Tallari treble not enough as Phoenix falter

Monday, 12th November 2007

Manchester Phoenix 5 - 6 Basingstoke Bison

A point on every Phoenix goal including a straight hat trick from Joe Tallari wasn't enough on Sunday night as the Basingstoke Bison edged a see-saw battle by the odd goal in eleven.

The visitors showed their intent right from the start as Greg Owen forced the puck home with less than a minute having elapsed. Shaken by the early setback, Phoenix hit back with a third minute equaliser as Tallari continued his rich vein of personal form assisted by Simon Mangos and the evergreen Tony Hand. But the Bison, under new ownership watching from the stands, quickly regained the initiative with Derek Campbell scoring the first of his brace in the fifth minute. Phoenix were working hard, but they were caught again in the 16th minute as Campbell buried his second of the game. A penalty on Wes Jarvis gave Tallari his second marker in the 18th minute, again assisted by Hand and Mangos to cut the deficit to just one goal at the first interval.

Somewhat surprisingly, the second period was played out with no change on the scoreboard, both sides failing to capitalise on three powerplay opportunities apiece, and setting up a third period with all to play for.

Phoenix came out fired up and drew level for the second time just 34 seconds into the session with Tallari completing his hat-trick haul on a powerplay assisted by Hand and Brian Passmore. The home crowd were now into the action and rose in unison to greet the Phoenix go-ahead goal in the 46th minute as Passmore tallied assisted by Tallari. But, the goal announcement had barely finished when Basingstoke tied the game up at 4-4 with Danny Stewart forcing the puck home from close range. With former NHLer Dean Melanson in the visitors penalty box, Phoenix again got their noses in front in the 48th minute, Simon Mangos the scorer with Hand and Tallari again bagging assists. Basingstoke however, were in no mood to capitulate and the classy Steve Thornton pulled them level ninety seconds later and it was Thornton again two minutes later who fired the Bison into a lead they would not relinquish.

A Phoenix spokesperson commented, "it's very frustrating to score five goals at home and come out of the game with nothing. We can't ask any more of the Hand, Tallari, Passmore line, who between them registered eleven points tonight. We made some silly mistakes tonight and Basingstoke made us pay for them bigtime. We give them credit for leaving their problems in the offices and their application to the job on the ice is something we have to get back to ourselves. It's not like we haven't got talent in the squad and we work hard in training, we simply have to learn to play smarter and cut out the errors. The one pleasing aspect from the weekend was the energy that Luke Stauffacher has brought to the second line, and we're confident he'll help add to the offensive production."

Joe Tallari

Joe Tallari scored the first three Phoenix goals.
(Image: Richard Murray)

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