Team togetherness drives Phoenix to win

Wednesday, 24th September 2003

Trailing to a sixth minute powerplay goal for the visitors, the Manchester Phoenix were then furthered impaired as inspirational head coach Rick Brebant was forced out of the game with a knee injury. But, the team spirit that is becoming a real driving force for the Phoenix saw the rest of the squad double their efforts to get back to winning ways.

Goals late in the first period from David Kozier and a brilliant solo effort from Miroslav Skovira gave the home side a first interval edge. Dwight Parrish scored a superb shorthanded third goal in the second period and Eric Lind added a third period marker before the Blaze fought back to narrow the score line.

Locally trained forward Jason Hewitt commented, “Rick prepared us throughout the day with video sessions and then group meetings because he knew that tonight’s game would be a tough test. When he left the game we all looked at each other and without any need for words, rolled our sleeves up that little bit further to get the job done. Rick only played because he wanted to give Jeff (Sebastian) more time to recover from injury, and him leaving the game could have worked against us. I’m pleased I was able to do my bit to get the win we wanted.”

On his teams’ performance, Rick Brebant said, “they played hard tonight and were tenacious. I thought our local players did very well, very pleased with Marc Lovell, I thought he was tremendous. Initially, they lacked the intensity, but tonight I told them to go out there and prove to me that they want it and for the most part, they did exactly what was asked of them. My import players are building good understandings and when the players I’m chasing signatures on arrive, we will have a very good team.”

On his own situation Brebant added, “I came here to coach and this injury means that from this point in, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. I’ve always believed that things happen for a reason and this is now the time for me to bow out of playing gracefully. I’ve had a great career on the ice, now I will concentrate on my career off the ice and behind the bench.”

Phoenix travel to Coventry on Saturday for a return match-up against the Blaze.