Phoenix shoot the Giants down to size

Monday, 15th October 2007

Sponsored by David McLean Nikal

Manchester Phoenix 6 - 1 Belfast Giants

Manchester Phoenix responded in emphatic fashion on Sunday night - ending a run of three straight losses - with a convincing victory over the Belfast Giants.

Wanting to bounce back after Fridays' disappointing loss to the Sheffield Steelers, Phoenix came out hard and Sean Starke started the scoreboard moving with a powerplay strike in the ninth minute after the Giants twice failed to clear shots from Omar Ennaffati. Phoenix doubled their lead two minutes later when Brett Clouthier, back from injury, netted from close range. Belfast who had thrashed Hull on Saturday hit back shortly before the first interval when former Phoenix player George Awada fired home from the right wing.

The second period wasn't twenty seconds old before Tony Hand on the doorstep converted a Joe Tallari pass to restore the Phoenix two-goal advantage, and when Simon Mangos scored a superb unassisted shorthanded fourth goal in the 38th minute, the result was never really in doubt.

Starke netted his second goal of the game just over four minutes into the final session and despite a brave effort from the Giants they were unable to add to Awada's first period marker. Scott Fankhouser was the busier goalie in the final period denying the visitors with a string of top quality saves including one stunning glove save. Phoenix wrapped an excellent nights' work in the final minute as leading scorer Joe Tallari converted with assists from Adam Walker and Simon Mangos.

Phoenix player/coach Tony Hand noted, "We had a job to do tonight and I thought our guys put in a very good performance against what it is a good Belfast side. Whilst they played and won handsomely on Saturday, I think the rest we had after playing on Friday definitely helped us. We were sharp and took our chances well. Both teams had good chances tonight and Scott (Fankhouser) made a number of key saves at vital times."

Next weekend sees Phoenix travel to the Hull Stingrays in the bmibaby Elite League on Saturday before a Challenge Cup tie with the Stingrays in the Silver Blades Ice Dome in Altrincham on Sunday.

Sean Starke

Two goals for Sean Starke
(Image: Richard Murray)

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