. Neither goal tender was in the mood to give up the game winning goal and the match went to penalty shots.

Robin Kovar missed the first penalty and Ollie Bronniman put the Bees in front. Michal Psurny blasted his shot past Mettam and with Shaun Thompson missing, it was down to the last shooter for both teams. Frankie Bakrlik scored his and Matt Foord brought parity once more with his penalty. James Archer missed the opportunity to put Phoenix ahead and it was left to Kamil Tvrdek to score his shot to give the Bees the extra point.

An exciting end to end game with the Bees playing much better than their league position suggests they should and taking the two points.

Coach Hand said after the game:

“I thought we played well in the second half of the game and had enough chances to win it. But that is hockey and credit to the Bees on their win.”

Phoenix will be looking for a good home performance in the return match against the Bees at the Dome tonight with the usual 17.30 face off.