Phoenix fall to the Flames

Monday, 18th November 2013

Guildford Flames 4 Manchester Phoenix 2
Phoenix scorers: James Archer and Frantisek Bakrlik

J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix lost top spot in the league to a Flames side that were rampant in the third period.

The first period started at a furious pace and it was the home side who took the lead with a trade mark goal from defender Branislav Kvetan, assisted by Milos Melicherik and Marcus Kristoffersson, timed at 3.32. Phoenix, as they have done in their last few games, hit back early. The clock was showing 4.27 when Michal Psurny sent a sweet pass down the middle to James Archer who rounded James Hadfield in the Flames net and scored, much to the delight of the travelling Phoenix faithful. In a period littered with petty infringement calls by the referee, both teams went full pelt at each other, looking for the go-ahead goal. The period ended with the scores level and Phoenix on the powerplay, which would continue into the second stanza.

Although the second period did not produce any goals, there was plenty of drama as both sides hit the pipes and, with Hadfield and Stephen Fone in top form, goals were at a premium. Neither side could find the breakthrough and the second period finished with the sides still level at 1-1.

With all to play for in the third, it was the Flames who gained the crucial early advantage with Jozef Kohut scoring with just 86 seconds on the clock. Assists went to Paul Dixon and Rick Plant. Flames were having their best phase of the game and a couple of errors in the Phoenix defensive zone saw ex Phoenix forward Marcus Kristoffersson score twice in a minute and a half to give the home side a 4-1 lead. Frankie Bakrlik scored with a neat wrister as the clock showed 5.08 left in the game to give the visitors some hope. It was not to be and the Flames closed out the match with the score at 4-2 and as a result, overtook Phoenix at the top of the table.

Coach Hand commented after the game: “I thought we battled hard for two periods and had chances to take the game. Then we lost a couple of soft goals in the third and it was always going to be difficult after that. All credit to Guildford; they are a very good side, especially in their own rink. The team is playing well but there is always room for improvement. I will be talking to Neil Morris during the week to see if there is anything we can do to enhance the squad.”