Manchester Phoenix 0 - Bracknell Bees 2
J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix lost a bit of ground at the top of the table with a 2-0 defeat at home to the Bracknell Bees.
Phoenix still without Fone in goal and Bracknell missing Lack and Spearing.
The game started well for Phoenix and they were in the ascendancy early on with Carl Ambler in the Bees’ net the busier of the two goalies. Great saves from Pozivil and Bentham kept the scoresheet blank. The Phoenix crowd thought their favourites had taken the lead with about 7 minutes gone when Michal Psurny chipped an Archer pass goalwards. However, no reaction from the officials and goal judge and the game continued. The Bees were creating chances too and Jorge El-Hage had to be alert to keep them at bay. The period ended a minute early with some ice problems near the Bracknell bench and the final 63 seconds were to be played after the break. 0-0 at the end of the first with Phoenix outshooting the Bees 19-10.
Phoenix came out strong in the second and Ambler made a great save from Luke Boothroyd but the home crowd were silenced just after when the Bees took the lead. 22.56 on the clock and El-Hage made a save from Martin Masa but the rebound fell kindly for Lukas Smital who just does not miss from the edge of the crease. Bees were much more composed in the second period and tested El-Hage on a breakout but he came up big to make the save. Bracknell doubled their lead on 26.33 when a defensive breakdown allowed Galazzi to find Smital who passed across the front of goal for Masa to slide it home at the back post. Much better period for the Bees and they led 2-0 after 40 minutes.
Once again Phoenix came out strong but the Bees were looking calm and assured and keeping to their game plan of frustrating the Phoenix forwards who were struggling to take any real control on the game. Psurny had a great chance to bring Phoenix back into the game early in the period but shot wide. Another great chance less than a minute later was well saved by Ambler. The match boiled over with 48.31 on the clock after Sam Oakford gave McKinney a nasty slash which the Phoenix player took exception to and politely asked Oakford what it was all about. The result of it all was a bit of a thumping for the Bees man and McKinney given the roughing call and a 10 minute instigator penalty which finished him off for the night. Oakford was given 4 mins for roughing with the gloves staying on for most of the fight and 2 for the slash. Two minutes later we had another stramash as Galazzi and Pozivil had a disagreement near the benches. This one ended with both players given 2 plus 2 roughing calls and a win for Galazzi. Tom Duggan was given a 10 minute misconduct penalty after Schnabel was called for slashing with 4 minutes left and the game petered out with Bracknell taking the points after a 2-0 win.
Coach Hand said after the game: “A disappointing night with us not taking our chances. We just don’t seem to be able to convert at the moment. However respect to Bracknell, they came with a game plan and executed it well. We will regroup and be ready for tomorrow’s return at the Hive.”