Third period fightback not enough

Sunday, 28th December 2003

A stirring third period fightback including a goal from Dwight Parrish was not enough to see the Phoenix earn a point in another hard-fought clash with the Coventry Blaze.

Two first period powerplay markers from Ashley Tait and Steve Chartrand gave Coventry the start they wanted in front of their biggest home crowd of the season – swelled by the travelling fans from Manchester – and the Phoenix never quite recovered.

Missing Mike Morin and David Kozier through knee injuries, the Phoenix needed to adjust their line combinations and it wasn’t until the third period that the Coventry defence was really troubled as Miroslav Skovira and Petteri Lotila caused them plenty of problems. Dwight Parrish scored late in the period as the Phoenix pulled netminder Jayme Platt for an extra skater but the Blaze wrapped up the points with a slightly lucky empty-net finish on the games next play.

Phoenix coach Rick Brebant commented, “We paid a heavy price with the two powerplay goals we conceded and although we got a great effort, we weren’t able to capitalise on the chances we made, particularly in the third period when I thought we had the better of the play. We missed Mike and David tonight but, I am hopeful that Kozy will be ready for the Steelers game on Friday. I give credit to Coventry, they are probably the hardest working team in the league and right now, they are proving to be very effective.”