Phoenix stun Giants in the Odyssey

Sunday, 16th September 2007

Belfast Giants 3 - 6 Manchester Phoenix

Manchester Phoenix got their first points of the new bmibaby Elite League campaign courtesy of a stunning victory in the Odyssey Arena with Joe Tallari the star of the show.

Phoenix started brightly, but fell behind to a fifth minute powerplay strike with both Brian Passmore and Jeff MacMillan in the penalty box. Phoenix didn't panic and drew level twelve minutes later when player coach Tony Hand fed Joe Tallari for the first of his brace of goals.

The second period saw Phoenix take control as Tallari added his second and and Sean Starke too got in on the scoring act to give Phoenix a deserved lead and quieten the home fans in the process.

Brian Passmore notched the visitors fourth marker just 38 seconds into the third period and when Hand himself tallied in the 43rd minute, to give Phoenix a 5-1 lead, they could have been forgiven for thinking the night was over. The Giants to their credit turned up the wick and reduced the arrears through goals from Mark Morrison and Ed Courtenay by the 48th minute, However Phoenix backstopped by a solid performance from Scott Fankhouser were in no mood to relinquish any further ground and a professional rearguard action in the last ten minutes saw them seal the first points of the season as Brett Clouthier bagged an empty-net sixth in the very final second of play.

Hand commented, "We started well and again didn't have any luck in front of goal until late in the first period. Once we got our noses in front I thought we played a really smart game and got our just desserts in front of goal. It was good for the forwards to hit the net and very pleasing as this will boost everyone's confidence."

Phoenix will aim to claim their first home points of the season on Sunday when the MobilX Newcastle Vipers are the visitors to the Silver Blades Ice Dome in Altrincham on Sunday for a 5.30pm face-off.

Joe Tallari - Niagara U

Joe Tallari scored two and gained an assist

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