Phoenix fall to Panthers late surge

Sunday, 21st September 2003

Two strikes by the Nottingham Panthers in the final ten minutes of last night's game earned the visitors a narrow 3-2 victory over the Manchester Phoenix.

The home side had led 2-0 at the first period interval courtesy of two 17th minute goals in the space of just 21 seconds from on-loan defenceman Dwayne Newman and captain George Awada.

Phoenix had their chances to put the game beyond the Panthers but came up against stiff resistance in the second period before the team from the East Midlands capitalised on a clearance that hit a linesmen to reduce the arrears. Even after the scores were tied just past the midway point of the third period, Phoenix were unlucky as a Dwight Parrish blast beat the visitors goalie only to cannon back into play off a goalpost.

Phoenix Head Coach Rick Brebant noted afterwards, "We had some great chances and paid for not putting them away. The effort was there again from my players, but we made some errors and right now, we're being punished. I thought our guest players from Milton Keynes, Nick Poole and Dwayne Newman, did very well for us and I hope they will be available for us again on Wednesday as we aim to get back to winning ways when we entertain Coventry."

Player/assistant coach Jeff Sebastian did not ice last night due to a knock picked up in last Friday's game in Belfast, but is expected to return to playing duty on Wednesday. Brebant added, "If Sebby is fit to go, then the likelihood is that I will not play myself and will take charge of the bench. I never intended to play this season however, until such time as we are able to finalise our roster, I will play if needed."