Key decisions cost Phoenix

Sunday, 27th November 2016

Telford Tigers came away from Blackpool with a 5-2 win over the Manchester Phoenix; benefitting from a number of controversial officiating decisions.

The visitors grabbed an early lead as Phoenix lost the puck in the offensive zone, and Telford broke quickly, with Warren Tait finishing off a slick move at the two minute mark.  Phoenix exerted considerable pressure on the Telford net as Michael Stratford saw a shot well-saved but were unable to capitalise as the period ended 0-1.

Phoenix were unable to build any momentum in the second period as a result of a series of innocuous penalties, and Telford took full advantage with Milan Kolena tipping in a Sam Oakford pass at 27:49.  Shortly after, the referee missed a blatant slash on Ben Wood and the visitors were only too happy to score a third from Kolena at 29:52.  The game was over as a contest at 30:39 as former Phoenix favourite Michal Satek scored on yet another Tigers powerplay.

Phoenix created their best chances late in the period as Gareth O’Flaherty was stopped from close in by Sam Gospel, and after Edgars Bebris almost forced the puck over the line, Roman Malinik scored with a blast from the blue line shorthanded at 39:35.

Further penalties in the third period continued to hurt Phoenix and Telford had opportunities to extend their lead but Steve Fone made a number of excellent stops.  Vaclav Meidl did manage to get a second for Phoenix at 54:48 as he took the puck from behind the net and slid it under Gospel.  However, the final goal of the night went to Telford as a Sam Zajac shot from the point at 56:26 was tipped in by Tait.  At the end of the game, Kolena unnecessarily and dangerously checked Lewis Baldwin to the head and picked up a major penalty.

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