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After a two-year absence from competitive ice hockey, the Manchester Phoenix returned to action last night with a 6-0 victory over the Sheffield Scimitars.
Icing just 13 players as Derek Campbell, Simon Mangos and Ryan Watson are still to arrive in Manchester, the Phoenix ran out comfortable winners against a very game Scimitars squad. Adam Walker and Rado Hecl both bagged a brace of goals while Joe Miller and Robin Gomez both opened their accounts as the Phoenix scored four of their six on the powerplay. Goalies Jason Wolfe and Matt Compton both recorded clean sheets in giving the Phoenix the perfect start to the season.
Player Coach Tony Hand declared himself happy with the performance when he noted, "we've only had a couple of training sessions so far and although we took a few penalties in the first period, we defended well and came through it well. All the boys got a good work out and saw plenty of ice time, and it was good to try a few combinations in a game situation. The new rules on zero tolerance will take some adjusting to, but all the clubs are going to have to get used to that - it's better for the game in the long run and we'll be fine."
Phoenix MD Neil Morris remarked, "it was so good to see a Phoenix team back on the ice, I felt very emotional watching them. I want to thank Sheffield for giving us the game to help our preparation, and I want to thank our fans who were magnificent yet again. As always, they were loud and proud and I hope they liked what they saw in this first game."
Phoenix are next in action over the weekend as they travel to the Edinburgh Capitals on Saturday before crossing the Pennines to Humberside on Sunday to take on the Hull Stingrays.