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Manchester Phoenix 6 - Sheffield Steeldogs 4
Phoenix scorers: Michal Psurny x 2, Frantisek Bakrlik x 2, Robin Kovar and Ben Wood.
J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix made it another 4 point weekend with a win over rivals Sheffield Steeldogs.
Phoenix seemed slow out of the traps and fell behind after just 44 seconds as import sniper Lubomir Korhon scored, assisted by Andre Payette. Phoenix were stung into action and it took just 26 seconds for them to equalise. The goal came from the league’s top scorer, Michal Psurny, assisted by James Archer and Richard Bentham.
Phoenix were rampant by this time and peppered Dalibor Sedlar’s net with shot after shot. Despite their dominance it was the Dogs who re-took the lead on 15.16 with Korhon again the scorer, this time assisted by Andrew Hirst. Andrew McKinney refused a fight with Callum Pattison in the last meeting between the clubs but this time the two combatants came together for a spectacular middleweight scrap. A long bout ended when Pattison, who had been divested of his shirt and shoulder pads, grabbed McKinney and pulled him down. This happened after about 90 seconds of fisticuffs between the pair with McKinney having landed many more shots than his opponent. The result was a resounding round of applause from the crowd for both players as they sat out a 2 plus 2 roughing penalty. That ended the action in the period with the home side outshooting the visitors 25-9 but on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline.
Phoenix came out battling in the second period and tore the visiting defence to shreds with 5 unanswered goals, four of them coming in a devastating 2 minutes and 8 seconds. Robin Kovar started it all off with a short-handed break out when he took a centre ice pass from James Archer to bamboozle the keeper to score on 27.21. Michal Psurny then scored his second of the night with an unassisted marker. This was followed by Frankie Bakrlik scoring goal number four, assisted by Andrew McKinney and Robin Kovar. Ben Wood then scored an absolute screamer from the left after taking a pass from Richard Bentham and Frankie Bakrlik made it six for Phoenix on 39.11 with an assist given to Robin Kovar. That finished the scoring in the period with the home side taking a 6-2 lead to the locker room and another high shot count of 21-13.
Phoenix took their foot off the gas in the third period as the Dogs fought for pride. Bradley Day replaced the shell shocked Sedlar and managed to keep the score at 6. Sheffield did score two goals through Ashley Calvert and Lloyd Gibson but Phoenix had won the game with that devastating second period. There was also time for Andre Payette to finally get a Phoenix player to drop the gloves on 43.11 when he collared Joe Graham. Both players slashed each other then had a short bout which ended in Payette receiving 2 for slashing and 2+2+2 for roughing. Joe Graham was given 2 for slashing and 2+2 for roughing. Phoenix were again in command, outshooting their opponents 20-10 and keeping the Dogs to two goals.
That was it for the game which ended 6-4 to Phoenix and two more points for the league leaders.