Phoenix edged in penalty shoot-out loss

Monday, 20th November 2006

Phoenix 4 - 5 Panthers after ot and penalties

Manchester Phoenix lost another tight and tense encounter with the Nottingham Panthers on Sunday after conceding a first period three-goal lead.

Phoenix started quickly and took the lead in the 2nd minute as Simon Mangos and Johan Molin combined to set up Derek Campbell for a short-handed opener with Tony Hand in the penalty box. Phoenix successfully killed a three further penalties before increasing their lead as Molin released Hand and the player coach gave the Panthers goalie no chance roofing the puck high into the top left corner of the net. Barely had the crowd settled back into their seats than the Panthers went short-handed and the Molin-Hand double act clicked into gear again as another inch-perfect pass from the Swede was superbly despatched by the flying Scotsman. Panthers were rattled and a fight between Ryan Shymr and Robin Gomez ensued with honours even between the two combatants.

Panthers hit back in the second session through David Clarke and Rod Stevens as they dominated the possession forcing the Phoenix into some desperate defending. Phoenix regained a two-goal advantage in the 38th minute as a superb pass from Derek Campbell found Molin in space and the Swedish sniper made no mistake. But, the Panthers were not beaten and hit back within a minute, Sean McAslan scoring from the right wing.

The third period was largely one-way traffic as the Panthers poured forward seeking the equaliser that eventually came in the 53rd minute as Clarke scored his second in a goalmouth scramble to send the game into sudden death overtime. Neither side could break the deadlock and in the resulting penalty shoot-out, the game winner was slotted home by Panthers Sean McAslan to give the visitors the extra point.