The double header between the Phoenix & Bees produced a split series with the the visiting sides taking the spoils in both games. Saturday night at the Altrincham Ice dome saw a slightly bad tempered game between the 2, As Bracknell ran out winner,But it didn`t seem that way at the start..

The start of the game was dominated by the home side, As Phoenix was putting the Bees under alot of pressure early on in the game. Bari McKenzine and Big Robert Schnabel had efforts but neither were totally threatening to be honest for Carl Ambler in the Bees goal.

Phoenix then had their closest chance to break the deadlock as Tom Duggan had a shot that struck the underside of the bar and bounced down & out about a foot from the goal line, A bit nearer and all that would be needed would be a Russian linesman!

First penalty of the game came when Rob Schnabel was called for TRIPPING at 8:53. The first minute of the Bees powerplay was superbly killed off by Joachim Flaten, As the Norweigen held the puck up against the board or managed to knock the puck away with his stick off the Bees forwards. Phoenix successfully killed the penalty off as they returned to full strength.

Tom Duggan again came close as his effort from near the Bees left hand faceoff circle hit the outside of the post and the ping reverberated around the rink. Bracknell were then on the Penalty kill as Galazzi was called for HOLDING at 12-59. The Powerplay was a decent one for one the Phoenix as it wasn`t methodical or slow like normal & passing was quicker too. But couldn`t bring a goal and so the game remained goal less.

Phoenix were over all the Bees but the shooting was off target a lot and wasn`t troubling the Bracknell goals, Yet the Bees were doing a good job at frustrating the Phoenix. 
Bracknell were back on the Penalty kill when Stycek got penalised for KNEEING at 17:08 so Manchester were back on the Powerplay again. The powerplay this time wasn`t as fluid or performing as it was before.

Bracknell nearly got caught out badly when a pass up ice towards James Archer was missed on the blue line, When a Bees defenseman slipped letting Archer in on a 2 on 1, But when he beared down on goal what seemed to be an easier decision to shoot instead he waited for a team mate and his pass was underhit and straight onto the stick of the covering Bracknell player.

We then had the 2 benches clear with 1:01 left in the 1st period, this was caused by the discovery of a big hole that was found near the centre circle and so both side headed off to the changing rooms as they sorted the problem out, as it was down to the concrete.

The players came back out to play out the remaining minute and straight into the 2nd period.

2nd period started off with Rounding from Bracknell going around the nets and trying to bank his shot off the legs of El Hage who was in net for the injured Steve Fone. Unfortunately for the young goalie moments later a shot came in at him to which he made a great save, But Martin Masa put home the rebound for a 1-0 lead for the traveling Bees at 22-56.

Foord was lucky not to be given a penalty as he angrily remonstrated at the linesman Sam Campbell when the official gave an Offside against Bracknell, he shouted continually at the direction of the official for at least 10 seconds as he gave him an right earful.
Phoenix then had a brief attack as Michal Psurny danced his way in the Bracknell zone cut cross the front of goal and Ambler made a good save off him denying the Czech Hitman as Phoenix were struggling to create any chances due to the defensive work of the Bees. 

Bracknell themselves had a great chance to make it 2-0, When the visitors broke on a 3 on 1 but the extra men advantage wasn`t used as Foord had a pop and was gloved by El-Hage. Manchester were very sluggish & sloppy & a completely different side than the one that was in the 1st.

Bees capitalized on a sloppy defensive error by James Neil as with no danger about and on his own he passed on up centre ice , Right to Galazzi who skated over the Phoenix zone waited & waited for Masa to get up with him. The whole play was like slow motion, He waited for Masa to reach him and the Phoenix D backed off leaving Masa free to fire a quick diagonal pass to Lukas Smital who was at the back door and he easily dispatched it for a 2-0 lead to finish off a beautiful crafted goal. That goal at 26-33.

The Bees were out working the Phoenix all over the place, Whether it defense or offense the Bees were frustrating the hell out of the Phoenix outfit, As they couldn`t get anything going at all.
Bees once again headed to the penalty box as Smital went at 29-39 for CROSS CHECKS.

The Phoenix power play reverted to their normal self as they hardly got into the Bracknell half either, When they did reach their zone it was back to passing practice and crowd begging for a shot at least but none was forthcoming, And so the Bees safely returned to full strength.

Ref Ashton then had his arm raised as a delayed penalty was called on Bracknell and as the puck went around the boards Archer put a Massive hit on a Bees player cleanly, But the result was Archer then getting called himself for CHARGING which was ridiculous. Stycyek was the original penalty and he went for ROUGHING both timed at 33-42.

Flaten had a late chance but his effort went wide of the goals & Lukas Smital was called for INTERFERENCE at 38-40. A frustrating period for the home side and big one needed if they were to overhaul the 0-2 deficit.

END OF 2ND:  PHOENIX    0   –   2   BEES

The 3rd started off with Phoenix trying to go on the offensive, They nearly scored early on from a great saucer pass across goal ,But Ambler made a terrific reaction save to deny Phoenix.
Foord had another chance to score as he tried to bat the puck out of the air and into the goals, but El-Hage made a save to stop him from extending the lead.

McKinney then drove to the net & tried to spin while trying to poke the puck, However Ashton blew his whistle to stop play when the puck was loose still after the ref lost sight. Duggan then skated by the boards round the net finding a good pass to Flaten in the slot, his Effort was gloved by Ambler.
Pozivil had a chance too as he got a pass from Tony Hand and his effort went inches past the post.

Archer went close, but the shots they had were missing the target and not causing the Bees any problems. Bracknell then picked up another penalty as Ben Johnson went for HOOKING at 45-47.
It was one of the most attrocious Powerplay of the night as the Bees had the puck more and passes were astray when trying to build it up.

Then it all started it to kick off.. First Andy McKinney tried to put a hip check on Sam Oakfield by the boards missed, But as McKinney was down and getting up Oakfield 2 handed slashed McKinney on the skate. To which McKinney went after Oakfield and so they both dropped the gloves, McKinney got better punches in as Oakfield was struggling to get free to throw any.

Penalties were dished out between the 2 players, Oakfield was given 2+2 ROUGHING & 2 for SLASHING. McKinney was given 2+2 for ROUGHING & 10 min INSTIGATE pen and He was ejected.

Not long after it was the turn of Galazzi and Pozivil to go toe to toe, As Galazzi pinned Pozivil up against the boards, He tried to pull his helmet off his head, to which he didn`t appreciate none of. Both threw punches, then gloves were dropped it was a bit messy with Pozivil trying to balance and falling .Then Galazzi landed on top of Pozivil while he was facing down, He threw 4 punches to the the side of his head as the linesman had hold of Pozivil.

Pozivil tried to get to him as he was furious with the cheap shots while defenseless, Pozivil then tried to called out the Bracknell bench. A couple of phoenix players weren`t happy with Galazzi late punches, both recieved 2+2 for ROUGHING at 50-27.

Smital went for CROSS CHECKS as he just lay on Bari McKenzie behind the nets while Phoenix tried to launch an attack, Smital pen timed at 52-52. Powerplay for Phoenix in stats showed their big problem 7  powerplays and 0 goals!

Schnabel was sent to the box for SLASHING at 55-58 and as Schnabel headed to the box Duggan sent the puck up the ice slowly on goals and was given a 10 minute MISCONDUCT penalty. He couldn`t believe the call as he went to the bench only to be led away as he laughed at the decision in disbelief. Phoenix tried to put pressure on Bracknell but they did a great job Shutting out the Phoenix for only the 2nd time this season. Bracknell thoroughly deserved the victory as they were the better side by a distance in the end.


Man of the Match

PHOENIX:   Flaten     BEES: Ambler

Bracknell Bees  1  –   3   Manchester Phoenix
The next night down in Berkshire at “The Hive” Phoenix beat the Bees 3-1 with goals from Joachim Flaten, Tony Hand  & James Archer to gain revenge.





Manchester Phoenix lost ground on the top 2 as a meager 1 point from 4 over weekend was all to show from their efforts. Saturday they had a tough road trip down in Hampshire against the Basingstoke Bison going down 3-1 after they took the lead. But eventually the home side scored and in the end took the spoils in the big clash on the Saturday evening scoring another 2 times.

Sunday evening saw the 2nd visit to the ice dome for the Peterborough Phantoms side. Games against the East Anglian side have resulted in some very close games this season & this proved to be another one to add the list. The last 3 games have been close tight affairs with Phoenix winning it in a shoot out down in Bretton last time out.

The Home side were hoping to get over the disappointment of Saturday loss away at Bison , Phoenix started with Young goaltender Jorge El-Hage as Steve Fone had injured himself in the game the night before so the young goalie started.

The 4 officials system was used once again as Dan Boardman & James Ashton were referees, While Leigh Heatherington & Kris Wells were the Lino`s. Referee James Ashton dropped the puck to start the game, And the game was very sloppy with mistakes by both sides possibly due to the ice as the puck wasn`t sticking abit at times, which made it a bit difficult for both sides. 
Michal Psurny had the first real opening chance of the game, As he skated by the boards round the back of the Phantoms defence only to be denied by Damien King in the Peterboro goals. The Phantoms took the shock lead, As Cownie passed towards the front of goals from the side of the net and Jamie Line effort went slowly past the despairing dive of El-Hage in the Phoenix nets at 4:43

Phoenix were soon on level terms as Flaten skated towards on goals & his shot was saved by King and a on coming defenseman, unluckily for the visitors the puck dropped in the crease and Psurny skated in to tap home into a empty net for 1-1 at 6:38 on a DELAYED PENALTY GOAL.  Luke Ferrara was given a TRIPPING call as well on the goal as well, But the first penalty agaisnt Ondrej Lauko pen was not invoked due the goal scored.

Tom Norton was then sent to the Penalty box at 12.08 for HOLDING,  Which Phoenix took the lead through thanks to Richard Bentham scoring against his old team as he scored on the Powerplay from a breakaway with Tom Duggan and James Neil getting assists. Duggan started it off in centre ice passing to Neil, His pass found Bentham in the slot open and free all by himself & his shot went in despite King getting a glove to it but couldn`t stop the puck from going in, That was at 14:01.

A delayed penalty was called on the Phantoms by Ref Ashton, Meanwhile we had Duggan and Norton battling in front of the Phantoms crease while play was going on in the corner & along the boards, as Tom Norton checked Tom Duggan in the back & slashed him to which Duggan then tripped Norton up in a comedic way. Norton got up jabbed him, and So as the whistle went they both pushed & shoved one another leading to tempers getting frayed, Before the gloves were dropped and they had a scrap.
Duggan for me won the fight as he threw more punches, Some of them were cracking punches that connected on Norton. Norton didn`t do much as he just couldn`t get his arms free to throw any punches at all as Duggan caught his opponent with a couple of beautiful uppercuts and hooks.

Both players went to the box picking up a ROUGHING & SLASHING penalty each, timed at 18:36.

That was the highlights of the 1st period.

end of 1st PHOENIX 2 – 1 PHANTOMS

Start of the 2nd period nearly saw Phoenix score quickly after Joachim Flaten “ghosted” in on goal, He just couldn`t redirect his shot on target as the Phantoms cleared their lines. James Archer was then called for ROUGHING at 23:14, After a cross check on Archer against the Phoenix bench by a Peterboro player off play wasn`t saw, Though the ref caught Archer retaliating and so the forward had to sit for for 2 in the box.

The powerplay for the away side didn`t last long as Jeff Glowa was deemed to have upended a Manchester player,Which mean`t he made a trip to the box for TRIPPING at 23:21
Ben Wood was then given 2 mins by Ashton for SLASHING for a nothing call, As the Manchester man gave a normal tap on the pads while trying to dipossess the Peterboro player as he was attacking, But Ashton deemed it a Slash, much to Wood frustration that call coming at 25:47.

The Powerplay for the Phantoms wasn`t that great really, But it did create one chance when Lauko learing at the back post tried to tip it on goals but went up in the netting and out of play. Luke Ferrara then hobbled off walking round the ice instead of skating to the far side to the changing rooms.
Then we had a little funny incident when a shot came in by the Phantoms, Jeff Glowa skated for any rebound that could happen, Whacked El-Hage stick a bit firmly & was met quickly by BIG Rob Schnabel who gave him a shove to which Glowa leapt at the glass like players do when they score a goal. And so the Phantoms player very quickly skated back to his bench with the Phoenix drummers shouting “CHICKEN” to which Glowa waved at the the drummers and got a good humoured applause from the crowd as went to the bench with a smile.

But Manchester fans weren`t smiling soon after as James Ferrara and Tom Carlon set up Ex Phoenix player Joe Graham who blaster took a little deflection beating El-Hage as the goalie had no chance seeing it throught the crowd, As it flew over his shoulder for a tied game at 2-2 at 31-14.

Phoenix were put on the Powerplay not long after ,As defenseman Will Weldon was caught for TRIPPING at 32-26. Phoenix got a bit of a powerplay working as the Imports Ondrej Pozivil & Michal Psurny passed to each other back and forth before he launched a rocket passed a diving block by Jeff Glowa & beat King in goals to restore the 1 goal lead.

Glowa in the aftermath of the goal was also given a 10 min ABUSE OF OFFICIAL penalty for something he said to the ref,  all incidents timed at 33-00.

Lauko had another attempted tip in miss the target as it hit the plexi glass behind the goals and was led away by the Phoenix defense. Phantoms then broke away up the ice on a breakaway and were looking the more threatening side in the game to be honest, Pozivil got back fantastically putting off the Peterborough forward with a hard slash and when play was stopped, He went for 2 mins for SLASHING at 36:48.

2ndPeriod ended with Peterborough having much of puck, As Phoenix were stuck in 1st gear and couldn`t get going at all apart from having bursts of attacking plays. The game it self was a very dull stop start game as the officials mainly Ashton calling every little thing and making it drag on.


3RD Period ,The away side Peterborough was looking the much stronger team & very dangerous when they got forward. They got quite a fair few shots on El-Hage ,but the goalie stood up well to them all & his defense who at times didn`t help him with loose passes in their own zone or going straight to Phantoms players sticks.

Referee Ashton was at it yet again, Calling another penalty as Norton held Flaten near the crease when trying to screen the netminder, Then King flopped backwards with Norton & Flaten jostling at the front of the goals about 6ft away, However Ref called the Phoenix man too for GOALIE INTERFERENCE to which he raised his arm up to as if to say “for what!?” as he chuckled to himself at the call. Norton made his 3rd appearance in the penalty box receiving 2 mins for HOLDING both calls at 44-29.

Luke Boothroyd was then given a penalty by Ashton, As he was given 2 mins for HOOKING at 44-50, So Peterborough Phantoms went on the powerplay and it took less than a minute as Maris Ziedins & Luke Ferrara set up Jeff Glowa to score and tie the game up again at 3-3.

 And in all honesty they did deserve it as they were playing the better hockey if we can say that! The Powerplay goal was clocked at 45-48.

As the game went on, Peterborough looked the most likely team to score as Phoenix couldn`t get anything going at all, passes were put behind team mates and every attack the Phantoms had looked like they would score
Possession was mainly shaded by them too, Phoenix did have one chance earlier as a shot came in at King to which he made a good save and a better one when McKinney struck the rebound.

Manchester were getting caught up in Penalty trouble as McKinney was called for SLASHING much to his annoyance and the home fans, timed at 49:39.  Ashton was really getting on the home sides nerves as he called Schnabel for TRIPPING at 50:21 as Tony Hand was ballastic with the call.

As we headed into the last 5 mins of play it was like an overtime period. With both sides tightening up atg the back and next goal was going to win this game, as it just had that feel about it. Manchester did have a kind of rally as they came a bit more into it in the last 5 minutes, As they pressured the Phantoms goals in bursts but King denied them everytime stopping anything that was shot at him.

Bentham had a good chance though King yet again denied the ex-Phantom forward from scoring a second goal against his former team. The Blackburn-born forward then put a massive hit on Joe Graham and sent him flying backwards which got a huge cheer of the home crowd. Manchester fans wanted to see a goal more than anything. The Final 3 mins was fast and furious as it was end to end with chances going for both sides, but neither capitalizing on them so the teams then let the clock run out for overtime.  



Both sides took a point from the game, The only question now was ,Who would take away the extra point. Phoenix was given a great chance to win it as Peterborough had a Penalty call against them with Jeff Glowa sitting for 2 minutes for HOOKING at 61-51. 

Phoenix however did the usual pass pass & pass routine till a Schnabel rocket hit King in the mask so play was whistled. Phoenix were awfully slow on the Powerplay with home fans urging them to “SHOOT” and have a crack. 

As always they passed & passed with no conviction in their play and with no shooting lanes opens due to the speed of them moving the puck around as quick as “Slugs on ice”, Not many shots were took and you felt they blew their chance of winning the game.

Then came the goal that had been coming as Ziedins skated down the left side got a shot off, Ziedens picked the puck up along the boards behind the nets. Gave it to Luke Ferrara, he found his brother James Ferrara who was dangerously close to being in the crease and his effort sneaked in as slow a Phoenix Powerplay and gave the away side their 1st EVER win in the Ice Dome.

So as the Phantom players celebrated like mad, there was an eerie silence that greeted the goal as some Phoenix fans headed towards to the exits. The Phantoms winning goal came at 63-10.

Phoenix blew a good chance to close the gap and show they were contenders but based on the this performance, if you don`t beat the likes of Phantoms at your own barn with all due respect to them, then you won`t be lifting any silverware at all. 
However they move now to a Double header next weekend with the Bracknell Bees ,Firstly at home Saturday night  & then at the Hive on Sunday. This could also possibly be their opponents come Playoff time as well if things stay as they are.


SHOTS ON GOAL:    EL HAGE  : 32     87.50%        KING:  45   93.33%

PIMS:   PHOENIX  :   20      PHANTOMS :   26


PHOENIX :   19. TOM DUGGAN                         PHANTOMS:   1. DAMIEN KING


Guildford Flames P 36 25 1 2 8 153 98 54
Basingstoke Bison P 37 24 1 3 9 124 88 53
3No change
Manchester Phoenix P 37 20 4 3 10 149 112 51

Part 1 :Old memories of the NYNEX/ M.E.N arena for MANCHESTER STORM ICE HOCKEY

The Manchester Storm intro video on the big screen before the players came out. between 1997-2000
The 2001 verison
A BIT RUINED with smart cat!
Beating the Sheffield Steelers
When there was a of pushing and ended in fights

Away player sent to penalty box this would play

Another video played when a penalty called

All stuff taken from: ]




A double by City`s Spanish wizard David Silva helped them reduce the gap over their bitter cross city rivals to just 4 points, as a workman like Manchester City beat Fulham 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

City were hoping to carry on their recent good form, and it took all of 95 seconds for the Blues to get on the scoresheet and continue it , As England star James Milner intercepted a pass by Karagounis in midfield as he knocked it into the path of Edin Dzeko who ran at the Fulham defense before having a strike from outside the area, To which Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer made a stop only as far as the Silva who put it in the net for a great start for the Champions.

After the goal though, City didn`t seem to take advantage as they should have been doing looking for more goals.
PIC: bbc sports
It was the visitors that seemed to pick up the play as they had more possession of the ball, the only problem was they never looked too threatening when they had hold of it.
City was guilty of a lost of loose passes going astray as they were struggling to make attacks from the terrible off- key passing they were making and were looking far from playing great.

City did have a couple of chances as Dzeko had a tame header saved by Schwarzer, Carlos Tevez had a shot that rolled to the keeper as he couldn`t get any power on it & a ball whipped in from the right wing was nearly met by Tevez as he tried to get  ahead on it but was to high.

Fulham then had their only attempt in the game as a cross came in but Stuart Sidwell couldn`t get much on the header as he battled with City captain Vincent Kompany but his effort did shave the outside of the goal post and go out of play.

City had one last attack in the first half as a ball kicked up field by Kompany was chased down by Carlos Tevez, But he tried to get round Hangeland who was trying his best to hold him off but he got to the ball eventually. The Argentinian waited looking for some support but none was forthcoming till a surging Edin Dzeko ran into the box took the pass, but his effort was struck over the bar from an angle. So as the additional minute was played out the referee blew for Half Time as the home side went into the break 1-0 up.

2nd half was much of the same Fulham with the ball, but struggling to break down City defenses as the home side was solid at the back and looked hard to score against. One of City best player on the pitch Argentine defender and heartbeat of the club Pablo Zabeleta got injured in a good move in the Fulham penalty area. There was some concern over him as he was down for a bit as he collided with a Fulham defender in the attack. But the hard as nails defender got up and jogged around to the touchline to a stand ovation by the City fans along with his name sung by the fans.

But unfortunately for the defender a couple mins later, he had to stay down as the injury beat him & was replaced by Samir Nasri returning from his 3 match ban. Fulham were still having more possession of the ball than City was ,but wasn`t making any in roads at all on goal. City you thought if they had a chance would probably score due to the the class they had and the fact it`s sods law.

And true to that it`s exactly what happend, as play from Nastasic was flicked on by David Silva to Gael Clichy by the touchline, His pass to Tevez was deftly flicked onto Silva who`s first touch was excellent & the Spanish star nicknamed “Merlin” by the City fans did a little dink over the keeper putting it into the far side of the net for a 2 goal lead. As Silva was weaving his magic agaisnt the West London side. This seemed to break Fulham as a minute later Silva should have scored his Hat trick, As a ball was rolled to him & as the Spaniard ran on goal he tried to place it at the far post, but just by Millimetres missed the target for 3-0.  

PIC: bbc sports

Citys attacking play was starting to take effect, As another breakaway on the Counter attack was led by Dzeko and as he played Nasri in the Frenchman tried to round the keeper, But rushed his shot as he went wide of the keeper as it slowly rolled to goal but was picked up by Hangeland on the line. 

City welcomed Sergio Aguero back to the fold as he replaced Carlos Tevez who had a bad day at the office for him. Silva was replaced not long after to a tumultuous applause from the City faithful as Joleon Lescott  took his place. 

The blues missed yet another glorious chance for 3-0 in the dying seconds or in particular Dzeko, Somehow the Bosnian hitman blazed over from 8 yards out when a low cross was played to the Striker unmarked and free at the back post and managed to do the hardest thing possible and launch it high over the bar in the Family stand end! 

The referee blew his whistle to signal full time and the points stayed in Chilly Manchester and gave the blue side a warm glow on a freezing cold afternoon.

 21. David Silva


        MANCHESTER GIANTS   85   –   68   SURREY HEAT

Friday night saw the Manchester Giants absolutely demolish the 3rd placed Surrey Heat by 17 points at the Wright Robison Sports College to give their season a boost.
The Heat were sitting in 3rd position and a victory at Wright robby, would have meant they jumped above Newcastle Eagles & Leicester Riders into top place.

The visitors hadn`t lost a game since December 14th last year and were on a roll heading into this game. 
The Giants on the other hand were struggling for win and being inconsistent with a lot of focus  put on the defensive side of Manchester, as Jeff Jones head coach of the Giants told them to “concentrate on getting back and closing down” as they have been awful on the defensive side.

As the game tipped off, It was Manchester who started the stronger of the two sides, heading to a 8-2 lead with David Watts & GB international Nick George playing some hard aggressive basketball taking the ball to the basket & both drawing the fouls as well as the extra points. 
This team had a different look to them than normal, whether it was because the SKY TV cameras were on show or simply the team just all hit form at the same time and showed what they can do when everything clicks. 

Surrey Heat did pull it back to within 2 pts of the homeside, Which was the closest they came all night to the Manchester outfit. The Heat were struggling to make plays and when they did, They found the Giants playing solid defense as they looked a whole new team on the court.

Surrey were missing shots & being beaten to the punch everytime, whether it was on offense or defense ,The Giants were just too hot to handle for the away side. 
As the home team were rebounded fantasticially & their shot selection was well judged too, as well as their defensive work which was exceptional all game!

After the 1st quarter the Giants were in control of the game as they dominated on both ends of the floor & were proving to be more of a tougher nut to crack this week. As they were performing magnificently in front of the Sky cameras.

Giants just continued where they left off in the 2nd quarter, as they were outplaying the Heat as   the lead got  built up to 15 points, as the away team couldn`t get to grips with the G men at all. 
Eaves  Aliu and Watts were all great on the rebounding side of things, as they hardly lost a rebound all game.

The intensity of the the game Manchester were playing at was far superior for their top half opponents, As Surrey had no answers to them.
They were missing alot of shots and felt they had some decisions go against them too. But the Heat did at one point look like they were going to get in touching distance of the Giants as they got the 15pt advantage pf the home side down to just 6 points, But Manchester managed to head in to the Halftime break with a lead of just 6 points.

In the 3rd quarter Giants blocks, steals & rebounding came to the forefront as they were simply taking over the game by the scruff of the neck. All the hard graft by the whole side was on show for everyone to see, as they turned up the heat (no pun intended) on Surrey. 
Surrey and Manchester a few times in the game were drawn into loose ball scraps as the ball seemed to want to evade everyone, as bodies were all over the floor diving or fighting for the ball. 

The lead was up to 14 points for Manchester, As the Giants led the Heat 60-46 nearing the end of the 3rd quarter and were looking good for that lead. There was one moment that Peter Simek of the Heat will hope get cut, That being his free throw attempt that dropped about 2ft short of the basket and was a bit embarrassing to say the least.

So as the horn sounded for the end of 3rd the Giants had a 12 point cushion heading into the final quarter of the game. The Giants carried on the magnificent team work offensively & defensively that they had played all game, They were a class apart from a Surrey side that was lacking ideas and looked out muscled and out thought all game.

Manchester simply stampeded over the Surrey Heat in the 4th, as they grabbed the rebounds at their end of court breaking up the other end with gusto and finished it off beautifully. One play summed up the game, When a Aliu shot was missed and looked to be heading out of play. Heat players just seemed to slow or gave up where as Ben Eaves kept it in play for the Giants. As they was recycling the ball, which led to an alley hoop that caused Surrey heads then drop and show it was over.

The coach of the Heat wasn`t impressed with the officiating as was told repeated to be quiet and he was fuming with 2 officials over the nature of the calls made against his side. The lead hit 20 as Surrey tried their best to avoid a twenty point defeat, As they were simply out classed by a tough physical and grafting Manchester Giants team this night!

The Massive win puts the Manchester Giants in joint 9th position tied on points with London Lions  & Sheffield Sharks. And face a daunting trip to Plymouth Raiders Saturday evening


Giants:  Watts 21, George 17 , Bailey 10,  (Eaves, Cal Jones & Gill) all 8 points, James Jones 7, Aliu 6

Heat:  Cricelli & McLemore 12, Margai 11, F.Holmes 10, Joseph 8, C.Holmes, Raftopoulos 5, Simek 3



RESULTS  of week 37


Augsburger Panther  3:2  Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers   SO


Hannover Scorpions    5  :   3   Straubing Tigers

Dusseldorfer EG     6      :     2    ERC INGOLSTADT 

Adler Mannheim   2     :     1    Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg

Kolner Haie                   4    :    3     Hamburg  Freezers


Pos Team P W L W(OT) L(OT) W(AP) L(AP) Goals Diff. Points
1 Mannheim 36 21 11 1 2 1 0 116-84 32 69
2 Cologne 35 21 11 2 0 1 0 118-95 23 69
3 Hamburg 37 19 13 0 1 1 3 122-92 30 63
4 Krefeld 37 15 11 4 1 3 3 114-97 17 63
5 Berlin 36 16 12 2 2 1 3 131-107 24 59
6 Augsburg 38 17 17 1 1 1 1 100-115 -15 57
7 Ingolstadt 37 14 15 4 2 1 1 115-112 3 55
8 Nuremberg 36 14 12 1 4 2 3 113-112 1 55
9 Hannover 38 15 18 2 1 1 1 95-112 -17 53
10 Munich 37 14 17 0 2 2 2 89-99 -10 50
11 Straubing 37 16 20 1 0 0 0 94-108 -14 50
12 Iserlohn 36 13 18 2 2 1 0 95-114 -19 47
13 Wolfsburg 37 12 20 2 1 1 1 100-117 -17 44
14 Dusseldorf 37 8 20 1 4 3 1 86-124 -38 37

Phoenix gain Revenge in Telford


Sunday evening saw a different setting for the Manchester Phoenix as they traveled down to Shropshire to take on the Bottom of the table Telford Tigers at the Telford Ice Rink. Phoenix were hoping to carry on from the night before, when they thrashed the Guildford Flames 6-1 at the Altrincham ice dome to cut the gap down to 2 points heading into the game. 
Phoenix was hoping to avoid another embarrassing loss in Telford, Much like in the previous encounter at the Telford Ice Rink as they went down 4-1, when they were out played and out worked by the Shropshire side for the 60 mins. 
Telford were hoping to get their season going again as they hadn`t won game since November 11th strangely enough against Manchester Phoenix!
So as the teams took to the ice for the game introductions ,we saw they were employing the 4 man Official set-up with Referees Kevin Biggs & Tim Pickett donning the wings & linesmen Roy Hamilton and Elliott Marshall.

We had the usual pre game flashing lights with “Eye of the tiger” tune blarring out over the PA system for the Tigers entrance. So once the teams were read out & National anthem played we could concentrate on the Match. 
Telford had 2 new players in their ranks since the 10-2 drubbing by Manchester just after christmas, As new Import forward Tomas Karpov from the Czech Republic made his home debut and also in nets for the Tigers was ex MK netminder and coming out of retirement to help them out while number 1 goalie Declan Ryan recovers, was Barry Hollyhead.
So as the puck was dropped  it was game on for this match. It didn`t take long for the first action of the game as Jaroslav Kruzik shot the puck out of play DELAY OF GAME at 0:26 into the game to put the Phoenix on the Powerplay early. To say the powerplay was poor would be an understatement as it was a far cry from the way they moved the puck the previous night.
Telford killed the penalty off & from nowhere Phoenix had the puck in the Telford zone and Tom Duggan wound up and took a shot that hit the post,this was a warning shot. Hollyhead was then nearly embarrassed, When he lost his bearing a bit as a puck that was shot round the boards was stopped by him behind his net. Ex Tigers player Andy McKinney then skated round the net picked it up and “BAZ” didn`t know of the danger, But McKinney tried a wrapround & somehow missed as he aimed between the legs of Hollyhead & the goals so his eventually shot went into the corner on the far boards a scare for Telford averted.
Telford picked up another penalty as player coach Tom Watkins went right into the back of Flaten taking him out against the boards. He was given 2 mins in the box for indeed BOARDING at 7:21. Phoenix didn`t make much of it apart from showoff their passing skills as no shots was hardly made.
The opening 10 mins of the game was full of sloppiness by both teams as neither side could grab a hold of the game fully as stray passes and shots going wide were the main.
The only check excitement checks wise was by Flaten on a Telford player as he sent him spinning in the air from a beautiful hit.

Telford was called for an Icing infraction at 13:46 as players changed when the puck was iced in the Phoenix zone, So Heywood for Telford sat the penalty. And during that powerplay Mr Karpov then introduced himself to the player coach of Phoenix as he put a stiff hard check on him ,to which he wasn`t very happy  with and he gave him a little dig to let him know how he felt.
FINALLY Phoenix made a powerplay work as Psurny down low passed to Hand near the boards he fed it across to the slot and Flaten buried it past Hollyhead for a 1-0 Phoenix lead at 14-31.

Goal 2 for Phoenix came soon after ,as Bari McKenzie played the puck up against the right hand boards and Tom Duggan broke free on a 2-on-1 with his pass across ice for James Archer to finish off as he put it in the net for a 2-0 lead at 15-15. Phoenix were looking very comfortable now and in the driving seat. Bari McKenzie for Phoenix then went to the box for a SLASHING call at 18-09 and so the period ended with Phoenix taking the advantage into the break.


Play resumed for the 2nd period and within a minute of the restart Liam Chong shot one that ended in the back of the Tigers net..But after a little debriefing between the goal judge and the Referee it was Washouted. But no Phoenix players complained, So i`ve still no idea why it was ruled out at all, as did the Phoenix fans sat facing the goals as it looked a perfectly good goal.

Manchester then began to run into penalty trouble as they were given a bench minor penalty for TOO MANY MEN  at 25:33, which was killed off successfully and then Ben Wood made the trip to the Penalty box as he went for INTERFERENCE for hitting a Tigers players on the boards while Phoenix  had possession. Penalty was timed was at 28-49

Phoenix killed that powerplay off but Telford then sent recent capture from Phoenix Scott McKenzie through on goal & the Livingston born forward skated by the boards round the defense one on one with Fone, Calmly putting it home to light the lamp up for a Telford Goal at 34-55, assists to Maynard & Senko.

The 1 goal deficit lasted 31 seconds, As a bizarre goal then occured from a Phoenix break. Psurny and Flaten combined in the Tigers zone lost possession, but Hand picked it up took a shot on goal & play was frozen.
Then the referee gave a goal as he deemed the puck had crossed the line and that Hollyhead pulled the puck back over the line. The Phoenix players were puzzled as they didn`t shout or make any noise over it at all Very Weird indeed, Hand goal was timed at 35-36 with Psurny and Flaten Assists.
A very poor call from the officials was given against Manchester as Bari McKenzie was then called for HOOKING near his own nets, When the Tigers player had a hold of his stick. So when Bari managed to shake him loose, the Tigers player fell to the ice & the referee called the penalty which infuriated the Phoenix bench at 32-19.
Another penalty came against Manchester as Ben Wood was given 2 mins for TRIPPING at 36-34, Michal Psurny made it 4-1 with Duggan assisting at 37-44. the period ended with the Manchester faithful applauding their men off the ice to a standing ovation as they had killed Telford off with a period to go still.


Into the 3rd & final period we went and Phoenix were called for yet a poor poor referee decision by Biggs, who adjudged Luke Boothroyd to have took down the Telford player when he was a good 5 ft way from him and his stick was on the floor but HOOKING was the call at 40-14. Then moments laters to get on the away sides nerves even more, Archer was Blantantly tripped up by a Tigers player infront of Biggs yet he refused to call the most clear cut penalty you will see.! The calls that were pens were missed and the ones that weren`t close to penalties were called??
The referees were starting to annoying Phoenix even more so now ,With them constantly getting in the way of play as on 5 separate occasions the refs & linemens were getting in the way. At one point in the period the ref was skating around with a loose hockey stick in the Phoenix end & nearly led to a Phoenix player getting  tripped up over it.  
Phoenix scored goal number 5 as Archer passed to Pozivil who stick handled his way into the slot & would have been a great goal ,But for Hollyhead stopped it only as far as the back post where Tom Duggan was waiting and put it home for the away side at 45-51.
Goal 6 came over a minute later as Michal Psurny got onto a puck at mid ice by a Tigers mistake, He skated in from the boards one on one with Hollyhead to scored and make it 6-1 Unassisted at 46-59.
Hollyhead was looking a shadow of his former self in nets, as he was flapping at times and unassured of himself alot it was a sad sight to see.
But from one goalie at the end of his career to one at the other end of the spectrum just starting.

Rochdale-born Netminder Jorge El-Hage came on for the the remaining 9:05 seconds of the game and made a couple of good saves to get him into quickly.

Phoenix should have made it 7 when the puck fell to Tony Hand who drifted in freely but shot high over the net.

Selwood then had a chance for the Tigers as he cut in over the blue line and shot at net only for El-Hage to make a pad save that bounced off his pads into the air and safely in the glove.

Phoenix played out the remainder of the game and took the points back up north to Altricham and banish the memory of the 4-1 defeat earlier in the season.

With news of Guildford Flames beating Basingstoke in Guildford 5-2, it makes the top of the table very interesting to say the least. As next weekend Phoenix go to the only side in the league they haven`t beaten in the league the Basingstoke Bison!! 



TIGERS:  HOLLYHEAD   38  78.57%
PHOENIX:  FONE   23  95.65  /  EL-HAGE  5  100%



Guildford Flames P 35 24 1 2 8 149 96 52
Basingstoke Bison P 35 23 1 3 8 120 82 51
3No change
Manchester Phoenix P 35 20 4 2 9 145 105 50

(APOLOGISES for the blurry video, but the focus was playing up!)



The battle at the top of the of the EPL is heating up especially with the two Pyro named sides in Flames and Phoenix. The visitors to the ice dome was the league leaders & current League Champions Surrey based Guildford Flames, Coming into this game they had been on an incredible run of 6 games unbeaten to regain the top spot, With their last defeat coming against the side they knocked top spot in the Basingstoke Bison.
Guildford with their powerful players at their disposal like ex Phoenix forward Curtis Huppe with 51 points this season, Josef Kohut with 34 pts and not forgetting long serving Great Britain defensemen “Lobby” David Longstaff with his 67 Points and it`s easy to see why they are always up at the top of the league each season with the quality players they have.

Phoenix came into this game confident for 2 reasons, One they were on a 5 game winning streak at home, To go along with their recent victory last weekend against Milton Keynes Lightning. And the Second reason was that they went into this game on a 4 game winning streak against the Flames.
With the streak starting at the back end of last season with a 5-2 win back in March 2012, So the Phoenix had the Flames number & had confidence they could beat them. However though on this night not even then the most over confident Phoenix supporter could foresee what was going to happen in this game!

The 2 sides entered the ice for the biggest game on the Saturday night, So after National anthem was played and they went through their last minute changes & superstitions and so. Everyone was waiting for referee Tom Pering to drop the puck and get this eagerly anticipated meeting of the Title contenders on.

First chance of the game broke to Phoenix player-coach Tony Hand who had his shot saved by Mark Lee in the Guildford nets and also saved from Bari McKenzie too within the first 2 mins of the game.
Guildford launched their own attack, As some good play by the forwards brought a save out of Steve Fone between the Phoenix pipes as he looked up for the clash on this night.
David Savage took a comedy tumble to the ice taking the nets off the mooring as he lost his footing and went slip sliding into the goals, taking it in good spirits laughing it off and showed perhaps that Guildford would be slipping up was it an omen?!

Guildford had a couple of chances with Ben Campbell shooting at an angle on Fone, But he kicked saved it to the boards and moments later a Fantasic save by the Sheffield born Netminder, With a quick pass across to Rick Plant on the doorstep of the Phoenix goals was saved brilliantly Point blank by the goaltender as he kept Manchester in it with some breathtaking saves at times. As even the Flames fans must have thought instant goal when Plant shot. 

Andy McKinney had a effort saved by Lee in the Guildford nets as he was hoping to stop the Phoenix shooters, Then one of the plays of the 1st period was Tony Hand at centre ice, Had the puck on his stick and was taken out by 3 Flames players all hitting him at same time, But the Veteran Scotsman Still managed to get the pass away for the McKinney effort.
Ex Guildford Flame Tom Duggan was getting some extra attention off the visiting side aswell, When he went for a puck as Lee went to cover it to which Liddard and Savage didn`t take kindly to it nor did Mark Lee in the nets. So a bit of pushing and shoving occured.

The game was thoroughly enjoyable to watch and was a tough hard game played by 2 Hockey minded teams, But was still played in a very physical manner as well. 
As the hits & aggressiveness was gaining on the ice it was Andrew Sharp who strayed over the line as he was given 2 mins for BOARDING as he planted a Phoenix player in the boards at 12-32.
Guildford had just killed the penalty off when Andy McKinney picked the puck up outside the Flames zone slalomed in &  out of their players before ripping a shot past Lee top corner for a fantastic goal giving the Guildford Netminder no chance, The goal was timed @14-54  ASSISTS: Schanbel & Pozivil

Guildford then broke away through Jez Lundin as he skated on goal till a Joachim Flaten stick,knocked the puck away with some good back checking by the Norwegian forward.
Flames had another attack come to nothing, as an attempted wrap around by their forward was saved by Fone who was having a Cracking game between the pipes.

Phoenix then created a chance as they broke away on a 2 on 0 with Flaten & Psurny. The twi import forwards did a one-two between them as they caught the Flames defense flat footed, But Psurny just couldn`t find the finish as Lee stacked the pads. 
Tony Hand then went to the box for Hooking as the Flames were onto a dangerous play that coming at 19:49 and so ended a very enjoyable & exciting old fashioned type game of hockey over the first 2o minutes.


2nd Stanza was as entertaining as the 1st period, But i doubt for the travelling Guildford contingent they will think the same especially on the score line that was that good at least. 
Flames had the first chaance of the 2nd period as a David Savage pass from the slot towards goal was tipped over by Flames Rick Plant at side of nets & directed it high up into the netting behind.

Phoenix doubled their lead as a Joachim Flaten pass by the boards to Michal Psurny was somehow converted into a goal, As it went in from the tightest of all angles past Lee. To which both he and the crowd was shocked to see the red light come on to signal a goal, as Lee thought he had it all covered. Goal Timed at 22:58  Assists: Flaten

Guildford were pressing & knocking more and more at the Phoenix goals, But they found Fone in mean form and was seeing the puck like a beach ball, as every shot that went to goal was stopped by the or Fone making unbelievable saves to stop everything.
Jez Lundin then went to the Penalty box for the Flames as he was called for SLASHING at 29:57, Putting the home side on the powerplay and it didn`t take long for Manchester to make the most of it as Luke Boothroyd at 30:46 was all alone in the slot and a shot to the low side of Lee giving Phoenix a  3-0 lead.  ASSISTS: Hand & Psurny

In all fairness it wasn`t as one sided a game as the scoreline suggested was. It was just a matter of Phoenix being the more clinical finishing infront of goals.
Phoenix soon got GOAL 4 as play in the Flames zone wasn`t cleared, came to Ondrej Pozivil was stood infront of the goals the puck bobbled infornt of him but managed to get a decent and his 2nd attempt was put past Lee, That also happened to be the last action he saw as he skated off to the away bench to be replaced by Back up goaltender James Hadfield. The goal timed at 33-46  Assists: Psurny & Archer

Guildford had a great couple of chances to score as David Longstaff from a faceoff was given the puck turned a D man inside out & was just had Fone to beat,  Fone had committed himself early and was on the ice which gave him time to score from close range.
However the long serving British international forward struck the bar from 5ft away & pinged off into the netting . His face was a mixture of horror, shock and anger as he skated to the bench in disgust with himself for missing a great chance.

Curtis Huppe then had his effort go wide, as he skated by the Phoenix back line and tried to back hand his shot in ,but was off target and really should have done better. Guildford seemed to be infected with the Phoenix traditional “Second period syndrome” as Phoenix were awesome in all departments, Whereas the Flames weren`t finding the breaks or luck.

So as the period sounded to end the second period, Phoenix fans and players couldn`t believe the scoreline and i guess neither could the them from Guildford either as sure as anything Dixon would be using a lot of choice words for his men in the break.


The 3rd Period started out with the question, How would this period start out & after 40 seconds in we got the answer. As Phoenix piled on the agony for the Flames as a great one two between Psurny and Flaten , This time resulted in a goal as Psurny slid it past Hadfield in goals for a 5-0 scoreline at 40:40.
David Longstaff was then called for HIGH STICKS at 41:45 putting the home side back on the powerplay.

Phoenix who were on FIRE all night got more fortune as Flames luck ran out completely, When  Flaten threw a quick pass away from goals, but was so quick that it bounced in off Rick Skene skate to give Manchester an Incredible scoreline of “PHOENIX 6 – FLAMES 0!” at 41:57. Assists went to Hand & Psurny 

However Skene did get some satisfaction as he scored a Consolation goal for the Flames, Skene shot from an angle while Fone was screened, so as he leaned to catch sight of the puck a gap was left to the right of him and hit a couple of sticks before deflecting in to make it a 6-1 Scoreline at 45-37 
Guildford then had a bit of a patch where they seem to have Phoenix rattled after the goal, but the Home side soon shook it off and regrouped again.
Dean Holland Another ex Phoenix player went to the box for 2 mins for HIGH STICKS @ 51:54. 

The horn sounded to a massive cheers from the hometown fans ,But Phoenix had not only thrashed the league leaders and Champions but they had put themselves back in the contention for the title again. On another day the Flames may have scored some of the chances but on this night Phoenix profitted from it. Plus they knew fair well that Guildford was playing the Bison the next night & that one of their rivials wouldn`t be getting away to far away in the league after that clash at the Spectrum in Guildford!



PHOENIX   2            FLAMES     8

PHOENIX: FONE    27  96.30%    

FLAMES: LEE 23   82.61% /  HADFIELD 14  85.71 %






The Manchester Giants slumped to a 3rd successive defeat as the Visiting Glasgow Rocks side beat the Manchester side for 3rd time in a row this season. It was their first home league defeat in 3 home games, As the last team to beat the Giants on their home court was that of the Rocks back on November 30th.

The game tipped off with both sides ready to go, The early stages was a very level contest as neither team was giving an inch. Both teams were tied at 5-5 before Glasgow slightly pulled ahead of the Giants. However the Home side went points crazy, as they went on a 9-2 run with 3 pointers flying in and Nick George who was making his debut for his hometown club, scored a lovely basket with his first points to announce himself to the crowd. Glasgow were literally “rocked” , As they turned it over a couple of times and way too easily, Which was pounced on by the Giants & made them pay everytime.

But we have seen this happen many many times at Wright Robby this season, Giants come out hard and then the opposition come back and take over after the first Timeout..Would we see a different story??
Well the Rocks came out and went on a run themselves of 9-2 as it was now the Giants turn to respond. But a lot of handling errors on both sides came into effect as well as some good rebounding by Manchester on both offence and defence helped them out, As the quarter ended it was the Giants shading it 24-21.

END of 1st QTR:  GIANTS   24  –  21   ROCKS

2nd quarter the Giants got out to a 31-25 lead which didn`t last very long, as Glasgow came back on a 9-0 run blowing the Giants out of the water as they were warming up their 3-pointers for later on. The Giants weren`t helping themselves either as they were giving the Rocks easy plays and free throws too. 

Glasgow looked to be in control as Manchester were struggling a bit, But then in the last minute the Giants put a run together ,adding some baskets together, namely in David Watts and David Aliu as their points helped gain a lead of 2 to go into the Halftime break.
But you sensed it was only a matter of time before Glasgow got going as the hosts seemed to be on borrowed as the visitors were warming up and growing in confidence. 

HALF TIME:  Giants  48   –  46   Rocks

The 3rd quarter was much like the rest of the game, when one team was pulling away the other side would peg them back a bit & take over the game. This would be the norm for the majority of the game.  
Player coach of the Rocks Sterling Davis was hitting 3 pointers all over and kept his side score ticking. Callum Jones hit a 3 of his own to put his side up by a couple then a George run ended up with a possible 3 point play as he netted the 2 points and drew the foul.

Rocks went up the other end and drew a foul and the Officials then penalized the Giants.  With head coach Jeff Jones given a Technical and so the Rocks went to the line with Harrison making 4 of 5 Free throws to put the Rocks from 58 – 56 down to 58 – 61 up. 

As the home side got frustrated by some dubious officiating calls against them it has to be said.This also  
pic: Jack Hinds
led to Jones have some angry words with the officials over things they were calling against him but that he had done to him but were missed, so had to be told by his team mates to leave it and concentrate on the game.

Glasgow then hit 8 points unanswered as the home side was unraveling as the Scottish side were pulling away. David Aliu then shot a 3 pointer to bring the score closer as the Quarter finished.

END OF 3RD QTR: GIANTS  63   –   67  ROCKS

4th quarter, Giants tried their best to keep the score within reach, As 3 pointers from Watts & Bailey were launching them from long range to make it 69-71 Glasgow. The Rocks were rolling as they hit 5 points in a row to bring the score to 73-78 with 5 mins to go for a tense finale.

Glasgow took a timeout and after it finally killed the game off.
As the Scottish outfit went on 12-0 with 3 pointers, As Manchester backed off to much after they pushed them to the outside and the shots were easily drained by the Scottish team. 

Giants then brought it back to under 10 points the the deficit , Before Gareth Murray fell the Giants as his 3 point shooting regained the double figure lead.With the Rocks then playing it out and inflicted another loss on the home side. And with the 3rd placed Surrey Heat upcoming the next, the few fixtures aren`t that kind to the Giants.