Power failure and Stingrays can't stop the Phoenix...

Friday, 5th October 2007

Manchester Phoenix 3 - 2 Hull Stingrays

Manchester Phoenix survived a Stingray scare and a power failure on Thursday night to post another win in the bmibaby Elite League that keeps them in third place in the table.

In an entertaining end-to-end first period, Phoenix were trailing to a 17th minute strike from Stingrays' Paul Cabana when a power failure hit the Altrincham Ice Dome extinguishing all bar the emergency lighting. Both teams retired to the dressing rooms for almost an hour before engineers restored order and the game could continue.

Phoenix then had a Tony Hand 'goal' disallowed before Omar Ennaffati finally netted the equaliser in the 23rd minute. Phoenix began to put the visitors defence under increasing pressure and it was no great surprise when they took the lead in the 33rd minute as leading scorer Joe Tallari netted assisted by Brian Passmore and Hand. But, the Stingrays showed their resilience after a number of good attacks, they tied the game up in the final minute of the period, Lee Mitchell the scorer despite Phoenix feeling there had been a hand pass on the play.

Determined to send the fans, who had waited patiently throughout the earlier delay, home happy - Phoenix dominated the third period with a string of chances that went unrewarded. Brian Passmore twice spurned good scoring opportunities and both Tallari and Sean Starke saw equally good chances miss the target or well saved by Kudrna in the Hull goal. However, the pressure that had been steadily increasing finally paid off in the 57th minute as the Passmore and Hand combined to release Tallari and he made no mistake to comprehensively beat Kudrna for the game-winning goal.

Phoenix bench coach Davey Graham remarked, "Considering the delay and the way the ice was late on, I thought both teams performed tremendously well. It was a hard fought game and pretty exciting to watch."

Player coach Tony Hand added, "Hull gave us a few problems tonight, they're a good side and not to be taken lightly. Our guys kept their focus well and stayed loose in the delay. Everybody had a good laugh too when Rhys (McWilliams) went out onto the ice with the torch strapped to his helmet. The fans liked it and after that, we were pleased to get the result and send them home happy."

Phoenix travel to Newcastle on Saturday for a Challenge Cup tie with the MobilX Vipers and return to Altrincham on Sunday for another bmibaby Elite League tussle with the Coventry Blaze. Face-Off on Sunday is 5.30pm.

Joe Tallari

Joe Tallari got Phoenix MVP - he scored two of the goals, and assisted on the other.
(Image: Richard Murray)

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