Phoenix win shootout at the OK Ice Dome

Thursday, 8th March 2007

Manchester Phoenix served up yet another one-goal, barn-burner of an entertaining game on Thursday night as they came back from three two-goal deficits to finally outgun the Hull Stingrays.

If ever there was a game deemed to be a four-pointer, this was it as both sides went at it hammer and tongs for the full sixty minutes with fingernails being bitten all around the Altrincham Ice Dome. Both sides were desperate for the points to aid their respective claims for a playoff berth, but nobody could have predicted what was to unfold.

Phoenix player coach Tony Hand started the goal fest with a superb shorthanded break in the 12th minute. But the visitors drew level five minutes later as Cole Byers capitalised on a loose puck in the Phoenix crease to force home the equaliser.

Hull stunned the home side and their fans with two goals in a 65-second spell midway through the second period as Jeff Glowa netted from close range and then Dru Burgess fired a tremendous shot off the right wing to give the Stingrays breathing space. Phoenix dug in and just over a minute later, reduced the arrears when Simon Mangos fired home from just inside the blueline. Hull though struck again in the 38th minute through Ukrainian sniper Sergei Rublivsky and they took their second two-goal advantage into the second interval.

Phoenix came out flying for the third session and just 19 seconds in, Derek Campbell again made it a one-goal score line. Once again, the pendulum swung quickly as within a minute it was the Stingrays who regained the two-goal spread as Anton Butochnov crashed a shot from the slot past Jason Wolfe. The never-say-die Phoenix then made the most of a rare powerplay with Simon Mangos notching his second of the game with a rising shot into the top corner, and three minutes later, the game was tied as Brett Clouthier turned on a sixpence to fire a low shot past Chamberlain in the Hull goal. Hull immediately called Timeout to steady their ship, but Phoenix now had the game by the throat and the roar that greeted the go-ahead goal from KC Timmons in the 51st minute very nearly lifted the roof off the Ice Dome.

Phoenix closed out the remaining time and received a tumultuous reception from the fans for a thrilling, if hard-fought victory that puts the Phoenix in the driving seat with regards to playoff qualification.

Phoenix captain Scott Basiuk breathed heavily as he noted, "Boy, did we need that result tonight. and what a game, that must have exciting to watch. With so many games recently, we were feeling a little jaded, but in the second interval, everyone gave each other a huge gee-up and it showed in the final period. We got going, got the goals and it sure was good to get the points."

Phoenix travel to the Coventry Blaze on Saturday before another home game in the Altrincham Ice Dome on Sunday when the Cardiff Devils are the visitors for a 5.30pm face-off. Tickets for Sundays' game will be available on the door.