Phoenix resilience earns the points

Sunday, 10th November 2013

Slough Jets 3 - Manchester Phoenix 4 (OT)

Phoenix Scorers: Luke Boothroyd, Richard Bentham, Michal Psurny and Frantisek Bakrlik.

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix returned home with the points after a good comeback win at the Hangar on Saturday night.

Icing without the injured James Neil, Phoenix started very well and dominated the first five minutes, going ahead on 2.51 when Luke Boothroyd arrived in the middle to blast the puck past Kamil Jarima in the Jets’ goal. Slough slowly got themselves back into the game and tied the game on 5.48. Player coach Slava Koulikov found Mindy Kieras on the blue line and his low shot never left the ice as it hit the net on Stephen Fone’s right side. In an even period, Slough went to the locker room with a 2-1 lead after a power play goal timed at 15.17. Frankie Bakrlik was sitting out a very harsh boarding call as Darius Pliskauskas scored, assisted by Mindi Kieras and Slava Koulikov.

The second period saw a goal apiece but this did not tell the story of Phoenix dominance thwarted by an excellent performance by Karim Jarima. Slough’s new netminder was beaten on 25.22 with a hard worked goal by Richard Bentham who lifted a second shot over Jarima to even up the game at 2-2. Despite wave after wave of Phoenix attacking play, Jets re-took the lead on 34.35 with an unassisted goal from Ales Padelek and they took the goal advantage into the second break despite Phoenix hitting both post and crossbar and outshooting their hosts 25-14.

Jets seemed to sit back on their lead in the third period with the visitors working hard to control the game. Pressure told with just over 5 minutes left in the game when Phoenix top scorer Michal Psurny scored, assisted by Tony Hand and Joe Graham. Jets had to play out the final 2 minutes of the game on the penalty kill when Slava Koulikov hit the puck out over the plexi to take a 2 minute delay of game penalty. Phoenix pressed for the first half of the penalty then held the puck for the remainder to earn a point and the match went into overtime.

The Jets’ player coach took a rash tripping penalty with just 25 seconds gone in the overtime period and Phoenix took full advantage with the winning goal. With 5 seconds remaining of the resultant 4 on 3, Michal Psurny fed Frankie Bakrlik and his shot whistled past Jarima to score against his old club and give Phoenix the deserved 2 points.

A good contest with the first period pretty even, Phoenix dominating the second and controlling the third and overtime. The visitors outshot their hosts 53-33 and only an excellent performance by Jarima kept the Jets in the game in the second period.

Coach Hand said as he boarded the bus for the long journey home:

“I thought we played really well and showed character to come back twice. The Jets netminder had a very good game and, as always, they are hard to get a result against in Slough. However I thought we deserved the points.”

Phoenix take on the Sheffield Steeldogs today (Sunday) with the usual 1730hrs face off and, after a Phoenix win over the hills last week, Sheffield will be gunning for revenge. A game not to miss.