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Manchester Phoenix 7 - Slough Jets 2
Phoenix scorers: Michal Psurny x 5, Frantisek Bakrlik and Jack Watkins.
J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix dispatched the Jets with a confident display to return to the top of the English Premier League.
Phoenix took the lead after 3.35 with a Frankie Bakrlik goal. The big Czech forward took a pass from Andrew McKinney and banked the puck into the net. Phoenix doubled the lead on 8.08 with a goal by Jack Watkins, assisted by Liam Chong and Richard Bentham. Rampant Phoenix were dominating but the Jets looked dangerous on the break and the home defence had to be on their guard. The crowd were up on their feet with 90 seconds left on the clock after a superb goal by Michal Psurny. James Archer found him in the right slot and a wicked wrister flashed past the Jets’ netminder for 3-0. The visitors pulled a goal back with just 6 seconds left on the clock in the first period. Jamie Line scored, assisted by JJ Pitchley and Ales Padelek. End of the first period 3-1 to Phoenix and a shot count of 23-12 confirmed the home side’s dominance.
Robin Kovar and Frankie Bakrlik had early chances in the second half to increase the lead and Tony Hand saw a good chance blocked by Vasiljevic but the team were not to be denied. Shortly afterwards, Tony Hand passed to Michal Psurny, who tried to pass back to his team mate and the puck bounced off Towalski into the net for a short handed goal and 4-1 to Phoenix. The home crowd fell silent after Frankie went down after a clash with Jets’ youngster James Buckingham. The innocent looking challenge was penalised with a clipping call and Bakrlik took a long time to get up off the ice. Fortunately he was back after missing a couple of shifts with no apparent injury. The Jets pulled one back as the second period buzzer sounded. Mindy Kieras shot towards the Phoenix net and netminder Stephen Fone appeared to have been impeded as the puck entered the net. After a short discussion the officials awarded the goal and the period ended with Phoenix leading 4-2.
Jets then had their best spell of the match and Stephen Fone made a series of top class saves to keep the score at 4-2.The home side scored a fifth on 47.32 and just 19 seconds later it was 6-2 with both goals by Michal Psurny and assists given to Tony Hand and Robert Schnabel. The evening’s scoring was completed by Michal scoring his fifth goal of the night on 53.24, assisted by Richard Bentham. Phoenix brought on back up netminder Paul Maudsley for the last five minutes and there was still time for Jets Brad Watchorn and Phoenix’s Andrew McKinney to drop the gloves on 58.30. Most pundits had this one down as a draw and the game ended with a 7-2 win for Phoenix.
Five goal hero and Man of the Match, Michal Psurny, said after the game:
“This game may have looked easy with all the trouble Slough has had but it still needed to be won. We worked hard and scored the goals and I am pleased with the win.”
Phoenix travel to Slough next Saturday for the last regular game of the season against the Jets. Sunday’s home game will see them take on Milton Keynes Lightning with the usual face off at 1730hrs.