Guildford Flames 7 - Manchester Phoenix 4
Phoenix scorers: Bari McKenzie, Ondrej Pozivil, James Archer and Michal Psurny
J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix battled hard last night in Surrey but came up short at the end. Veteran David Longstaff put the home side ahead after 3.22 but a fantastic through pass from Ondrez Pozivil sent Bari McKenzie off on a breakaway and the Scot easily beat Mark Lee for the equaliser with just less than 3 minutes left in the period.
The first ten minutes of the second period was good end to end hockey until 30.57 when Branislav Kvetan took full advantage of a power play to put his side 2-1 up. Milos Melicherik made it 3-1 and with 50 seconds left in a good spell for the home side, Longstaff scored his second of the game to send the teams to the break at 4-1 to Guildford.
Phoenix came out strong in the third period and defender Pozivil scored to make it 4-2 but ex Phoenix forward Curtis Huppe restored the three goal advantage less than 30 seconds later.Phoenix then took Jorge El-Hage out of the firing line, replacing him with Andrew Jaszczyk. Once again Phoenix showed their resilience by reducing the deficit to 5-4 with goals by James Archer and Michal Psurny. Phoenix were having their best spell of the evening at this point but Jozef Kohut broke the hearts of the large Phoenix support by making it 6-4 with 90 seconds left. Kohut put the icing on the cake with an empty net goal 17 seconds from the end of an entertaining match to secure the points for the Flames.
Phoenix captain Luke Boothroyd said after the game: "I thought we worked hard all night and certainly matched Flames for long periods. We looked like getting something from the game in the third period but their sixth killed that off."
Stand in coach Robert Schnabel commented: "Great effort all round by the team tonight. Our powerplay was not as effective without Tony's lead but we battled all night against a good Guildford side."
Short benched Phoenix, missing Stephen Fone, Tony Hand and Joachim Flaten, worked their socks off and will feel a little aggrieved they were not able to take something from a game in which they matched their hosts for most of the match. The battle weary squad now head to Peterborough for another tough encounter, looking to bounce back and bring some points home.