Skovira hat trick delight for Phoenix

Sunday, 14th September 2003

Manchester Phoenix sealed their first win in Elite League ice hockey with a 4-0 victory over the London Racers courtesy of a shutout from netminder Jayme Platt and a superbly taken hat trick from Slovakian winger Miroslav Skovira.

Skovira netted late in the first period with Phoenix on a powerplay and after George Awada had doubled the lead in the second session with a sweet finish, the Slovak turned on the style with a second delightfully taken powerplay strike before rounding off a solid team performance and an outstanding home debut with a solo skate and empty-net goal inside the final two minutes.

Head Coach Rick Brebant enthused, “Miro was outstanding and will only get better. He has great vision, great composure on the puck and is a very skilled player, I’m very happy for him and the rest of the team for their effort this weekend. We were unlucky with the score line in Cardiff on Saturday when we had played so well and tonight again, we had fewer players available to us than our opponents but my guys worked their socks off. It was important to our organisation that we got a good result and performance tonight and I think the reaction of the fans showed they got that.”

Netminder Jayme Platt posted a 19-shot shutout that would normally seal a goalie the Man of the Match award, but he generously noted, “Hey Miro bagged a treble, he deserves it. He was superb tonight – I’m just glad I’m not facing him other than in practise.”

Brebant added later, “Our aim now is to enjoy this result tonight and then tomorrow, we continue our search for the additional players we need to bring our roster up to full strength. I’ve enjoyed playing in the games, but I didn’t come here to play. My job now is to find the right quality, not quantity of players to make us an even better hockey club.”