PHOENIX Avoid sting in the tail!


Manchester Phoenix returned home to the Altrincham ice dome Sunday Night, As they played hosts to the Bracknell Bees. Phoenix were hoping coming into the Sunday game that they could get over their “Derby day” defeat, as they went down 8-4 to the Sheffield Steeldogs at Ice Sheffield. Phoenix had kept pulling it back to within a goal till the 3rd period. But they simply couldn`t make a full comeback and ran out of steam eventually, As the Yorkshire side just took over on their neighbours from over the hills.

So after an abject performance by Phoenix standard, Could this lost have been put down to a bug going round the team. Or simply, The fact this was their 6th game in 10 days which would shatter any side. So AS came into this, they were hoping to finish 2012 on high as they took on Mid table side Bracknell Bees for their 2nd visit of the season at the Ice dome. The last game they met at Altrincham, It finished 7-1 in favour to the home side that occasion, back in October.

After the warm up had occured there was a Special presentation on the ice between Pete Hagan, MAGS and Guest of Honour Dwight Parrish with a Special Commemorative shirt for him.  (Sorry for poor sound)

Just basically announced his MANCHESTER appearances record, And that club wanted to give him a special commemorative shirt.



                                                                    REGULAR SEASON                             PLAYOFFS
                                                                    GP     G      A    Pts    PIM               GP   G   A     Pts    PIM

 ISL      Manchester Storm    2001-02        48      9      8    17      50                   8     0    1      1        17 

 EIHL   Manchester Phoenix  2003-04      54     7      12   19     56                    6     0    3      3        6

 EPL     Manchester Phoenix  2008-09      33     3      10   13     18                   N/A

Phoenix for this game changed starting Goaltenders, As first choice netminder Steve Fone was replaced by rookie EPL goalie Rochadale born- Jorge El-Hage. El-Hage was making his 3rd full start of the season after making his full debut down at “The Hive” at the start of this month, Where Phoenix ran out 5-3 winners against Bracknell on Decmeber 8th.

The game was once more adopting the 4 Officials system, Based on 2 Referees and 2 Linesmen. The Linos were Kris Wells and Ben Abbott.  Donning the Orange Waterwings was Steve Wardell & new to Altrincham in Refs clothing at least was James Ashton.

The puck dropped to get the game underway and for the first 5 mins it was like the Alamo in the Phoenix zone, As the home side couldn`t get over half way due to the good pressure the Bees were putting them under. But also some mistakes were being made by Phoenix as well, As there was worries in the Phoenix camp, That the defeat the night before may have still be playing on their minds. As the home side was very slow and lethargic, Phoenix did manage eventually to get over halfway, But a tame shot at Carl Ambler in the Bees nets waseasily collected and covered up. The resulting play led to the First goal of the game as Alan Lack shot on El-Hage hit his stick at a funny angle and went in. Giving the Berkshire side a deserved 1-0 lead although the young netminder will want that one back as it was very misfortunate goal to concede, Assists on the goal went to Scott Spearing and James Galazzi timed at 2:46.

That goal seemed to spark Manchester into life. As from then on, Phoenix played a higher tempo and went up a couple of gears quickly. And the hitting and attacking play started to build ,Ciaran Long went to the box at 4:31 for BOARDING. Then Phoenix got a got a break, As the home side scored a beautifully worked goal led by Player coach Tony Hand,Who alongside recent new signing Derek Campbell set up James Archer who put it Ambler in goals, tying the game at 1-1 at 6:43.

At 7:16 Sam Oakfield did the worst disguising of a Hold you`ll ever see, as Hand had the puck and Oakfield grabbed him for a full 10 seconds before Ashton raised his arm to signal a penalty call. And then as he let go of Hand, he pushed him to the floor, resulting in the 2 refs at one point nearly, both raising their arms to call it.

The home side were on the Powerplay and Phoenix broke from tradition. As Phoenix aren`t renown for their goal scoring on powerplay, And is more a case of passing practice or faffing round  for the whole 2 mins not shooting. Or as fellow podcaster Mark from theangrybudgie.blogspot (great read too!) was quoted as saying “Phoenix powerplay is a good time to check your Tweets or other social media for 2 mins as we go on the Powerplay due to how predictable it is”.

But what they did for once Phoenix, Was have some on in front of the goalie to screen him, And that came in the shape of Derek Campbell. After a couple of chances going close, Hand picked up on the loose puck found Derek Campbell who shot it from close range while kind of skating backwards. And his effort trickled in, To which Ashton spotted it go over and the arm straighten to signal goal. That came at 9-15 and made it 2-1 advantage for the Altrincham outfit.

Bracknell had been rattled significantly as defense wise, They were all at sea and being pulled out of shape  leaving Ambler hung out to dry so many times in the period, that it did look alot like the Telford game when Phoenix scored for fun due to no Defense by the opposition. The 3rd goal arrived soon after as Hand the architect, Waited near the boards in the corner to find an outlook pass, And his great vision found Campbell who pass was inch perfect too, Found James Archer on the back door to slide home a tic tac move that brought it to 3-1 at 11-48.

There was still time though for one last goal in the period, As Campbell picked the puck up mid ice and was a chase with a Bracknell D man, He beat him to the puck and as he skated towards goal passed across for Hand to net goal number 4 for lovely little goal, timed at 16-15.

Ambler was clearly frustrated with being left high and dry and getting no help from his side what so ever. That as the nets came off attempting to save Hand goal. He had a little hissy fit pushing the nets showing his frustration for all to see. The period ended with Campbell and Thompson from the Bees, Getting into a little heated argument, as moments before a push from Campbell in the back of Munroe wasn`t looked kindly on and the ref thought so to and so put the Phoenix on the PK,At the start of the 2nd period. As he would sit the opening 2 mins out for Cross Checking at 20.00


2nd period was more really Bracknell regrouping and upping the Physical side abit. And in the process taking some dumb penalty along the way too. Oakfield was called for CROSS CHECKS at 25-27 by Ref Ashton, A couple mins later Bari McKenzine ran into a group of Bracknell players by the team benches trying to stop him, But he showed great determination and somehow managed to squirm through them, regain control of the puck and was bearing down on goal, as he cut in from the wing unchallenged and slotted it to left side of Ambler for a 5-1 lead for Phoenix.

Ciaran Long then made another trip to the box for Hooking at 32-20, But not long after Ollie Bronnimann followed him over a min later for TRIPPING. As he brought down a Phoenix player heading towards the Bees crease from the wing, Leaving the Manchester player rolling to the boards, That was timed at 33-49.  Then another dumb penalty this time by Veteran player Martin Masa, As he could have been called for a number of things, As he slashed & cross checked a Phoenix D man. Who wasn`t happy as he looked towards the official and as Masa skated towards the away bench, James Neil was then tripped up blatantly in front of the ref and he just laughed as he thought Neil made more of a meal of it. The referee called him in the end for TRIPPING at 36-33.

Then just before the end of 2nd period Tom Duggan tripped a  Bees player up in the Phoenix zone &d as the horn sound for the end of 40 mins play. The Referee gave the signal to say he was in the box start of the 3rd adjudged for TRIPPING timed at 40:00.


So as we entered the 3rd & Final period, Phoenix started it on the Penalty-Kill as Duggan sat the penalty box for his Tripping penalty picked up at the end of the 2nd. On that ensuing Powerplay Bracknell pulled a goal back through a the combination of the Bees trio Martin Masa getting the goal. And assists being given to Lukas Smital and also to Scott Spearing. The goal came after a hive of activity in the Phoenix crease, With a player ending up laying at the side of  the crease & the puck finding a way in somehow past El-Hage for 5-2 at 41-10.

The Bees came out the more aggressive team in the 3rd as the Powerplay goal showed, The goal also seemed to give them a boost that they were looking for to try and work their way back into the contest. However they were running into Penalty trouble as Scott Spearing was showing his lack of discipline. As his side was bringing the puck away from behind his goal and on the attack, when he checked a Phoenix off the play as the Phoenix player was trying to close down the attack. So Spearing went to the box for INTERFERENCE timed 43-56.

Then came one of the most weirdest, baffling and confusing calls i`ve seen for a long time. To start with Lukas Smital was called for CHARGING and so the referee hand was raised. Right, from what i saw then Phoenix pulled their netminder for the Extra attacker, As it was a delayed penalty against Bracknell which last about 40 seconds until they touched it to be whistled. Phoenix had 6 Skaters due to pulling the goalie for the extra man till the whistle blew. However the seconds leading up to the play being stopped the Bracknell bench was screaming and shouting about too many men, Which from my vantage point from the corner it didn`t seem like anything was wrong.

So the penalty was told to the time keeper and so “00   2:00” was put on the Phoenix side?! To which there was a long discussion between the Bracknell Captain Rob Lamey i think, Phoenix coach Tony Hand & Captain Luke Boothroyd. As they talked and went over what the penalties were called for and how it came about. So after about 2 or 3 mins of talks with the officials, Coaches and senior players. The calls finished up as Smital getting 2 mins for CHARGING on the Bees, Phoenix picked up a 2 minutes Bench minor for “TOO MANY MEN” sat by Michal Psurny, both timed at 48-05.

So play restarted and after both sides were back to full strength and skated to their respective benches, Bracknell got another goal back as the Bees keep good pressure on in the Phoenix zone and during in the middle of the action, El -Hage had lost his stick and when he finally had time to pick it up. He found out it was broken so dropped the stick, And was now facing shots without his netminders stick. So the Bees in Masa and Oakfield kept the puck in the zone, With Lack getting a deflection on the puck as it looped up in the air before bouncing into the net as the Red Light came to signal another Bees goal. El-Hage looked bemused as he starred at the official over how his stick broke, but the Bees didn`t care and pulled it within 2 with the time of the goal coming at 50-50.

Bracknell were now “buzzing” and looked dangerous with Masa and Smital together. Thankfully the saves of El-Hage and the Phoenix defense were keeping the bees shooting to the outside. Spearing then made another trip to the penalty box for ELBOWS, timed at 51-47.

And then Phoenix killed the game off, As Richard Bentham hit it along the boards to which A Bees dispossessed defensemen was dispossessed by Archer who stopped it with his stick. Found Campbell with a little pass back post ghosting in & he roofed it high in the goals for 6-3 at 56-07. And making the home fans and players let out a sigh of relief as the Bees comeback was all but snuff out.

The Last action of the game was a INTERFERENCE call on Boothroyd  & Grant Rounding from Bracknell picking up a 10 min misconduct for ABUSE OF OFFICIAL clocked at 57:44, not sure why the player was complaining to be honest.

Game finished with a Phoenix win and momentum to take into 2013 but a nagging thought of, If only they things had gone better in Sheffield, They would have been tied on 46 points with 1st place Basingstoke Bison heading into New Year. But no looking back, only forwards and now head into a Double Header next weekend against the Milton Keynes Lightning in what will surely be a couple of Classic encounters again between the two sides.


Man of the Match awards

Bees: 22 Alan Lack    2 Goals     

Phoenix: 37. Derek Campbell    2+2

Goalie stats:

                                              1st    2nd   3rd           SOG

60:00   35. Jorge El-Hage      13,    7 ,    7  = 27 (3)     88.89%

60:00   33. Carl Ambler         11 ,    4,   10 =25 (6)      76.00%



SPENGLER CUP DAY 4: Swiss Roll over opponents


DAY 4 of the 2012 Spengler cup in Davos, Switzerland was Quarter-Finals day as we reached the Knockout stages of the Invitational Competition at the Beautiful, Vallant Arena in Davos.
The first Quarter Final pitted Switzerland side HC Fribourg-Gotteron against German outfit Adler Mannheim. This was a pretty close contest overall apart from the one ,thing that counted the scoreline.
Fribourg started the scoring in the opening game of the day when Gregory Mauldin broke away down the wing, As he was being Slashed and Hooked, he skated towards goal and was able to stop infront of the net and back hand it past Felix Bruckmann in the Mannheim nets for a 1 goal lead at 2:57 in the game unassisted   
on a delayed penalty goal.
Second period the Swiss doubled the lead with another early goal as Benjamin Pluss scored a Powerplay goal with Julien Sprunger and Andrei Bykov setting up Pluss,who was waiting at the backdoor to put it home for 2-0, timed at 21:03. 
Mannheim then got a goal back through Frank Mauer and he tipped in a low pass from Yannick Lehoux to bring them within one, with Marcus Kink getting an assist on it too timed at 29:18.  But it wasn`t long before Fribourg restored their 2 goal lead again, as Maxime Talbot scored at 34:50 with assists going to Mauldin and Desharnais.

3rd Period  Matthais Plachta ripped a one-timer from left faceoff circle and gave Benjamin Conz no chance with it as it bounced out before he even had a chance to move, That made it a one goal game again with Wagner & EL-Sayed getting assists on the goal coming at 45:29.

Fribourg got goal 4 as Dube got on the scoreboard as he scored the 2nd powerplay goal of the game for the Swiss outfit, giving his side the 2 goal cushion back and make the score 4-2 to them with 49:07 gone.
Adler Mannheim knew they were heading back to Germany, but there was still time to dish out more agony on them. As Desharnais had skated into the offenisive zone, where he found Christian Dube free and unmarked,before firing a quick wrist shot past Bruckmann to set up a Semi final place v  Team Canada tomorrow with Hornqvist getting the 2nd assist on the goal at 56:54.


The Second Quarter -Final was that of Hosts  HC Davos  v  Salavat Yulaev Ufa, The First Period was a goal bonanza especially in the first 6 min. As Davos took the lead at 2:02 into the game when, Burgler set up Marha to score the opening goal after a mix up with goalie and defenseman behind the nets.

Then straight from faceoff the Russian side tied the game 8 seconds later, with Igor Musatov scoring after a long pass from Shulakov assisted by Atyushov  timed at 2:10.

Loui Eriksson then made it 2-1 for the Hosts as he blocked a shot and dashed off up the other end slipping it through the legs of the netminder to score at 3:24. A nice slick passing move set up goal 3 for Davos as Thornton received the long pass at mid ice and did a one two with Burgler to score and extend the lead to 3-1 for HC Davos.

However there was more scoring yet to come in this goal infested period, as Santeri Alatalo scored Unassisted at 15:09, to make it 4-1 for the Switzerland side as he freely skated towards goal and back handed it in the nets just to put the game out of reach early for their opponents. Petr Sykora helped himself to a goal too, make it a commanding 5-1 lead into the 1st Intermission.

2nd period was calmer with just 4 goals going in this time. It was the the Russian side who started a mini comeback, with Alexander Svitov getting the 2nd goal assisted by Denis Parshin, that was timed at 20:58 and then Parshin himself scored with Pankov and Svitov grabbing assists on the Powerplay goal at 26:08 to make it 5-3.

But Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (in blue below)who is playing for HC Davos during the NHL Lockout, Then took the game away from their Russian opposition, as he scored 2 goals in 3 mins. The first coming at 26:58 with assists credited to Petr Taticek & Santeri Alatalo as his shot trickled in for 6-3. Then got his Second of the match to make it 7-3 with Loui Eriksson helping out at 29:28 as he scored from a tightish angle.

3rd period wise the Russians were still coming and putting up a brave fight, as at 45:30 Antii Pihlstrom scored on the Powerplay with Mirnov assisting timed at 45:30. Then the scoring ceased at 53:28 as Igor Mirnov himself to a Powerplay goal ,to make the scoreline 7-5 as they tried in search of more goals ,but couldn`t and so were eliminated from the Tournament.

Leaving HC Davos to play the Czech Republic side HC Vitkovice Steel in the 2nd Semi final tomorrow for a place in Monday Spengler Cup FINAL.




Czechs bounce back & Hosts beat Mannheim

DAY 3 at the Vallant Arena in Davos, SWITZERLAND saw every team complete 2 games now and the standings were taking a bit of shape now.

The first game of the day taking place, was that of HC Fribourg-Gotteron of Switzerland taking on the Czech Republic side of HC Vitkovice Steel in Group “TORRIANI” .

The Swiss side continued where they left off in their opener against the KHL side Salavat Yualev Ufa, when they beat them 5-1 in the opening game of the tournament. And they were out shot their opponents in the 1st Period 13 to 6.

But it was the Czech side that drew first blood, as at 8:50 ex-New York Ranger Marek Malik and Hruska set up Roman Szturc as he picked the puck up on the Blue line. Entered the Fribourg Zone and dragged the puck back towards him ,to avoid the defenseman trying to block his path and slot it in at the near post, At a tight angle past ex Vancouver Canuck goaltender Cory Schneider for 1-0.

The start of the 2nd period got better for the Czech men ,as that man once again for HC Vitkovice Rudolf Huna scored a wraparound goal, As he dispossessed Michael Ngoy behind his own net and banked it in off Schneider pads for a 2-0 lead Unassisted at 21:45. The Swiss side, as they did in every period outscore their opposition but couldn`t make it tell where it counted, that being on the scoreboard.

3rd period Fribourg pulled a goal back thanks to Julien Sprunger assisted by Bykov at 44:39. As a face off to the right side of the Vitkovice goals took place,the puck fell to Sprunger who quickly fired a wrist shot and went past Filip Sindelar in the nets for the Czech side. Despite the Swiss side pulling the goalie with 1:45 to go , A penalty was then called on Dube for HOLDING when on a 5-on-4 powerplay so the extra attacker failed leading to time counting down and gave the Czech side victory and put them top of the group on 4pts. Giving them the Extra day off and Automatic SEMI FINAL spot.


   HC  Fribourg- Gotteron              1  —  2              HC VITKOVICE STEEL 


The second game of the day was that of Hosts of the Spengler Cup HC Davos against the German side Adler Mannheim in the final match of Group CATTANI. Mannheim were cock a hoop following a great victory over Team Canada a couple days before and knew going into this a win would have topped the group and place in Semi final. Davos were the opposite, Having been Shut-Out and ripped to shreads by the Canadians the previous night 5-0.

So how would this game turn out? Well Mannheim still on the proverbial “High” struck first with Boston Bruins Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg getting a fortunate goal as his slapshot was saved by Genoni in the Davos nets, Only for it to go up in the air and roll down his shoulder & arm quickly into the nets timed at 3:18 in the 1st.

2nd Period the Germans took a 2 goal lead at 23:11 as Florian Kettemer scored after picking up a rebound from Glumac shot, He jumped on it and put it high up in the net for a two goal cushion. Davos were staring down the barrell of another big defeat at home infront of their fans.

But Davos responded just over a minute later as they pulled it back to 2-1, As a long pass to San Jose Sharks star Joe Thornton on the blue line was took into the Mannheim zone unchallenged, And played it back to Enzo Corvi who shot it from just inside the left faceoff circle and wristed one past Dennis Endras in the Eagles goal to reduced the deficit to 1 timed at 24:15.

This set off the floodgates for Davos as they scored not long again, this time on the Powerplay as Steinmann and Back set up Dino Wieser at the front post as he skated into the “Small box” set up that Mannheim players were enforcing on the powerplay & cheekily dinked it up, Banking it in off the Eagles defenseman for 2-2 scoreline at 28:45.

Goal 3 for the Hosts came quickly too as Wieser again latched onto good passing by the Davos side mid ice and as he cut across the Eagles blue line ,he had time to wrist shot another off to one far side for a 3-2 lead at 31:14, This was the first time the home side had been in a lead in the whole tournament.

3rd period took only 54 seconds in for them to stretch their own 2 goal lead, As passing from Former NHL star Petr Sykora and Petr Tacticek combined to set Loui Eriksson up, As he ghosted through the Static Adler Mannheim defence rounding the goaltender for a 4-2 lead at 40:54 & Davos were now enjoying themselves on the ice.

The goal that killed the game off came just before the halfway point of the period, As Forster and Sykora worked it around the boards near the corner, With Sykora teeing Gregory Hofmann up with a one-timer and shot it in for 5-2 at 48:28. There there was still more agony to be piled on the German side as a couple minutes later. As Sciaroni was being roughed up abit on the boards, By Mannheim defensemen, Joe Thornton dug the puck out from the corner, passing it to defenseman Santeri Alatalo who skated up on the play and had plenty of time to bide his time picking his spot and shooting it past Endras for a 6-2 lead and with that set up the Quarter finals placings.

  HC    Davos     6  —   2     Die Adler Mannheim 

Final Standings



HC Vitkovice Steel

1 0 1 0 6 6 4
Fribourg Gotteron 1 0 0 1 6 3 3
Salavat Yulaev Ufa 0 1 0 1 6 9 2



Team Canada

1 0 1 0 6 2 4
HC Davos 1 0 0 1 6 7 3
Adler Mannheim 0 1 0 1 4 7 2



(winner faces  Team Canada  in SEMI FINAL  1)

( Winner faces  HC Vitkovice Steel in SEMI- FINAL  2)
photos taken from: spengler



Tigers Tanked

A first for the Phoenix!  Double figures are reached and it is Tony hand himself who buries that 10th goal!

You may think that the curse fo the podcast has struck again when you listen to this week’s show.

Anyway, listen to the blow-by-blow and the general nonsense talked by the podcast team 

right here.

SHOCK victories in sport! PART 1

Been thinking of doing this for a while and thought WHAT THE HELL.. Here are some SPORTING MOMENTS that i think are abit or were SHOCKING at the time and not in any order!


May 14th 1988, Will go down as arguably the biggest ever upset in domestic English football history. As Wimbledon Football Club beat the all conquering almighty Liverpool FC.

It was the newly-crowned League Champions in Liverpool taking on the South West London side Wimbledon. And the only 3 things to do with Wimbledon that people could tell you about when asked about the place

Was, it had a very famous Greyhound track, Was home to The Wombles (wiki it..or ask parents) or even more famous than them 2 put together, it had World famous Tennis tournament Wimbledon at SW19. Things have changed nowadays, But at the time not many could tell you of many Wimbledon players in their squad compared of course to the Liverpool side. As you had the likes of Grobberlaar, Hansen, Houghton, Barnes, Beardsley and Aldridge.

Every pundit and fan thought this was a fore gone conclusion, But as always in`s a funny old game!
The game it`s self was mainly Liverpool knocking at the door of the “Dons” the whole way through. But the League Champions just couldn`t find a way past the defence or Dave Beasant in goals. Liverpool then put the ball in the net, only for the referee to rule it out, as he`d blown already for a free kick for the Reds bizzarely enough!

But as the half time break was approaching Wimbledon had a corner whipped in and Lawrie Sanchez glanced a header to the far post and to the shock of everyone even themselves maybe, Wimbledon was beating the Mighty Liverpool at Wembley!

2nd half was agonising for the Wimbledon supporters and made worst when a challenge by Goodyear on Aldridge resulted in a Penalty for Liverpool. So John Aldridge stepped up himself to take the penalty, Only for Dave Beasant to guess right and push it round the post as Aldridge sank to his knees in dispair and became the 1st player to Miss a Penalty at Wembley in a Cup Final. Liverpool kept the pressure on attacking and pushing for the goal to equalise but it was too late, The ref blew and Wimbledon were crowned FA CUP champions of 1988!

Froch late, late show in 1st title defense

Carl Froch faced off against Jermain Taylor, The Cobra was coming into this fight as Champion having beaten Jean Pascal for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title in his last fight in one bruising encounter. So was making his 1st title defense over in the states in the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, USA.  Taylors pre-fight mouthing off about “Who`s Carl Froch?” during every press conference he gave, as he said himself and boxing fans didn`t know who he was.

So as the fighters got it on, it was Taylor who was the aggressor and put Froch down in the 1st Round. And credit to Froch he keep coming back and though he was behind on points the whole fight he was giving his best.

Taylor it seemed look odds on to take the title off the Cobra and make sure the belt stayed in the US. And was was getting Cocky as well as it went on.

But Froch wasn`t a champion for no reason, So as the fighters entered the final round, Taylor seemingly was already planning his next fight and ready to celebrate. Froch dug deep and started a comeback, catching Taylor alot and now Taylor seemed to being running out of gas, So was trying to survive the last round and avoid Froch hitting him.

But the Cobra had him staggering now and Froch was looking for the punch to put him down, He caught him and the ref seemed very leninent on his 10 count. But Froch had him in Massive trouble and the fight was Stopped by the ref eventually as Froch barrage of punches was connecting and he could defend himself and shocked the whole crowd that was there and people watching the fight too! Froch late COMEBACK.


2002 Saw the New England Patriots take on the St. Louis Rams in front of 72,922 people at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans at SUPERBOWL XXXVI (36). As the unfancied New England outift was tipped to be blown out of the water by the Rams christened “The Greatest Show on Turf”.

The Patriots would go into this Game with a Rookie Quarterback in the name of Tom Brady who had took over the duties of quarterback, As 1st choice QB Drew Bledsoe has sheared a blood vessel in his neck against the NY Jets in Week 2.

Strange fact about the the Patriots was this was their 3rd visit to a Superbowl and on each time they reached the Superbowl it has always been in New Orleans.

New England came out aggressive and wasn`t giving the major favourites in St Louis a sniff, The Pats took a 7-3 lead mid way through the 2nd Quarter with touchdowns by Isaac Bruce and David Patten giving New England a shock half time lead of 14-3.
The 3rd quarter Patriots kicker Adam Vinateri  kicked a Field goal to increase the lead to 17-3.

With the Rams in trouble and 4th & Goal, Rams QB Kurt Warner fumbled the ball which led to Tebucky Jones running a 97yd Touchdown making it 23-3 or so he thought. As the Referee gave a Penalty for Holding and so St Louis was given another chance from the 1yd line, to which Warner sneaked over the line to get his side back in the ball game,making it now 17-10.

The Rams had come to live in the 2nd half and responded well tying the game at 17-17 with 1:30 left in Regulation, After Warner threw 3 successful passes &  the 3rd thrown resulted in Proehl getting the Touchdown and Extra point. TV analysts were saying the best thing New England could do is run the clock down and play for overtime as they had used all their Timeouts. But Brady thrown 3 complete passes moving his side to the Pats 41yd line.

He then after a incomplete pass,thrown a 23-yd pass & 6-yd pass to get his side up to the Rams 30-yd line. The Rookie quarterback spiked the ball with just 0:07 left on the board,setting up a 48-yard field goal attempt for Vinateri to win the Superbowl. The ball was snapped back and the kicked went up and it was GOOD! Leading to the 1st time in Superbowl history it came down to the last play of the game. As the Patriots celebrated and rookie QuarterBack Tom Brady was the MVP of the game.  SUPERBOWL 36!

Part 2 soon

DAY 2 : Yulaev complete Comeback & Canada thrash hosts

Salavat Bounce back & Canada gain revenge!!! 

DAY 2 Spengler Cup action at the Vallant Arena in Davos,Switzerland.

Produced a barnburner of a game between Salavat Yulaev UFA and the the Czech Republic side of HC Vitkovice Steel.
Salavat Yulaev UFA came into day 2, still smarting from their 5-1 drubbing of the hands of Swiss side, HC Fribourg-Gotteron the day before. And were keen and hoping to make a amends for it the performance and defeat.

Salavat hoping to avoid a second successive loss went 1-0 down after some terrible defensive errors, as a Svacina shot was saved. But followed up on the rebound that came straight out to him and the puck was lost by netminder & defensemen,only for Huna to poach on the loose puck and put Vitkovice Steel ahead in the game at 6:17.
The Czechs doubled their lead bang on 10:00min as Huna again scored to extend the scoreline to 2-0, with assists going to Kucsera and Roman for the Steel goal. The Russians did pull one back at 14:40 as Zinovyev scored to bring it within 1 with Khystov and Filatov getting credited on the goal.

The start of the 2nd , saw Vitkovice regain the 2 goal margain back, as the line consisting of Roman, Svacina and Huna was working wonders as they combined again. With a Svacina diagonal pass behind the net finding Roman who turned and quickly fired home for a 3-1 lead at 21:12.

But again came the Russians as Mirnov capitalised on the netminders failure to grab the puck, as the goaltender was down on the ice from making the initial save. Mirnov got the puck and slipped it under him to made it 3-2 at 23:56.

But in this game it seemed to follow a pattern of, “you score and the opposition will score next”. Which was what happened as Svacina scored to make it 4-2 , as Szturc was strong enough to keep hold of the puck after some physical play against him, he was still able to get a shot off and Svacina came in to poke it home and give them the 2 goal cushion back again, goal was timed at 26:43.

Salavat then made it once again a one goal game, as Zinovyev grabbed his 2nd of the game as great work by Khystov who was being pushed off the puck shown his upper body strength as he held them off and made space for himself to shoot, from just outside the right hand faceoff circle. His effort was save but Zinovyev kept the puck moving as he kicked it with is right skate to his left side and slotted it home for 4-3 at 34:09.

The game was all tied up 36 seconds into the 3rd period, as Filatov pulled off a great move with some fancy stick handling to slip the puck through the Goalies 5-hole for a 4-4 game.
No more scoring occured in the rest of the period so went to Overtime, The Russian side did well to come back and it was them who completed remarkable recovery in overtime too.
As a misplaced pass by one of the Vitkovice players saw Kaigorodov gain control of it in his own zone, skated up on the wing in 3 on 1 breakaway, as he passed back to Philstrom who join in the play, his pass across was met back post for Koltsov to score the overtime winner for the KHL team and give them the extra point.


        SALAVAT YULAEV UFA                5 –  4        HC VITKOVICE STEEL  (AFTER OVERTIME)


The Evening game saw the Hosts HC Davos  take on Team Canada with Canada having 2 reasons to get even in this match. One they had lost the night before to Adler Mannheim 2-1 in overtime so they didn`t want to make it a 2 straight losses. And secondly,they would try to erase the memory of lasts years Spengler cup game v HC Davos as the Canadians were humliated and embarrassed by the hosts in this game last year running out 8-1 victors on that occasion and was hoping to put that right. Also Team Canada gave Devan Dubnyk the starting goaltender spot ahead of 1st choice netminder Bernier.

And Canadians started the game off well and got the first goal. As John Tavares the New York Islanders forward scored on the powerplay as Sam Gagner and Jason Spezza combined leaving it for Tavares to fire a slapshot top corner pass Berra in the Davos goals.

Team Canada then doubled the advantage less than a minute later when Seguin and finally Williams put Ryan Smyth through on the wing and despite the efforts of the Davos D-man trying to block it, Smyth rifled one far corner for a 2-0 lead at 10:01.

2nd period was still all Canada, So a 3rd goal was always likely on the cards. And so it wasn`t a surprise when Kinrade skated up the wing ,patiently passed across for Byron Ritchie to skate in, that he slotted itpast Berra in nets for a comfy 3-0 lead at 25:02 in the game. Team Canada then killed the game off as Travis Roche lay one off for Matt Duchane to try but his effort was saved with Ritchie was on the doorstep to sweep up and make it 4-0 at 32:23.

The 8-1 ghost in Team Canada minds had well and truly been exorcised now, as Canada themselves were now “haunting” the hosts HC Davos. As they had no reply for the attacking power Team Canada had, so with that Jason Williams put the exclaimation mark on this victory as another Duchane shot was failed to be dealt with and Williams was there to put the puck in the net as he drove to the net and got his rewards.


      HC . DAVOS                                                       0  –  5                              TEAM CANADA

Here is the standings after DAY 2:


HC Vitkovice Steel 1 0 1 0 6 6 4
Fribourg Gotteron 1 0 0 1 6 3 3
Salavat Yulaev UFA 0 1 0 1 6 9 2


Team Canada 1 0 1 0 6 2 4
Adler Mannheim 0 1 0 0 2 1 2
HC Davos 0 0 0 1 0 5 0

Day 1,SPENGLER CUP: Friboug thrash Yulaev & Eagles soar over Canada

DAY 1:  SWISS ROLL over Yulaev     &    Mannheim upsets Canadians

Well were nearly at the halfway point in the 86th Annual Spengler Cup in Davos Switzerland. With a couple of Incredible moments saw at the Vallant Arena in Davos. It`s been packed to the rafters with fans stretching all over the hockey world to watch the Oldest ice hockey invitational tournament in the world.

 We started proceeds with the opening game of the 2012 Spengler Cup with Swiss side HC Fribourg-Gotteron  facing the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) side Salavat Yulaev UFA.  This is HC Fribourg-Gotteron 75th anniversary this season and got off to a stunning start when they beat the KHL side 5-1.

The 1st period was a evenly contested between the 2 sides with not alot to separate them. It was however the KHL side that opened the scoring from a powerplay, as Koltsov passed it to Igor Mirnov who was waiting by the side of the net in wait. The initial pass hit his skate and he had enough time to correct himself with half a net to aim at & calmly shot it in for a Powerplay goal at 15:06 for a 1-0 lead which Salavat took into the break.

 2nd period was mostly in the the Russians zone and the pushing for equaliser came as Spunger and Bykov cycled the puck along the boards before Bykov passed toward goals and Benjamin Pluss was on hand to direct it in putting it through his legs for a 1-1 scoreline.

Fribourg then took the lead over a minute later when shorthanded as a dreadful error by the Yulaev defenseman from a rebound was pinched off him in front of goals and Gregory Maudlin swooped in to backhand it past Tarkki in nets for a 2-1 lead. Friboug outshot their opponents 14-4 in the 2nd.

3rd period wise the Swiss side just scored 3 unanswered goals as they clinicially finished Yulaev off. With goals from Bykov for the 3rd, a magnificent effort and goal of the tournament by Julien Sprunger as he stick handled his way and pulled a great move to get his goal to make it 4-1 and the final goal was powerplay goal by Mike Knoepfli as his 1st effort was blocked by the defensemen and as it ricocheted back he fired home for 5-1 and gave them a great start to the tournment.





The evening game was the Shock of the tournament, as Team Canada with lots of NHL players at their disposal this year due to the current ongoing Lockout, Played the current DEL league leaders in Die Adler Mannheim.

To be fair the Eagles from Mannheim did possess a couple of current or ex-NHL players in their side too. Like Marcel Goc (Florida Panthers), Dennis Seidenberg (Boston Bruins) and Jason Pominville( Buffalo Sabres).

Canada are the favorites for this tournament considering that some of these young players have been in the NHL for a few seasons now along side rookies who are making their way in the careers but play at argubly a high level than the european side in this tournament. So on paper you`d imagine Canada wouldn`t have trouble.

But as predicted the Mannheim goaltender ,was facing more of the rubber than that of his Canadian counterpart. However though, it was the German side that took the lead at 15:54 with a powerplay goal
scored by Mitchell as his tipped in shot near the nets gave them a 1-0 lead with assists going to Wagner and Macdonald.

it was another tight game with the Germans holding onto their 1-0 lead against Team Canada, sadly for them it lasted till 50:30 in the 3rd period as Tyler Seguin tied the game on the powerplay with assists going to Patrice Bergeron and Ritchie. As bergeron pass found Seguin who wrist shot beat the sprawling save of Endras between the pipes.

So the game went to the 1st Overtime period of this tournament and it resulted in Mannheim picking up the win after Macdonald cut out a Canadian pass saw Pominville dashing up center ice gave a great long pass to him, putting him 1 on 1 with Bernier and he shot it past him for a 2-1 overtime winner to send the Eagles fans flying high with an upset victory.




photos taken from:

Referee shirts in the Spengler Cup!

Here is the campest set of officials you`ll see donning the worst referee jerseys for ice hockey. As seeing  they have to wear a shirt with a Cow face on it,you imagine there getting LEATHERed by the players for wearing them, As it`s part of a sponsorship deal with Swiss Milk.

Get the feeling they lack Mootivation for the job wearing these as the picture shows! But bet they hate BULLy offs! Spengler cup latest will appear tomorrow..

Pakistan beats India in THRILLER!


I N D I A          V         P A K I S T A N

at Bangalore Cricket ground

The 2 Power houses of cricket in Asia & world cricket in general, India and Pakistan faced off for the first time in any type of series against each other in 5 years. A lot has happened between the 2 feuding Countries since the last time they pitted against each other in a Series way back in 2007-08,  With a lot of the goings on happening off the pitch ,Between the 2 Countries and be described as very volatile at best with them. As the Mumbai Attacks being one of the biggest reasons for the strain in relations between the two in recent years, And why neither has approached the other to try and quell the troubles or calm it down. By suggesting what seems to re-unite the two Countries together. That being cricket as not only do people who live within the respective countries love the battles between the sides on the pitch. But also does tend to bring harmony between the governments too as the world cup semi final shown in India a couple of years back.

But it could be argued it is bigger and more far more looked upon as the most biggest series in International cricket than “the Ashes”. As the Ashes is a very intense series with England and there commonwealth neighbours Australia so to speak. As heated and bad tempered as those clashes can get, They seem like a little “lovers tiff” compared to the fiery rivalry that happens when you put India v Pakistan in anything, whether it be cricket, hockey or tiddlywinks!

pic: bbc sports

But getting back to the the actual game, it was a massive crowd as always in India, And adding to the fact they were playing their fierce Arch-rivals from over the border, It was always going to make for a interesting atmosphere in Bangalore.
And what they served up was a terrific thrilling game between the 2 sides!

Pakistan had won the toss and chose field first, Giving a 1st T20 start to Mohammad Irfan. India were coming into the game on the back of a drawn Twenty20 series with England and were hoping that they could put that & test series they lost at home to England to back of their minds, As they started this short 2 game day/night series.

India were going along very nicely in their Innings as Rahane and Gambhir were scoring freely with Pakistan failing to make any headway or get anything out of the pitch. It looked like it was going to be a big total going to be set, As Rahane was hitting 4`s for fun and giving the home side a great start. But Pakistan made the breakthrough as a shot by Rahane found Akmal on the Boundary as he took well after a delivery from Shahid Afridi and he was sent packing for 42 as India was on 77 for 1.

The Tourists then got the wicket of Gambhir next as he hooked one to the onside and as he was coming back for the 2nd run, Tanvir threw one to the Wicketkeeper and Gambhir was Run-out for 43 and that started the collapse of the Indian innings. Yuvraj Singh joined Kohli at the crease and with his first ball faced slogged it high over the fielders and into the stands for a massive 6 much to the delight of the home fans in the packed crowd.

Kohli was having a good battle with Irfan ,But he soon found himself on his way too as he swung his bat & nicked it behind in the gloves of Kamal Akmal as he took the catch to put India 103 for 3. As Kohli went  for just 9 runs and put the home side in trouble. Mohammad Irfan wasn`t having a great debut with the ball , As in 1 over he bowled 3 wides and gift India easy runs in the process. He looked to be trying to hard it seemed on debut, So with that they brought on spinner Saeed Ajmal and it paid dividends as he got Dhoni out for 1 with a straight arm ball that just clip the stumps, with the bail eventually falling off in the end, And  India were 4 down for 108.

pic: bbc sports

Umar Gul then came into the attack and got the wicket of Yuvraj Singh, As his attempted big hit came off the toe of the bat and into the hands of Umar Akmal again by the rope. Pakistan were starting to think that they had a real chance of winning, As India were giving their wickets away cheaply by now. Singh departed for 10 and left India in all kinds of problems as their top order batsmen weren`t performing.
Ajmal beautifully bowled Raina out for 10 with a low turning delivery hitting the stumps, And they were in real danger now of posting a poor to modest total and the home fans were silenced even more as their countrymen were being out played and out thought by the tourists.

Pakistan could sense blood and was playing some great cricket, India were struggling to get back in the game as Jadeja and Rohit Sharma were running hard for 2 runs. Went Shoaib Malik picked up the ball and launched it at the stumps and run out Sharma by miles with a great direct hit as he went for 2.
Jadeja used up one of his lifes as well , As he was nearly Run out. But when reviewed by the 3rd Umpire, The ball hit the wickets but didn`t dislodge the bail till after he was in.

However it prolonged the inevitable, As Jadeja went next ball as an outside edge was taken by Akmal behind and so left India reeling on 124 for 8 with the home crowd quiet. Sharma then came into bat for home side, And he isn`t someone you look to help get the scoreboard ticking, as it showed with a Umar Gul “Yorker”. Hitting middle stump and so Gul was on a Hat Trick now, India had lost their last 4 Wickets for just 2 runs.

Ohja and Dinda put on a mini resistant batting the remaining overs out as they Finished on 133 after 20 Overs. And Pakistan could consider it a job well done indeed, thanks mainly to the bowling of Saeed Ajmal & Umar Gul! taking 2 -25 and 3 for 21 respectively.

So Pakistan just had to chase a low 134 runs to win on Indian soil. So it seemed easy after the Indian failed to fire on all cylinders. But things didn`t go to plan for the Pakistan team, as they lost Jamshed for 2 as Ojha clean bowled him, knocking the off stump out of the ground.
Shehzad was soon too follow as he edge an Ohja delivery to MS. Dhoni for 5, And when Umar Akmal was out for a duck too,Pakistan was now 12 for 3 wickets. And were now having niggling thoughts in the back of their minds, Had they themselves lost the advantage.

However Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik steadied the ship as both batsmen shown India who was boss and completely swung the game back in their favour. Both men produced some big hitting for the Green shirts, With Hafeez getting a couple of 6`s and six 4`s in his innings and Shoaib Malik got three 6`s himself &helped himself to to three 4`s in his respective innings too.

Hafeez brought up his half century as he came down the pitch and struck one of his sixes to help his side regain control of the match as Pakistan were going along at 99-3 at that point.
Pakistan were cruising along at 118 for just the lost 3 wickets, After the 2 batsmen helped repair the damage done after the first 3 overs.
But as always good things must come to an end & with the target of 16 runs needed from 23 balls. Hafeez tried to smash one off the bowling of Sharma ,but instead of hitting it over the rope for 6, it hung in the air down to Third Man where Ojha was on hand, to take the catch in front of the Tourists dugout and got rid of the Pakistani captain as he went for a fantastic captains knock of 61.

Pakistan now had to get 16 runs of the final 17 balls to win and go 1 up. But as we said they ain`t the friendliest of neighbours and a little flashpoint occured ,When Sharma bowled a good delivery to Akmal, but Akmal didn`t take kindly to something Sharma must have said on his follow through from the delivery and so both men squared up one another with Kamar Akmal looking up up and up at his opponent.  As Sharma who towered above him, Exchanged words and fair to say it wasn`t about exchanging Christmas cards thats for sure!

Though in a way the tactic worked as Sharma had got under his opponent skin as after the umpires and Indian players led Sharma away, it had rattled Akmal clearly. And the match now was getting a bit spicy as we had these 2 having their own battle and also the Contest was nearing the end with Pakistan looking favourites at one point to now slowly losing their way and the Momentum swinging one way and then another, which was making for a great contest between the 2 foes.

pic: bbc sports

There was a still enought time for a little twist to come, as India thought they had Malik out for 47, setting off scenes of jubilation one and off the pitch, as the home fans in the stadium were celebrating the wicket only for the 3rd Umpire to be called upon. And on further inspection, the 3rd umpire gave feedback to the umpires in the middle that he was safe, Though the batsman skied it and was caught. The replay shown both his feet were off the floor as he stretched to hit the ball, so the delay and consultation his findings was a NO-BALL, much to the shock of the players and Indian fans alike.

The game was getting stranger,Malik who you could arguably say was lucky to still be there got his 50 and Pakistan as we approached the final looked too be in charge again. Only for Akmal to throw the bat and the ball flying off straight to the fine third man, where surprise surprise Sharma was. The emotion he shown as he took the catch,was evident as he you could tell he clearly enjoyed that wicket more than than anyone else on the field.

And so as headed into the exciting last over, the Tourist needing only 11 Runs off the final 6 balls, Jadeja was the Indian bowler chosen to bowl the final allotted overs. If you had to pick 2 experienced batsmen to try and give you shot at chasing down this target, then Shahid Afridi & Shoaib Malik would be those 2 men.

1st ball bowled was given as Leg byes adding one to the score,  2nd ball delivered Afridi got off the mark pushing it away to the offside as run hard for 2 runs and in trying to get the second run, was nearly run out in the process, getting his bat back just as the throw to the striking end was accurate to the wicketkeeper.

3rd ball of the over was delayed as Jadeja and Dhoni discussed on field placing as the match was getting more tense with players swapping ideas and the crowd praying & chewing their fingernail. As this was going to be a very nerve jangling climax. Eventually it was bowled with Afridi attempting to smash it out the ground but all he could do was hit his pads and run for the Single.

So halfway through the final Over, They needed 6 runs off the final 3 balls to win the match. And Shoaib Malik didn`t want to bring it down to the last ball so as Jadeja bowled to him ,he smashed it right back over Jadeja head just over the ropes for a big 6 and giving the Green shirts victory on Indian soil. As they won by 5 wickets and go 1-0 in the 2 match series.

With the next epic encounter set for Friday in Ahmedbad in another day/night match.

86th Annual SPENGLER CUP


Well it`s that time again ,The 86th Annual Spengler Cup actions returns to Davos in Switzerland, for what is deemed the oldest invitational tournament in world ice hockey. It is traditionally played between the days of December 25th- January 1st. It was originally devised by Dr. Carl Spengler as a means to promote teams from German-speaking Europe, who might have suffered ostracism in the aftermath of World War I. Eventually, the tournament grew well beyond expectations. Many of Europe’s most prestigious clubs and national programs have appeared, including Soviet, Swedish and Czechoslovak powerhouses. 

In 1923 the 1st Spengler Cup was won by a British team in the shape of the Oxford University Ice Hockey Club,They were made up of Canadian Students. They beat Berliner Schlittschuhclub ( Berlin SC) to win the 1st ever Spengler Cup and would win it 3 more times in 1925,1931 and shared it in 1932 with LTC Prague after playing out a 0-0 tie after overtime. In it`s competition 86 year history, the Spengler Cup has only saw 4 years over the whole time it wasn`t in action which was (1939, 1940 ,1949 and 1956)

All the games are played in the Vaillant Arena in Davos, Switzerland.  The Arena holds 7,080
and 3,280 is seated. Last years tournament in 2011, saw the hosts HC DAVOS win the Spengler Cup last year beating the Latvian side Dinamo Riga 3-2 in an excitin

The Tournament is played with 6 teams, and 2 groups of 3 the groups are named after 2 famous Swiss sportsmen named: “TORRIANI”  After Richard “BIBI” Torriani who was a Swiss ice hockey player who won 2 Bronze medals with the Swiss National team, On both occasions in St Mortiz in ice hockey in 1928, 1948 . And he also won a Silver medal in the Luge back in 1957 in Davos.  

The second group is named “CATTINI” After Hans Cattini who also won a Olympic Bronze alongside Torriani in 1948 at Ice Hockey at St Mortiz too.
This year the teams participating are from:

 from Switzerland   
From  Republic of Bashkortostan  


From Canada


   from GERMANY