Phoenix find late equaliser, lose in OT

Saturday, 23rd January 2016

Manchester Phoenix visited the Guildford Flames on Saturday evening and were able to ice a full strength team for the first time in several months.

Phoenix survived an early penalty awarded against Ben Wood, before a high stick from Robin Kovar caused an unexpected fight between Kovar and Matt Towe which saw both players end up in the penalty box.  Phoenix however broke away shorthanded and Stanislav Gron set up Michal Satek who fired top corner at 5:11 to give the visitors the lead.

Guildford had a goal ruled out for high sticks less than a minute later, before Phoenix doubled their lead with another break, as Satek returned the favour for Gron to score.  The goal sparked Guildford into life as Ben Campbell pulled a goal back from close in at 11:35.

Phoenix had to soak up considerable Flames pressure in the second period, as netminder Steve Fone made 18 saves, denying both Markus Kristofferson and Lee Esders with particularly good stops.

Former Phoenix forward Kristofferson did make his chances count in the final period as he netted twice in quick succession at 43:37 and 48:37 to give Guildford the lead for the first time in the game.  Phoenix were unable to take advantage of a late Powerplay however Satek managed to deflect a Ben Wood shot at 59:16 to level the game and force overtime.

In the extra session, it was Flames defenceman Jez Lundin who managed to find the crucial goal at 61:39 to hand Guildford the extra point.

During the game, Guildford fans raised £621 through Tom Duggan shirt auctions which will be donated to the Phoenix Supporters Trust fund, and the club would like to thank Guildford and their fans for their tremendous support.

Phoenix Coach Tony Hand commented: “Getting a point at Guildford is always a good outcome, and I thought the guys battled hard all night.  I felt we took the game to them in the first two periods, although the final period definitely belonged to the Flames.  I’d also like to thank Guildford for raising so much money for the Phoenix this evening – they’re a top class organisation and we always enjoy our battles with them.

“Hull will be up for tomorrow night’s game, but we’ll be ready to go and we’ll look to build on the positives from tonight.”

Phoenix are back in action tomorrow night as they host the Hull Pirates in Deeside with a 6:30pm face-off.