Phoenix win at the dog pound

Sunday, 3rd November 2013

Sheffield Steeldogs 3 - Manchester Phoenix 5

Phoenix scorers: Michal Psurny x 3, Andrew McKinney and Robin Kovar

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix came back across the hills with two hard-earned points on Saturday night against bitter rivals Sheffield Steeldogs in an EPL/EPL Cup match.

Phoenix started well but the more telling early attacks came from the home side and they took the lead on 5.17 as Steve Duncombe released Lubomir Korhon who outpaced the Phoenix defence and slotted the puck past Stephen Fone. Phoenix were getting the better shots on goal but the Steeldogs’ penetration looked more dangerous during the period. After swapping cross checks, Robert Schnabel and Andre Payette dropped the gloves to sort things out the “old hockey way” with Schnabel easily winning the encounter with two or three good hits and then taking his opponent to the ice.

Midway through the period Phoenix defender James Neil went down after an Andy Hirst hit and was prone on the ice for quite some time. Both sets of fans showed respect with silence as physiotherapists from both teams made sure of James’ safety with a neck brace and he was stretchered off to the locker room.

Phoenix equalised on 17.49 with Michal Psurny scoring, assisted by Frankie Bakrlik and Tony Hand. Phoenix had the upper hand and took the lead with 64 seconds left in the period as Andy McKinney found the net, assisted by Robin Kovar.The teams went to the first break at 2-1 to the visitors. Good news for all in the rink was that James Neil was able to walk back to the away dressing room at the period break under his own steam.

Phoenix came out for the second period looking for more goals and found a third on 26.07, Michal Psurny hitting his second of the game. The Dogs pulled a goal backwith 32.46 on the clock when Edgars Bebris took a pass behind the net from Steve Duncombe and worked his way in front to guide the puck past the netminder to make the score 3-2 in Phoenix’s the end of the second period.

While Phoenix were still dominating proceedings, however, it was the Dogs who equalised with 41.30 on the clock. Lubomir Korhon scored his second of the evening with assists awarded to Mariusz Jakubik and Greg Chambers. Phoenix upped the tempo and two goals in 4 minutes took the game away from the Steeldogs. Robin Kovar scored the first at 43.28 assisted by Frankie Bakrlik and Michal Psurny wrapped up the win with his hat trick goal on 47.28. Tony Hand sent Psurny free down the right and he cut in and sent a ripper past Bradley Day in the Dogs’ goal to give Phoenix a two goal lead which they comfortably held to the end.

A comfortable win in the end for Phoenix, but the game was not without some anxious moments for the large Phoenix following and they loudly applauded their troops off the ice.

There were reports after the game of an incident of racial abuse concerning Liam Chong. This allegation has been investigated by both clubs and resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

On to Sunday and another hard game against the in-form Milton Keynes Lightning. The game faces off at the usual time of 1730hrs