Phoenix sink Devils in shootout thriller

Monday, 11th December 2006

Phoenix 4 - 3 Devils after overtime and penalties.

Manchester Phoenix served up another thrill-a-minute game in the bmibaby Elite League on Sunday before eventually claiming victory over the Cardiff Devils.

With the teams tied at 3-3 after the regulation sixty minutes, neither side could break the deadlock in the sudden death overtime period, and it was left to the nerve-jangling spectacle of the penalty shootout with Robin Gomez securing the valuable two points on offer.

Phoenix had started well scoring inside two minutes on the games first powerplay courtesy of Ales Parez only for Cardiff to bounce back and take a 2-1 lead into the first interval on goals from Mark Richardson and Jason Stone.

Having lost last Wednesday in Cardiff, Phoenix re-doubled their efforts in the second period and deservedly drew level as captain Scott Basiuk scored on another powerplay opportunity. The home side, roared on by a healthy crowd at the Deeside Leisure Centre, were slowly gaining the upper hand over the visiting Devils and on a third powerplay, they regained the lead as top scorer Johan Molin converted a Derek Campbell pass in the 33rd minute.

A tight and at times chippy game with tempers occasionally flaring saw end to end play in the third period with Phoenix outchancing their opponents, but unable to stretch the lead further. Inside the final two minutes of regulation time, a slip in the defensive zone led to Cardiff snatching a late equaliser through Lee Richardson to send the game into the overtime and eventual penalty shoot out.

Phoenix player coach Tony Hand noted, "that was one heck of a game and a tremendous effort from our guys to bounce back. Everyone played their part tonight in a solid all-round game that had just about everything."