TELFORD TIGERS 1 – 6 MANCHESTER PHOENIX
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.
END OF 1ST PERIOD :TIGERS 0 – 2 PHOENIX
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
, 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.
END OF 2ND: TELFORD TIGERS 1 – 4 MANCHESTER PHOENIX
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!!
FINAL SCORE : TELFORD TIGERS 1 – 6 MANCHESTER PHOENIX
SHOTS ON GOAL:
TIGERS: HOLLYHEAD 38 78.57%
PHOENIX: FONE 23 95.65 / EL-HAGE 5 100%
(APOLOGISES for the blurry video, but the focus was playing up!)