Phoenix win in Peterborough

Sunday, 23rd March 2014

Peterborough Phantoms 2 - Manchester Phoenix 3 (overtime)

Phoenix scorers: Robin Kovar, Michal Psurny and Frantisek Bakrlik.

J Davidson Sponsored Manchester Phoenix brought the points back up north after a good win against Peterborough Phantoms. Phoenix were icing without the injured Liam Chong and Player/Coach Tony Hand, who used the game to have a look at the team from the bench in preparation for next week’s play off quarter final.

The first period started at a ferocious pace with both teams testing the netminders. Phoenix were making the better of the chances but fell behind on 8.51to a Luke Ferrara as the Peterborough forward found himself alone at the left hand post to put the puck home past Stephen Fone. Phoenix were still creating chances and deservedly equalised on 16.44. Robin Kovar was the scorer and James Archer awarded an assist. Phoenix went to the locker room on level terms despite being outshot 13-6.

Phoenix turned the screw on the home side in the second period and Phantoms’ netminder Kamil Jarina, returning from injury, had to be in top form to keep the eager Phoenix forwards at bay. Stephen Fone at the other end was also having a great game but was beaten five minutes before the break by a fine goal by Darius Pliskauskas. At the end of 40 pulsating minutes of end to end hockey, the home side took a 2-1 lead into the third period. However they would be without the influential Mark Levers, who picked up a 10 minute misconduct from the referee after complaining bitterly that he had been hooked behind the Phoenix goal line.

Phoenix were sticking to their game plan as the final period progressed and scored a delightful goal on 46.35. Phoenix had been penalised 90 seconds prior to this for having too many men on the ice. Luke Boothroyd cleared his own defensive zone and found Michal Psurny to the left of netminder Jarina. With the Phantoms’ defence looking comfortable, Michal created space for himself to fire the puck home for the short handed equaliser. The game’s only flashpoint in a fairly contested match happened on 53.16 when Jacob Corson-Heron was harshly given a check to the head match penalty. Phantom’s Declan Balmer took offence to the perceived challenge and went for Heron. The diminutive Phoenix forward was quick to defend himself and a short tussle ensued. The initial match penalty on Heron was subsequently downgraded to a game misconduct, alongside the obligatory 2 plus 2 for roughing. Balmer was also awarded 2 plus 2 and a further 10 minute incitement penalty. The game ended without further drama as Phoenix comfortably saw out the 5 minute penalty to take the game to overtime.

The extra period was only 90 seconds old when Frankie Bakrlik silenced the home crowd with an opportunist winner, timed at 61.35. Great work by Andrew McKinney found the in-form Bakrlik who delighted the travelling Phoenix fans with the game winning goal.

Player/coach Tony Hand said after the game:

“We played well tonight and I thought we deserved the points. Peterborough always make it tough in their own rink and with them desperate for points to keep their play-off hopes alive, made it difficult for us all night. We are playing well and are looking to keep things going into the play offs.”

Phoenix return to the Dome for their final regular season league game against Telford Tigers with the usual 1730hrs face off. Phoenix will be presented with the Championship trophy at the game.