Phoenix Scorers: Joachim Flaten and Liam Chong
J Davidson sponsored Manchester Phoenix suffered a bad defeat in Telford on Saturday night with ex favourite Scott McKenzie scoring a hat trick against his former employers.
Phoenix started the evening without Michal Psurny who picked up an injury in training and lost Ondrej Pozivil to illness during the match.
The game started evenly, with both teams having chances, but the home side took the lead after 6.56. Netminder Andrew Jaszczyk failed to clear the puck behind the goal and took the net off its moorings while trying to regain position. The referee awarded a penalty shot and Juraj Senko scored to make it 1-0. Phoenix fell further behind late in the period through an unassisted goal by Callum Bowley on 18 minutes and a short-handed Scott McKenzie effort with 22 seconds left. End of the first, 3-0 to the home side.
Manchester swapped Andrew Jaszczyk for Jorge El Hage at the start of the second but things got worse for an out of sorts Phoenix side with another two goal salvo early in the period. Jaroslav Kruzik scored assisted by Tomas Karpov and James Preece on 24.06 then Tigers made it five 26 seconds later when Luke Brittle hit the twine assisted by Thomas Soar and Tomas Janak. The visitors gave their travelling support a glimmer of home on 27 minutes when Joachim Flaten was sent on a mazy skate by Tony Hand and he deked the netminder to make it 5-1. Luke Boothroyd was awarded the second assist. Two further goals by Scott McKenzie, the second being his hat trick goal with 35 seconds to go in the period, gave the Tigers a huge 7-1 lead and a shell shocked Phoenix side skated off wearily to the locker room.
With the job done, Telford took their foot off the gas in the third period as Phoenix tried to take some positives from the game. Andrew Jaszczyk returned to the net for the final 20 minutes but was beaten on 54.41 by a Karpov goal, assisted by Bowley and Rose. Phoenix did score a second with a goal 23 seconds from the final buzzer from Liam Chong, assisted by Andrew McKinney and Tom Duggan, but a well beaten team skated off to ponder and regroup for Sunday’s game against Sheffield.
Disappointing for Phoenix but all credit to Telford Tigers for a good performance on an evening where things just did not work out for Manchester.
Thoughts now move on to the derby against Sheffield Steeldogs and with three games left before the play offs, there is plenty of time to regain momentum.