Sheffield claim War of the Roses

Tuesday, 29th December 2015

Manchester Phoenix travelled to Ice Sheffield for the second leg of the War of the Roses, trailing 5-4. The team was missing Stanislav Gron, James Archer and James Neil, with Nico Aaltonen now back in his home country due to his family’s request.

Even from the stands this really did look like a bridge too far with Phoenix only just managing to ice 10 out skaters even with the support of future star Lewis Baldwin. Sheffield started with 18 out skaters and their number 1 keeper between the pipes.

Phoenix started with Phil Spanswick in goal and despite a short bench, the players again stuck together under difficult circumstances.  Sheffield struck first at the six minute mark as Stanislav Lascek slotted home, although Phoenix outshot their hosts in the first period, but import netminder Dalibor Sedlar made a number of good stops.

The second period belonged to Sheffield as two goals from Tom Squires and a goal each from Greg Wood and Lascek made the score 5-0, although Phoenix continued to create chances.  In the third, Ashley Calvert rounded off the scoring for Sheffield at 45:03, to claim an 11-4 aggregate win.

The game was marred in the closing stages as Sheffield’s John Doane slashed Phoenix’s Michal Satek around the neck, with Phoenix confirming that they have asked the league to look into the incident.  Jacob Corson-Heron picked up a game penalty as he left the bench to stick up for his teammate, who was left injured on the ice.

Tony Hand said after the game “Neil and I know we have a job to do try in building a squad in exceptionally difficult circumstances with the help of our phenomenal supporters.”

Phoenix are back in league action at the weekend as we host the Hull Pirates in Deeside on Sunday evening with a 6:30pm face-off.