Hoog hat trick sinks Phoenix

Saturday, 19th November 2016

Manchester Phoenix fell to a 3-2 defeat at the Swindon Wildcats on Saturday night in a closely fought contest.

Swindon grabbed the lead early on as Jonas Hoog burst through the Phoenix defence and slipped the puck under Steve Fone at 6:00.  Phoenix were struggling to get a foothold in the game and a well-worked move saw Max Birbraer find Hoog in front of the net at 11:52 and he made no mistake.

Phoenix were much improved in the second period as Robin Kovar had a couple of opportunities, before a turnover in the Swindon zone allowed Vaclav Meidl time to find Kovar who was left with a simple finish.  Phoenix were now firmly on top and Kovar was again denied by a good save from Stevie Lyle, but the visitors were unable to take advantage of a 5-on-3 powerplay as Swindon defended resolutely.  The killer third goal arrived for Swindon at 36:47 as Tomasz Malasinski set up Hoog to complete his hat trick.

Phoenix continued to create chances in the third period, and it was a one goal game at 44:50 as a quick passing move saw Edgars Bebris find Meidl at the side of the net, who picked out Kovar to score again.  Swindon could have extended their advantage at the other end as Birbraer hit the post and Matt Selby pinged the bar seconds later.  However the best chances late in the period fell to Phoenix, but unfortunately Bebris was denied at the back door and Ben Wood blasted a shot off the post as Swindon hung on for the 3-2 win.

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