Phoenix held as Stingrays fight back

Wednesday, 17th September 2003

Manchester Phoenix were held to a 2-2 tie on Humberside tonight as the Hull Stingrays twice fought back from a goal behind to tie the score.

Welshman Mark Lovell gave the Phoenix the lead with a 14th minute powerplay strike while countryman Dave Clancy held firm in goal until the 31st minute before the home side pierced his defences. Phoenix regained the initiative in a sometimes chippy game as captain George Awada finished a fine attack lifting his shot into the top corner. The Stingrays levelled the game inside the last five minutes as Pavel Gomenyuk’s shot from distance took Clancy by surprise. The game flashpoint came moments later as Hull’s Stephen Johnson slashed Dwight Parrish across the forearm and both were ejected for their retaliatory actions.

Phoenix coach Rick Brebant noted, “we weren’t as sharp as we should have been and we will need to work on that in training before the weekend games. The game was a bit feistier than we expected, but at the same time, it gave us a good workout. Hull will do fine in the FBNL, their five Ukrainian players will cause a lot of defences problems.”

On the injury front, Phoenix hope to have defenceman Eric Lind back in the line-up for Friday’s trip to Belfast, while goalscorer Mark Lovell sat out the third period tonight as a precaution against a slight muscle strain.

The Phoenix search for new blood continues apace and coach Brebant added, “We’ve identified a couple of players who we think would be a good fit with our club. We’ve made the initial approaches and it’s now up to the players concerned to get back to us. I’m not going to rush but at the same time, I can’t give them too long to think about it.”

Phoenix travel to Belfast on Friday to take on the Giants before returning home for a Sunday 5pm face-off against the Nottingham Panthers in the MEN Arena.