Hewitt & Kozier tally Phoenix slay Giants

Saturday, 20th December 2003

A brace from Man of the Match David Kozier and a maiden goal from Jason Hewitt gave the Manchester Phoenix their first ever win in Northern Ireland on Saturday night.

Icing with three new players in Darcy Anderson, Chad Brandimore and Carl Greenhous, Phoenix played a defensively minded game in shutting down the Giants and making the most of their own opportunities. David Kozier’s first goal pulled the Phoenix level seconds after Shane Johnson had given the Giants a second period lead and Jason Hewitt’s first Phoenix goal put the visitors ahead. Colin Ward pulled the Giants level early in the third session but a great play by Mike Morin set up Kozier for his second and what turned out to be the game-winning goal.

Phoenix head coach Rick Brebant commented, “It’s been a difficult week for the club and this is just what we needed going into Christmas. The new guys did very well considering they’ve only just arrived and it was very pleasing to see Jason finally get his maiden goal and what a big one for us.” He continued, “We had to dig deep at times and I’m very pleased with the effort from every one of these players in Phoenix uniforms. They battled and stuck to the game plan and when you work hard, you get the rewards. We can enjoy Christmas now and look forward to playing in the MEN Arena on Boxing Day.”

The win coupled with losses for Basingstoke and Cardiff sees the Phoenix move two places up the Elite League table to fifth spot with games in hand over all the other clubs. Brebant noted, “If we can win those games in hand, we can solidify fifth spot and make a move on those clubs above us in the second half of the season. Our emphasis is about building a solid platform to launch ourselves into the playoffs.”