Phoenix resilience shines through

Sunday, 11th December 2016

The Manchester Phoenix once again claimed the Roses honours with a 4-2 win over the Sheffield Steeldogs.

A quiet opening saw the best chance fall to Phoenix but James Hadfield made a good shoulder save to deny Edgars Bebris, before the visitors took the lead as a Pavel Mrna effort at 8:22 deflected off a Phoenix defenceman and in.  Robin Kovar was then kept out with a glove save before Sheffield exerted considerable pressure on the Phoenix net as Steve Fone made 18 saves throughout the period.

Early in the second, a power cut to the building saw the game delayed by 15 minutes.  Following the resumption, Fone made a great pad save to keep out Arnoldas Bosas one-on-one, and despite a couple of powerplay opportunities, Sheffield were unable to register any shots.  Phoenix started to grow into the game as Kovar hit the post, before the equaliser arrived at 37:06 as Roman Malinik worked his way into the zone and fired past Hadfield.  The game’s key moment occurred with only 0.8 seconds left in the period as Bebris set up Kovar who slammed the puck home from the slot.

Phoenix extended their lead early in the third shorthanded, as Bosas gave the puck away, and Vaclav Meidl took full advantage, rounding Hadfield to score at 42:08.  Sheffield did manage to score on the same powerplay as a shot from Lewis Bell through traffic found its way in at 42:47.  Phoenix had to rely on Fone to make a number of saves late in the game, whilst Michael Stratford hit the post at the other end.  Sheffield pulled their netminder in an attempt to level however Bebris found the empty net at 59:32 to wrap-up a 4-2 win.

Phoenix are next at home after Christmas, on Tuesday 27th December, when the Telford Tigers visit Blackpool for a 5pm face-off.