Phoenix net 4-point weekend

Sunday, 26th November 2006

Manchester Phoenix completed a terrific four-point weekend on Sunday night following up Saturday’s 4-3 win with a 3-1 away win over the Hull Stingrays.

Phoenix gave notice of their intentions right from the start of Sunday’s encounter at the Hull Ice Arena by opening their account with a short-handed strike from Derek Campbell on five minutes before doubling their lead a little over two minutes later when player coach Tony Hand played the inch-perfect pass for Johan Molin to notch his 12th goal of the season.

Stingrays reduced the arrears on an early second period powerplay with new signing Anton Butochnov the scorer, but despite enjoying a lot of possession, they could not find another way past Phoenix goalie Jason Wolfe. Phoenix had chances to extend their lead only for Derek Campbell to be denied as a terrific wrist shot hit the post. With time running out in the second period, Phoenix regained the two-goal advantage as a long pass from Jason Wolfe found Johan Molin out wide on the left and when his shot was spilled by the Stingrays goalie, Ales Parez was there to net the rebound.

Hull worked hard to put the Phoenix under pressure in the final period, but the Manchester defence stood firm, soaking up everything and counter-attacking effectively to keep the home defence from over-committing to the attack. With Radoslav Hecl harshly penalised in the final two minutes, Hull pulled their goalie in favour of the extra attacker, but to no avail and the 3-1 score line moved Phoenix into fifth place in the bmibaby Elite League standing, leapfrogging the Stingrays on the back on the four-point weekend.

Phoenix player/coach Tony Hand commented, “this was a huge weekend for us and we’re pleased to have taken four points from it. It moves us into the top half of the table and gives us a big boost ahead of Thursday’s tough trip to the league-leading Belfast Giants.”