Brebant back as Phoenix tie with Stingrays

Thursday, 11th September 2003

Manchester Phoenix head coach Rick Brebant returned to playing duty last night as his team fought out an entertaining and competitive 1-1 tie with the Hull Stingrays at the Deeside Leisure Centre.

Jeff Sebastian gave the Phoenix a deserved eighth minute lead converting an excellent powerplay opportunity carved out by George Awada and Shin Larsson-Yahata. Phoenix dominated the early stages with local netminder Dave Clancy again in outstanding form.

The Stingrays tied the game in the 37th minute – also with a powerplay goal – with Ukrainian international Pavel Gomenyuk somehow squeezing the puck past Clancy with Dwight Parrish in the penalty box. Both teams fought hard for the winner, but in the end a tie was a fair result and the teams will look forward to the return game on Humberside next Wednesday.

Speaking afterwards Brebant commented, “I thought I’d retired, but we are still a couple of players short and so I felt I had to help the rest of the boys out as best I could. I haven’t skated properly in five months and I guess I’ll be a little sore tomorrow. But, tonight was not about me. The players worked hard and Jason Hewitt and Dave Clancy were both superb tonight. I moved Mark Thomas up to the wing and he adapted very well indeed to that role and Mark Lovell linked well with Shinny and George.”

Phoenix included centre David Kozier fresh off a plane from Canada and despite being tired, he showed the promise that convinced Brebant to sign him earlier this summer. Netminder Jayme Platt did not play as his league registration was not processed in time, whilst defenceman Eric Lind sat out the third period as a precaution against a minor groin strain.

Good news for Phoenix fans is that Slovakian winger Miroslav Skovira has all his paperwork in order and he will arrive in Manchester in time for the weekend games away to Cardiff and at home on Sunday against London Racers.