Phoenix run ends in Sheffield

Sunday, 21st January 2007

The recent five game winning streak by the Manchester Phoenix came to an end on Saturday night as the resurgent Sheffield Steelers held them scoreless in the Hallam FM Arena.

The south Yorkshire outfit were still smarting from the 5-1 loss to the Phoenix two weeks ago and were determined to see a reversal of fortunes. Steelers opened the scoring seconds after Phoenix had successfully killed a penalty against Simon Mangos, Shaun Sutter firing home from the right flank in the tenth minute. Sutter added a second just over six minutes later and Scott Ricci added a third Sheffield marker before the first interval.

Phoenix steadied the ship in the second period despite the Steelers adding a fourth goal through Brett Clouthier in the 24th minute. But, it was the home side that continued to dominate the play, controlling the game and keeping Jason Wolfe in the Phoenix goal much the busier of the two netminders.

The final period saw Phoenix finally test Jody Lehman in the home goal with a some quality shots, Lehman denying Johan Molin and Simon Mangos in quick succession on his way to recording a 22-shot shutout and his second clean sheet of the season.

Afterwards, Phoenix player/coach Tony Hand admitted, “we didn’t play very well tonight and didn’t deserve anything. We never really got going and they played well. Their coach, Dave Matsos told me that was their best home performance of the season – just our luck they caught us on a bad night. With another big game though on Tuesday in Nottingham, we do have an immediate to chance to bounce back.”