Phoenix head into playoffs in good heart

Monday, 26th March 2007

Phoenix 8 - 5 Blaze

Manchester Phoenix closed out their regular season campaign on Sunday night with another highly entertaining and goal-filled spectacular victory over the Coventry Blaze.

And with sixth place in the final league standings already assured, Phoenix will now play Cardiff next weekend in the Playoff Quarterfinals.

Resting Jason Wolfe for the evening, Phoenix gave Matt Compton his second start of the season against the newly crowned champions. Anthony Battaglia started the scoreboard turning with a howitzer shot just past the four-minute mark and after Dan Carlson had equalised, Phoenix took a two-goal advantage into the first break courtesy of Adam Walker and Tony Hand.

The champions came roaring back in the second session as Carlson bagged his second before Joe Henry scored his maiden goal for the Blaze and Barrie Moore fired them in front. KC Timmons crashed a superb shot past Steven Fone to tie the game up and the goals kept coming as Adam Calder put the Blaze ahead again only for David Vychodil to reply with a trademark blockbuster from the left flank.

In the third period, Phoenix wrapped up the victory with Derek Campbell finishing a superb passing move involving Tony Hand and Brett Clouthier before Johan Molin bagged a quickfire double in the space of 21 seconds in the 56th minute.

A Phoenix spokesperson noted, "the two wins this weekend will give the guys a big boost in confidence as we head into the playoffs. We know Cardiff will give us stiff opposition next weekend, but we have the second game here in Altrincham where we fear nobody with our army of fans behind us."

The home leg of the playoff quarterfinals in Sunday April 1st in the Altrincham Ice Dome with face-off at 7.30pm.