New additions inspire Phoenix to penalty shot win

Saturday, 15th October 2016

Manchester Phoenix were boosted by the additions of Michael Stratford and Gareth O’Flaherty as they claimed a 4-3 win at the Guildford Flames following penalty shots.

Guildford dominated the opening exchanges and their persistence paid off as former Phoenix forward Andy McKinney netted from close in at 11:07.  Phoenix weren’t behind for long though, as Edgars Bebris redirected an effort from Joni Tuominen at 14:44, and despite both sides creating further chances, the period ended 1-1.

Guildford grabbed the lead again early in the second period thanks to Jez Lundin at 23:59 as he was found by Ben Campbell after Fone saved well from Matic Kralj.  The game followed a similar pattern to the opening period as Phoenix again fought back to equalise through Robin Kovar at 32:11 as he converted an excellent cross-ice pass from Marek Indra.

The home side took the lead for the third time at 43:55 as Fone did well to keep out Jens Eriksson only for Kralj to net the rebound.  But Phoenix refused to fold and after a couple of smart saves from Flames netminder Joonas Kuusela, Tuominen found some space and fired home at 55:34 to take the game into overtime.

Guildford thought they’d won the game half way through the extra session but the goal was ruled out as Phoenix got some luck which has been deserting them all season.  The game was to be decided by penalties and only Tuominen for Phoenix and Marek Maslonka for Guildford were able to net during the first three attempts.  During sudden death however, Tom Duggan was denied by Fone and Indra coolly tucked away the winner to give Phoenix the extra point.

Phoenix are at home on Sunday evening against the Basingstoke Bison, with a 5pm face-off in Blackpool.