Manchester Phoenix 5 - Swindon Wildcats 4 (OT)
Phoenix scorers: Ondrej Pozivil, Michal Psurny, Ciaran Long, Tom Duggan and Luke Boothroyd.
The Dome is the place to be for exciting hockey this season and tonight’s game was no exception. J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix and the Swindon Wildcats served up a Sunday evening treat with 9 goals in a pulsating match.
Phoenix took an early lead with a shot from just inside the blue line by defender Ondrej Pozivil after just 1.47. Assists went to Joachim Flaten and Michal Psurny. The lead was doubled just 2 minutes later with Michal Psurny netting with assists to Tony Hand and James Archer. A Ciaran Long rocket made it 3-0 after 11.10 and Swindon coach Ryan Aldridge called a time out to steady the ship. The period ended with Phoenix leading 3-0 despite being out-shot 10-8.
Another fast start by Phoenix saw Tom Duggan score after 23.36 and Swindon were rocking. Swindon are a resolute side and the come-back began on31.58 with a good goal from Michal Kapicka after severe pressure on the Phoenix net. The lead was further reduced on 37.20 as Michal Psurny sat out a 2 minute tripping penalty and the Wildcats taking advantage of the extra man with a Chris Jones goal, assisted by Joe Baird and Aaron Nell. Wildcats then stunned the home crowd with another goal just one minute later as the puck bobbled over Luke Boothroyd’s stick, straight to Kapicka who netted his second of the evening. Phoenix were the team happy to hear the second buzzer, giving Tony Hand some time to talk to his troops with Swindon going to the break just one goal down at 4-3 to Phoenix.
The third period was end to end and Swindon sent their small, but noisy, support into raptures as they hit a fourth to even the score. Kapicka was the scorer to record his hat-trick, this time assisted by Jonas Hoog and Jan Melichar. There was no further scoring in the period but a too many men call with 59.49 on the clock meant Phoenix would have a long penalty to kill in overtime.
Swindon have a poor record this season in overtime but they took the initiative with the extra man, bringing out a couple good saves from Stephen Fone as Phoenix killed off the penalty.
The roof nearly came off the Dome with 2.13 gone in the extra period as Tony Hand found Luke Boothroyd all alone on the right side and the cool defender took his time to place a great shot past Dean Skinns for the winning goal.
Phoenix man of the match James Archer said after the game: “It was a tough night but it must have been exciting for the fans. We dug deep after losing the lead and Luke Boothroyd, the calmest guy on the ice, came up with the goods and the points.”
A great 4 point weekend for Phoenix who remain level on points with Basingstoke at the top of the league.