Narrow defeat in Hampshire

Sunday, 19th October 2014

Basingstoke Bison 4 - Manchester Phoenix 3

Phoenix scorers: Shaun Thompson, Robin Kovar and Johan Burlin.

J Davidson sponsored “Men of Iron”, Manchester Phoenix, made the long trip down to Hampshire to play the Bison and look for revenge from their early season defeat in the same rink.

Games between these two rivals are always entertaining and this was no exception, serving up 7 goals and a plethora of fast exciting hockey.

Phoenix took the lead on 6.12 with a Shaun Thompson delayed penalty goal, assisted by Robin Kovar and Frankie Bakrlik. Bison were stung into action and equalised on the powerplay at 11.43, with Jack Watkins sitting in the box on a minor slashing call and Bison scoring almost straight from the face off.  Import sniper Tomas Karpov was on hand to shoot past Stephen Fone, assisted by Ciaran Long and Andrew Melachrino. The period ended with no further scoring. No surprise this as both netminders, Dean Skinns and Stephen Fone were on top fomr and turned away 24 of 26 shots fired at them.

Robin Kovar helped himself to a goal on 23.48 to restore the visitor’s lead, assisted by Frankie Bakrlik, but the advantage was short-lived. Only 44 seconds had elapsed when ex Phoenix forward Ciaran Long scored, assisted by Nicky Chinn and Kurt Reynolds. Bison were putting the Phoenix defence under pressure but Stephen Fone and his blue line corps were holding fast and causing Skinns at the other end some problems on the break out.

Bison took the lead on 34.44 with Ciaran Long hurting his ex team mates with his second and Bison’s third of the evening. Assists went to Nicky Chinn and Joe Rand. Both teams were in full flow as the second break approached but no further scoring meant the home side heading to the locker room leading 3-2. 

The large crowd, including the loyal Phoenix faithful, eagerly awaited the third period with both sides very capable of taking the points. Phoenix started the strongest and equalised on 41.24 with a Johan Burlin hammer. “Thor”, as he is affectionately known by Phoenix fans, bulleted the puck past Dean Skinns after taking a pass from Shaun Thompson. Frankie Bakrlik was awarded the second assist, his third point of the evening. Once again Bison hit back quickly and made it 4-3 on 42.46 with a neat goal finished off by player coach Doug Sheppard, assisted by Ciaran Long and Aaron Connolly.  That ended the scoring for the evening with both netminders on top form, keeping the status quo. 

An excellent evening’s entertainment with Phoenix a bit disappointed not to have taken something from the game.