Phoenix keep winning run going

Sunday, 14th January 2007

With only one game this weekend, it was vital that the Manchester Phoenix took both points from their final road trip of the regular season to Hull and they did just that on Saturday night to make it five straight wins since Boxing Day.

However, it was the Stingrays who started the brighter and opened the scoring in the 7th minute through Sergei Kharchenko. Phoenix were level inside two minutes with KC Timmons equalising on the second Phoenix powerplay opportunity. Hull, despite missing three players, were not overawed and took the first period when Nikolai Ladygin converted a rebound in the 17th minute.

The deficit spurred the Phoenix in the second session as they outshot their hosts 14-7 and gained the initiative. Adam Walker, with his fifth goal of the season drew Phoenix level for the second time in the 27th minute before an excellent powerplay saw Simon Mangos fire them ahead ten minutes later.

The start of the third period was marred by a bad hit on Adam Radmall by Stingrays James Knight that saw the Hull player ejected and Radmall leave the game nursing a suspected broken nose. Hull survived the long powerplay opportunity and were desperately trying to turn the game their way. But the Phoenix defence held firm and a quick outlet pass in the 55th minute from Robin Gomez sent Derek Campbell and Johan Molin in on a perfect two-on-one attack with the super Swede coolly slotting his 23rd of the season to seal the victory.

Phoenix coach Tony Hand commented, “They’re a tough team to play against but the guys did well tonight. We knew what we had to do to beat this team and once into our stride in the second period, I thought we got on top of them.”

Results elsewhere on Saturday night saw Phoenix move up to fourth in the bmibaby Elite League standings. Next Saturday sees the Phoenix in action as they travel to South Yorkshire to take on the Sheffield Steelers in the Hallam FM Arena.