Brave Phoenix lose in tight game in Telford

Sunday, 22nd February 2015

Telford Tigers 3 - Manchester Phoenix 0

J Davidson sponsored “Men of Iron” Manchester Phoenix lost out in a tight pre-cup final tussle with the Telford Tigers.

The first period consisted of both teams playing a cagey game, testing each other out without all-out commitment to attack. Telford had most of the possession but a superb Phoenix defence fought for every loose puck and piece of ice to keep Telford’s prolific scorers at bay. This was augmented by a stellar first period performance by Declan Ryan in the Phoenix net. Phoenix also had their chances but Ryan’s counterpart, Tom Murdy was also having a good game. There was no shortage of action in a period that ended scoreless, leaving the large crowd eagerly anticipating the second stanza.

The second period was a mirror image of the first with Telford having most of the possession and a hard-working Phoenix side making things difficult for the Tigers whilst making good chances of their own. The deadlock was broken on 30.36 when top sniper Jason Silverthorn swept a fine shot high over Declan Ryan for the first goal of the night. Phoenix worked their socks off for the remaining 10 minutes of the period but found Murdy in top form denying the equaliser.  End of 40 minutes play and a fast, exciting game remained at 1-0 to the hosts.

The tight defensive display by both teams continued for most of the third period with chances for both sides well saved by the netminders. This was mainly because of the hard work both teams were putting in to restrict a lot of the shots to wide positions, allowing the goalies time to see the shots. The Telford pressure was constant and with Phoenix facing a team running 4 good lines throughout, they eventually lost a second goal with 4 minutes left on the clock. Jonathan Weaver brought the puck into the Phoenix defensive zone and a pin point pass found Scott McKenzie on the right and his one timer flashed past Declan for the insurance marker.  Telford made it 3-0 just 14 seconds later when Jonathan Weaver went on a mazy skate from his own defensive zone and sent the puck past Declan Ryan to give the Tigers a 3-0 win that was certainly not reflected by the play from both sides.

Coach Hand said after the game: “I thought our lads played very well tonight against a very good side. It was a one goal game until 4 minutes from the end and they took their chances well. They have strength in depth and are playing well. We had chances as well and, had they been taken, it could have been a different result.”