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Manchester Phoenix 6 - Basingstoke Bison 1
Phoenix scorers: Frantisek Bakrlik x 3, James Archer 2 and Michal Psurny
J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix produced arguably their best performance of the season with a resounding 6-1 win over rivals Basingstoke Bison.
The early exchanges between the sides produced end to end hockey and it took until 13.33 for the scorer to be troubled. Robert Schnabel passed to Robin Kovar who found Frankie Bakrlik on the left hash mark. Frankie then sent a blistering shot past Dean Skinns in the Bison net.
The home side doubled the lead on 17.43 with Bakrlik’s second of the night, assisted by Joe Graham and Jack Watkins. Bison complained to the referee that the net was off before the puck went in but Mr Liptrott was in the perfect position to award the goal. End of period 1 and 2-0 to Phoenix
Phoenix scored the all important third goal on 21.20 with the goal of the evening. Robert Schnabel found Tony Hand down the right wing and he waited and saw James Archer free, cross ice. The pass was inch perfect and Archer swept the puck past the despairing Dean Skinns to send the crowd up on their feet. 3-0 to Phoenix.
Two late goals by Phoenix at the end of the second period sent them to the locker room with a 5-0 lead. With Richard Bentham in the penalty box on a hooking call, Bakrlik passed to Ben Wood, who in turn found James Archer on the spot to send the puck past the Bison goalie in a tussle that saw the net off its moorings yet again. Once more the Bison protested but the goal stood and Phoenix led 4-0. A fifth came soon afterwards with Frankie Bakrlik’s hat trick goal on 39.28. This time assists went to Andrew McKinney and James Neil. No more goals in a period where Bison outshot the home side but found Stephen Fone in great form.
With Tony Hand not dressing for the third, as he stood on the bench just keeping an eye on things, Phoenix took the foot off the gas slightly. This allowed Bison more possession but they could not prevent Phoenix scoring a 6th goal on 57.24 when Richard Bentham sent Michal Psurny free down the middle. With the defence parting like the Red Sea, Michal deked Dean Skinns down to the deck and well into the net as he sent the puck homeward and it nestled between Skinns’ legs, well past the goal line for the goal. There was still time for Bison to break Stephen Fone’s shut-out. With the clock running past 58.56 player/coach Doug Sheppard converted a touch by Stephen Millar to give the Bison a consolation goal. Final score 6-1 to Phoenix.
Overall, one of the best performances of the season and Coach Hand commented after the final whistle:
“I thought the boys played very well tonight and deserved the win. We got our goals at the right time and put in a solid team performance. Bison are a quality side and had chances themselves, however we put ours away.”
Phoenix are next in action against the Bracknell Bees next Saturday 30th November at the Ice Dome with the usual Saturday face off at 1900hrs.