Clinical Peterborough punish Phoenix

Sunday, 6th November 2016

Manchester Phoenix handed a home debut to Vaclav Meidl but came up against an excellent goaltending performance from Janis Auzins in a 6-1 loss.

Meidl created a chance for himself in the opening minute when he jinked through the Phantoms defence but was denied by Auzins and then Peterborough had Sam Towner ejected after just 77 seconds for a high stick on Meidl.  Phoenix created a series of openings during the extended powerplay but Auzins stood firm, including with a superb backdoor save from Marek Indra.

Darius Pliskauskas was later denied by Steve Fone with a last ditch pad save but the visitors did take the lead at 13:19 when Petr Stepanek sneaked a shot past Fone at the near post.  A quick Peterborough breakaway late in the period allowed Will Weldon to score from close in at 18:44.

The second period followed a similar pattern as Phoenix continued to create the majority of the opportunities.  Robin Kovar had the best of these as he missed an open goal following a cross ice pass and Peterborough immediately grabbed a third as former Phoenix favourite James Archer slammed in a pass from Pliskauskas at 29:16.  The visitors put the game beyond doubt late in the period with two Ales Padalek goals – the first at 34:38 when he jinked through and worked the puck around Fone and then an excellent shot into the top corner at 39:32.

Phoenix did get their deserved goal early in the third period as Kovar set up Roman Malinik to score from close in at 40:37.  Joni Tuominen had a good chance to add to the scoreboard soon after but was denied by Auzins before Peterborough added a sixth at 49:27 as Pliskauskas broke down the left wing and fired past Denis Bell.  Auzins stopped 47 of 48 shots as he frustrated the home side with a series of superb stops.

Phoenix are at home next Sunday evening against the Milton Keynes Lightning, with a 5pm face-off in Blackpool.