Stingrays earn shootout victory

Friday, 20th March 2009

Manchester Phoenix 5 – 6 Hull Stingrays
(after OT & penalties)

A ten-goal seesaw battle on Thursday night ended with the Hull Stingrays gaining their first points of the season against the Manchester Phoenix thanks to a penalty shootout winner from Jeff Glowa.

Phoenix were caught cold early on Thursday night as the Hull Stringrays jumped out to a two-goal lead in less then four minutes courtesy of a Pavel Gomenyuk blast on a powerplay and Lee Esders powering a wrist shot past Stephen Murphy in the home goal. Phoenix reduced the arrears on their first powerplay in the 14th minute as Luke Fulghum and Tony Hand combined for David-Alexandre Beauregard to bag his 57th goal of the season.

Hull regained a two-goal margin just over three minutes into the second period as Konstantin Kalmikov notched the first of his brace and things looked grim for the Phoenix as Alex Dunn took his third penalty of the night to give the visitors another powerplay opportunity. But, the Phoenix struck back shorthanded in the 26th minute as Nathan Ward and Adam Walker got the puck forward and Lucas Burnett fired home through the legs of Cruickshank in the Stingrays goal. Phoenix tied the game up just past the half hour mark as Adam Walker struck a sweet backhand shot after good work in the right wing corner from Hand and Brett Clouthier produced the opening. Barely had the home fans regained their seats than they were on their feet as the Phoenix took the lead for the first time fifty seconds later, Walker again the scorer one-timing his shot off another pass from Clouthier. The seesaw nature of the game was emphasised ninety seconds later still as Kalmikov pulled the Stingrays level for four apiece at the second interval.

The third period became a tight, tense affair as both sides tried to force the pace and it was the Phoenix who again got their noses in front in the 46th minute as Kyle Bruce fed Bruce Mulherin for a close range goal. Phoenix seemed to have done enough as Hull began to run out of ideas, but a slip at the back with just under eight minutes left in regulation saw Gomenyuk pick out Jeff Glowa and he arrowed the equaliser past a startled Murphy. Neither side could find a winner and five minutes of 4-on-4 sudden death overtime also failed to produce a winner, leaving the lottery of a penalty shoot out to decide the extra point.

Both sides scored two of their initial three penalties and it was Glowa, the Stingrays captain whose second penalty shot settled the outcome as Bruce Mulherin failed to convert on his second attempt.

A Phoenix spokesperson noted, “Tonight was a hard fought point for the team and once again, the effort was commendable. Hull came in needing to win the game to keep their playoff hopes alive and whilst it wasn’t the most attractive game to watch, they made the most of their opportunities. Penalties are always a lottery and they got the break. Whilst we travel to Edinburgh on Saturday, our main focus now is the game on Sunday, the first leg of the Knockout Cup Final against the Giants.”

Phoenix travel to Edinburgh on Saturday before a home date on Sunday at 5.30pm against the Belfast Giants that doubles as the final home league game of the season and the first leg of the Knockout Cup Final.

Adam Walker

Adam Walker won Man of the Match for Phoenix

Sign up for the Phoenix Newsletter

Manchester Phoenix Community Sports Foundation

Join our 200 Club