SUPERBOWL fever hit`s NEW YORK City

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This Sunday will see the newest installment of the Superbowl saga as SUPERBOWL XLVIII (48) hits METlife Stadium in New York/New Jersey on February 4th.
This year will witness the two Conference champions from the AFC and NFC locking horns with Peyton Manning leading his Denver Broncos against Richard Sherman`s hard to break down Seattle Seahawks contesting the Vince Lombardi trophy.
The two sides have previously this year, but that was back in pre-season where the Broncos were crushed by the Seahawks 40-10, however neither side will reflect on that game with any real reminiscence as we both look ahead to meeting in a competitive game.


For the Seattle Seahawks, this is a chance for them to put the record straight from the last time they reached the Superbowl, which was back 8 years ago at Superbowl XL (40). 
That day saw Jerome ‘the Bus’ Bettis run down the Seahawks defence in Detroit`s Ford Field stadium as he helped punished the Seattle side with his Pittsburgh Steelers securing their their fifth Superbowl victory.
In that game Matt Hasselbeck the Quarterback for the Seahawks at that time, struggled to find any in roads through the ‘Iron Curtain’ of the Steelers defense which saw the Steelers so dominant that season.


Roll on 8 years later and Seattle are back in the big time and now seem to be in the same position as Pittsburgh were at that time as the have the best defensive record heading into the big dance. 
Seattle Seahawks form over the course of the season was a 15-3 record on their way to Superbowl XLVIII. They have a couple of other reasons why they want to become Champions besides the obvious being them wanting to the game of course.


They`ll want to gain some respect from the media, as in some quarters they seemed to be the team that was scoffed at when the Seahawks was first mentioned as a possible candidate to be at Superbowl this year, but they have proved all the doubters wrong with a couple of fantastic displays this season.
Two victories over the New Orleans Saints isn`t an easy thing to do in the NFL, but they have already accomplished that feat to go along with the 23-0 shutout of the home town New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, a place they`ll have happy memories going back to on Sunday and be hoping that history can repeats it`s self again on game day.





Marshawn Lynch   PIC:yahoosport


One of the differences that could see the Seahawks have an advantage in their game is that of their running game as they owned the best rusher in the Playoffs, in Marshawn Lynch.
Running Back Lynch, made 249 yards in the post season playoffs. He also collected the most First Down`s as a Running back, that saw only San Francisco 49ers Quarter back Colin Kaepernick level with him on that statistic. 
Lynch also had the most Rushing yards per game too as he had scored 3 touchdowns alone for his team, to which he helped them progress in these playoffs more than anyone else in the whole of the playoffs.






Nearly every record in the post season sees their opponents the Denver Broncos ahead of them by a fair way except for a couple of records that the Seahawks actually hold over the Broncos. 
Those records they have over the Broncos is off the Rushing and Defense side of things in the Team stats, they are also ranked fourth in the Rushing department while the Broncos are not that far behind them sitting in Sixth position.
Seattle have scored two more Rushing Touchdown`s than that of their rivals and have run the ball just and extra 49 yards more than the Broncos have too and so that proves that the Seahawks are certainly a dangerous side in the running side of things.
They also boast the best defensive record between the two sides which could be a massive factor in the scheme of things, that has already seen them punish the other sides on the way to them securing the NFC Championship.

That defensive effort was for all to see in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, as the Seahawks had stopped the powerful 49ers to see them progress and that all was down to the Seattle Seahawks secondary defense unit , with the L.O.B or ‘Legion of the Boom’ as they have been nicknamed bossing games.


The Quartet that makes up the ‘L.O.B’ is that of Earl Thomas, Brandon Browner, Kam “Bam Bam” Chancellor and of course the final member of the group the ‘shrinking violet’ of the group… ok maybe not, but the most vocal of the lot and talked about player at the moment as we head towards media day is that of Richard Sherman. Sherman is one of if not, the best trash talker on the Seattle team and arguably the best in the NFL too, that has been one of their tactics in these playoffs as him and his cliq have almost trash talked their way to the final. The ‘L.O.B’ has very nearly sparked a coming together between the New Orleans Saints in pre-game and also during the coin toss too in which the umpires and teams had to separate both parties, they used the same tactic to get under the skin of the New Orleans and the 49ers games and saw them beat both opponents.


After the 49ers game, no one really spoke much about the match itself just more about the post game interview with Richard Sherman straight after the game.
That all started when in the final couple of minutes, San Francisco threw the ball deep in the endzone towards Sherman, which seemed to be either a gusty call or mad call as they aimed for him. 
Michael Crabtree tried to catch the pass down field and saw the ball swatted away by Sherman to whose saw the Seahawks defense gain possession of the ball and run out the game, that saw the now infamous interview with Richard Sherman after the game in which he came across like a wrestling villain would in an interview.



He then ranted more on camera with Erin Andrews of FOX Sports, trying her best to interview him but she looked quite taken aback by his behaviour as the CornerBack was a powder keg waiting to explode.
In his his interview he made reference to Michael Crabtree saying “I’m the best corner in the game” and added “When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re gonna get..Don’t you ever talk about me. Don’t you open your mouth about the best or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick.” 

So it looks certain that he will be the head Villian of Superbowl 48, while on the flip side of things the hero of the piece will be seen as Peyton Manning the quarterback of the AFC Champion winning Denver Broncos.



Duel of the QUARTERBACKS: Peyton Manning /  Russell Wilson

pic: money.cnn.com

It comes as a shock when no one in the media has given much attention to their young quarterback in Russell Wilson whose is playing in only his 2nd NFL season and yet he has guided the Seahawks to the superbowl. 
He is a young player still learn and learning the ropes in the NFL, but Watson who was ranked 16th in the regular season for Passing yards saw him in the post season playoffs rise up to 8th place. People have compared the two QB`s of both sides in the contest but it`s a bit unfair on the Seahawks man seeing as his stats will seem like ‘chalk and cheese’ compared to those with Manning and the career he has.


For Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, this has been the ‘Biggest’ feel good story in U.S sports this year with Manning making a return to the Superbowl for the 4th time. Manning comeback has been amazing, which saw him not long ago battling a couple of serious neck surgeries over the last few years, to now leading a different franchise back into the bright lights of a Superbowl game and that is a truly remarkable effort from one of the greatest quarterback in NFL history.


It wasn`t long ago either that the elder Manning brother was sat in a sky box watching his younger brother Eli holding aloft the Superbowl trophy with the New York Giant, while he was recovering from neck surgery back in 2011.  A lot of media and former players was asking the question ‘Whether Peyton was done?’ after Manning got released by the Indianapolis Colts and hadn`t fully proved to have been fit. This saw the door open to a fresh new challenge for Manning and saw Legendary Denver quarterback John Elway proving key to bringing him to the Mile High City of Denver Colorado, if anyone knew about making a comeback, then it was certainly that of John Elway.



Elway who is now the Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos was quick to snap up the free agent and not only bring in an experienced quarterback to the Broncos, but a massive team player too.
Peyton Manning signing signaled an end of an era to was would be the the number one guy for the franchise. With recent years the QB position at Denver had been pretty much a poisoned chalice with all who took over from Elway and from there on unable to deal to with the pressure.
Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow had been the two recent players battling over that job as it seemed that neither could grasp the chance with both hands when they were presented with it as they constantly swapped back and forth between them for the spot.


So when Manning joined the Broncos franchise in the Summer of 2012, he was seen as the man to lead the glory days back to the Denver outfit and things were looking all rosy for them to start with, as they won the AFC West by a mile, but the honeymoon period came to a crashing end when the Baltimore Ravens dumped the favorites out in the playoffs in the divisional playoffs. The Ravens caused a big upset beating the number 1 seeded Broncos in a epic encounter in Colorado as it saw the game head to a double overtime, with the Ravens winning it 38-35 and saw the Ravens go on to be crowned Superbowl champions.



This season however, has seen the Broncos wanting it more badly than they did last year especially after that loss at home to the Ravens last year, as it was like a kick to the lower extremities for Denver and one that they will go all out for trying to erase in the ‘Greatest show on Turf’ this coming Sunday, as they have got some unfinished business.


Their journey at the start of the season wasn`t just to reach the playoffs again, it was to reach Superbowl and win it to make amends for their loss last time out. Denver`s season record was exactly the same posted by Seattle with a 13-3 record.
The road to the playoffs started for them through the San Diego Chargers first off at home, as they manage to unplug the Chargers 24-17 before then beating their AFC rivals the New England Patriots, 26-16 in the AFC Championship game. 
Talk after the game was that of former Patriots player Wes Welker who made the move to the rival AFC side in the offseason, during the match he seemed to take out Aquib Talib in a off the ball incident which resulted in the New England man done for the game with a Rib injury from the incident.







Broncos play a different brand of ball game to that of their opposite number. Whereas the Seahawks style is more smash mouth, hardnosed  and in your face in the trenches, Denver on the other hand is built on passing and flair. Manning and his band of wide receivers namely the two Thomas`s in Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas. 

Demaryius & Julius Thomas    PIC: Sportingtimes

Those two have wreaked havoc in the league this year and have given other teams defences nightmares with their Offensive ability and if you add on top of that Peyton Manning and his deadly accurate throws, it means Seattle defense will be severely tested come game day.



The game has all the hallmarks of being an absolute classic in New York City on Sunday and it will be the first time that these two sides will have met in the Superbowl. 
The Saying ‘the immovable object v the Irresistible force’ will certainly apply in this game as the best OFFENSE will take on the best DEFENSE in the National Football League this year. With this looking like a tight match up this looks to be like a war of attrition between the two sides and they may have the added factor of the weather coming into play too and disrupting game plans too.
As reports have suggested that the freezing temperatures currently on the East coast of America, may possibly see snow making an appearance in the showcase event and would then throw another interesting dynamic in to the game.


There are so many story lines in this Superbowl this year, that NFL fans will be mouth watering over this game.
For those that aren`t into the game and more about the entertainment side of things, then for them the traditional Halftime show spectacular at this year`s Superbowl will see Bruno Mars and the rock legends in the Red Hot Chilli Peppers jointly involved as they will both have a hard task of trying to beat the Beyonce performed last year, as it was one of the most watched things on U.S television. 


Plus another big thing about Superbowl is that of getting their item seen across the whole of the States ,with the cost of getting a commercial spot for this year`s Superbowl in excess of $4 Million and that is just for a 30 second clip. So you can see why it is one of the most prized spots for advertisers Stateside as it drums up a lot of business for companies with them bringing in celebrities to plug their product as well and is a massive draw for revenue too.


Finishing off, this is one of the most interesting Superbowl`s in recent times and it wouldn`t surprise me if this was to become the FIRST EVER game in Superbowl history where it headed into overtime either.


Superbowl Prediction: Broncos by 6









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Penalty king Graham sees Phoenix win Marathon shootout

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MANCHESTER PHOENIX  3 – 2 MILTON KEYNES LIGHTNING

After Penalaties



Watkins,Kovar GRAHAM (P.S)                          Cownie, Carlon

Joe Graham fires the Winning shot

 


Manchester Phoenix pulled off an unlikely victory on Sunday evening winning 3-2 on penalty shots over the Milton Keynes Lightning as for a majority of the game it looked an impossible scenario for Phoenix.  
However the combination of Phoenix duo netminder Steve Fone and Defenseman Joe Graham were the two important figures in helping Manchester edge past Milton Keynes and saw them open up a two point gap at the top of the table.

Manchester nearly scored the game opening goal within a minute of play when a shot saved by Stephen Wall in the MK Lightning goals saw the puck bounce loose in front of the nets and Michal Psurny poke at the puck , somehow managed to miss the target and seen the visitors clear their lines.
Milton Keynes had previously beat the Phoenix in the last two league encounters,  although both of those games were played on the bigger surface at the Coventry Skydome, to which is the current home for the Lightning as their home in Milton Keynes is undergoing development this season.


The Lightning took charge of the game fairly quickly as they out battling the home in every department of the game. Whether it was face-offs, checking or loose pucks, the Lightning was always a step ahead in the game and came as no suprise when they took their opening chance of the game through Jordon Cownie, who found the back of the net scoring past Steve Fone, who had his team mate screen him on the goal at 1-13 and gave the away side a great start.



Milton Keynes played a great road game as they frustrated the home side with their pressing and defensive wise they were immense too as gave Manchester a real headache trying to breakdown.
The game first penalty came at 6-20 against the MK Lightning and namely the rambunctious Grant McPherson, as he sat for two minutes for Roughing after he hit Andy McKinney and then tried to draw a penalty from him, but the Phoenix man was very wise too his tactics.
Ben Wood saw his wrist shot strike the pipe work and go high into the netting above the plexi.

The powerplay was an absolute shocker by Phoenix and one that an under 10’s would cringe at. It took the last couple of seconds from it to see a shot at Wall and one that the netminder dealt with accordingly.
Phoenix had a chance to make up for it, when Ross Bowers slashed at the back of Ben Wood skates when they were both heading off the ice and he was forced to sit for two at 12-07, but yet again the home disappointed on the extra man attack as they failed to even skate over into the MK zone during the whole two minutes of the power play.


Phoenix managed to shoehorn their way back in the contest slightly, that was till one of the two referees on the ice made a weird call on a James Neil for Interference at 19-13 when there seemed to be nothing in it.
Too be fair the referee`s was missing calls on both sides and as they tried to let the game flow, Milton Keynes were certainly flexing their physical prowess as they were finishing off their checks everytime, something that Manchester wasn’t doing at all since Robin Kovar put a hard stiff check on a Lightning forward in the boards after minute of play.





In the second period, Milton Keynes continued their physical play as well as their defensive display too which quelled any Phoenix attacks in the opening two periods of play, that despite the fact Manchester was heavily out shooting their opponents in the game.
Nearly all the shots the home side had was aiming far to high over Stephen Wall nets as the puck was flying over the bar and if it had been rugby, then they would have been miles ahead of the Lightning. A majority of the shots was far too high and hitting the plexi glass behind the goals and those that were on target was harmlessly right at Wall and was catching practice for the MK netminder really.



Robert Schnabel then got called for Roughing when Ben Russell was slashing at Steve Fone while the Manchester goalie had the puck covered up and despite the whistle blowing he still continued too whacked away at the glove of Fone, which then brought Schnabel dashed over to push Russell away from goal and into the boards behind as he protected his netminder. That then led to the players on the ice coming together and saw Russell escape the scrum and head straight to the bench and saw an absolutely irate Schnabel, furiously protest his innocence over the call at 29-48.
Manchester did well to kill off the penalty as they held off a determined MK power play unit, which saw the tall Czech man eventually skate right back to the bench with the Phoenix launching an attack of their own.


It was then the turn of the away side to go shorthanded once again, with a Too Many Men call at 32-05 and saw Phoenix still unable to set up a decent power play in the match to this point. Tom Carlon then took a trip to the box a minute later for a Slashing call at 33-41 and saw Manchester have a 5 on 3 opportunity as they looked to draw level.
Referee Dan Boardman then called Leigh Jamieson for Slashing at 37-57 to see the home side back on the power play and despite good movement of the puck, they just couldn`t find a way through the M.K defense at all with the opponents diving in front of the attackers to block any incoming shots on the power play.




Milton Keynes headed into the third period leading 1-0 and was in control of the match without dominating it as their stifling play had Manchester bamboozled and looking for answers as the third got underway.
However, Tony Hand must have delivered one of the best team talk in his term time as Phoenix coach with Manchester seemingly looking a completely different side to the ones that was struggling to put passes together and looked toothless in attack, to now looking like a side that was threatening and looked like they could score.
Then at 42:22 Manchester drew level as Liam Chong and Richard Bentham set up Jack Watkins whose wrist shot beat Wall to go far corner and see Phoenix tie the game up at 1-1, Phoenix had finally decided to stop shooting high and wide and aim lower and got the results.


Phoenix then pressed Milton Keynes back with them having a good spell of possession and had the visitors caught all at sea, with a wave upon wave of Phoenix attacks and saw Stephen Wall stand up excellently to every shot the home side thrown at him, especially a James Archer chance that seen Wall roll to save it spectacularly.
Lewis Christie was penalised for Tripping James Archer up along the side boards and put Manchester once again on the power play at 44-17. They were then given another opportunity with the two man advantage with Phoenix having another 5 on 3 chance that saw after the whistle, Michael Farn go for a Manchester forward much in the way that Schnabel had done in the second period. 


The home side from somewhere was given a boost of energy and urgency about their play now with the Phoenix testing Wall in the Milton Keynes goals and they found a way to finally break down the Lightning`s defenses compared to the 44 minutes of the game, in which they were second best and the tide looked to have turned.  
At 46-21 a fast passing move by the Phoenix Power play unit, saw James Archer and Michal Psurny assist to set up Robin Kovar who drilled his shot past Wall from close range to see the Phoenix go 2-1 up in the game looked to have given them control at that point in time. 
With 6 minutes of play left to go in the game it seen the game ebb and flow one way and then another. Manchester then found themselves back on the penalty kill with Richard Bentham called for Cross Checking at 53-25.


Manchester had been able to stop and block any shots that was aimed on the home sides net, but the visitors got a favourable bounce 1:05 into their powerplay when Janne Jolika cut through the home defence he laid it off to Leigh Jamieson whose effort was partly saved by Fone and saw the rebound fall to Tom Carlon and he was quick to turn it into a goal and make it all square again at 54-29, with the remaining minutes played out like a sudden death period.
The game then became a bit tighter with neither side wanting to make a mistake with the seconds ticking down.
Phoenix had a couple of late chances to win it at the death but couldn`t find the goal so we headed to Overtime.


In the Overtime period, Manchester had a couple of early shots on Wall that saw him like the proverbial brick wall at the back and helped his side out. The ice seemed to be on a sea-saw, with the way the play moved from one end to the other in quick style and made for an exciting period of hockey with both sides pushing for the winning goal.
Phoenix fans thought they`d scored the overtime winner but was disappointed when the referee called Bakrlik for a Cross Check into the MK man back at 61-27. Neither side was able to claim the extra point in the five minute extra period, so we headed to the lottery of the penalty shootout.


Manchester went first in the shoot out through Michal Psurny and saw the Czech forward wind up move before slipping under the goalie for a 1-0 lead to the Phoenix. Blaz Emersic then stepped up for the Lightning and he slotted it past Fone for 1-1.
Robin Kovar scores on Wall
Robin Kovar was next up for the Phoenix and he managed to commit Wall before backhanding top shelf in the net to see them lead 2-1 and seen Adam Carr`s effort saved by Steve Fone to give Manchester the chance of victory if James Archer could score the final penalty.
Archer skated fast down the left side before moving across goal and tried to lift it in over Wall, but the netminder was in a good position to narrow the angle and see him stop the shot denying the home side victory for now.


Janne Jokila was the third skater for MK and he made no mistake as he back handed past Fone to see the shootout head into sudden death.
Frankie Bakrlik was the fourth penalty taker for the home side as he tried to pull off a “Malik” move  by shooting between his legs, but Wall was clever to save his attempt and gave the visitors a chance to win the game through Jordan Cownie. Fone though, was equal to him and saw us head into a 5th round of shots in the match.
Robert Schnabel had hoped that history would repeat itself again as the last time he took a penalty shot he was the hero for Phoenix. 
However, it wasn`t to be this time around as he failed to even hit the target as  he pulled it wide of the goals and saw advantage MK once again.
Leigh Jamieson was next to go for the Lightning, with a chorus of boos hurled at him and he tried to back hand his penalty past Fone and saw him miss the target and so we carried on to the 6th round.
Player Coach for the Manchester Phoenix Tony Hand, then took the next shot for his team and saw him fire over the goal hitting the plexi glass and standing with a look of bemusement on his face.
Tom Carlon then missed his effort, which saw Luke Boothroyd try to do his Captain`s duty and score a penalty to put them in the driving seat. Boothroyd though never got a shot away as he lost control of the puck as he approached Wall in the goals and his ‘effort’ very nearly deceived the netminder and saw Wall getting a toe on it.


Jokila beats Fone
We then had Grant McPherson go for MK and he seemed to won the match as he drew Fone out of position and as he pulled the trigger, Fone made a top draw great save to rob him and McPherson couldn`t believe it!
That saw us move to Round 7 in the shoot out and up step unlikely hero Joe Graham, as the defenseman made a couple of dekes before firing to Wall`s right and had the home fans on their feet as the puck found twine.
Michael Farn was the man to try and keep it going for the visitors, but he was unable to do so as Steve Fone blocked his penalty and seen Manchester take the win 3-2 in the shoot out.
The win saw some daylight for the Phoenix at last at the top of the tree, with them opening up a two point gap, whilst both Bison and Flames lost their respective games to Peterborough and Swindon.  Manchester now have have the edge at the moment having these three games in hand over Basingstoke and two in hand on Guildford as they know they will need to make these count.

Psurny gives Phoenix the lead in Shootout
Plus there is also the little matter of the EPL Cup semi-finals in a couple of weeks time against the MK Lightning, which is a mouth watering prospect after another enthralling game between the two side on Sunday. Who ever wins that game will meet the winners of the other semi between the Bison and Flames to see who will meet in the final.



English Premier League
GP
W
OTW
OTL
L
GF
GA
Pts
1
Manchester Phoenix
36
23
4
2
7
167
101
56
2
Basingstoke Bison
39
22
4
2
11
149
118
54
3
Guildford Flames
39
21
3
3
12
160
124
51
4
Milton Keynes Lightning
37
18
4
1
14
144
123
45
5
Swindon Wildcats
37
14
4
1
18
129
129
37
6
Sheffield Steeldogs
39
12
2
7
18
139
172
35
7
Telford Tigers
38
15
2
0
21
122
137
34
8
Bracknell Bees
40
12
3
3
22
127
161
33
9
Slough Jets
37
14
1
1
21
124
160
31
10
Peterborough Phantoms
38
12
0
7
19
132
168
31

Next Weekend: 


City gain revenge on Spirited Bluebirds

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MANCHESTER CITY        4   –  2       CARDIFF CITY


       Dzeko 13, Navas 33,
       Toure 76, Aguero 78                                           Noone 28, Campbell 90+4





Manchester City saw off a decent challenge by Ole Gunanr Solskjaer`s Cardiff City on Saturday, but the result seemed inevitable that the home side would eventually find a way to grind out the victory in the end for City and it was one that was hard worked for too. City were one goal shy of hitting the 100 goals barrier as it seemed it was it going to be only a matter of time but the question was whom, was going to score the 100th for the Blues. A win for the home side would possibly have seen them move top depending on the result down at the emirates with Arsenal.  


Edin Dzeko takes plaudits for City`s 100th goal: pic: Yahoosports
The home side should have had a stonewall penalty in the opening 30 seconds of play and see the visitors down to ten men too, It all came after a suspicion of offside in the build-up which saw David Silva put a low cross at the near post of goal for Edin Dzeko to get onto and just as the Bosnian striker went to side foot it, Kevin McNaughton bundled Dzeko over in the area from behind taking the man and not the ball. The match official ignored the claims for a penalty by City and saw the ball come back to Silva and his effort was blocked for a corner.
The Blues dominated possession as you expected at home with Cardiff playing with 11 behind the ball and looking to keep the league`s top scorers out of the goal column. 
Challenges were getting a bit tasty between the sides with Cardiff certainly leaving their foot into the tackles as they let City know that they weren`t going to be pushovers for the home side.
Dzeko had the first effort in the game when Silva poked a ball forward towards Negredo and when the ball was cut out by the Cardiff defence,  Dzeko was first to the loose ball and his shot was palmed away well by David Marshall in the Bluebirds goals to keep the score goalless.

Marshall keeper was called into action soon after, with the Blues turning a quick Offside into a fast break that involved Yaya Toure passing to David Silva and his lovely weighted through ball for his Spanish team mate in Jesus Navas, saw him set off down the right wing and his cross was almost turned in by Michael Turner for own goal but Marshall got down well to turn it away for another corner.



Screen shows 1st HAWKEYE GOAL
City were piling the pressure on the visitors more and now as they were playing some nice football and you felt a goal was coming sooner than later and it did, When in the 13th minute a quick throw taken by Aleksander Kolarov went to David Silva and the midfielder seemed to accidentally brush  him on his arm as the midfielder spun round to evade a defender. Cardiff defenders stood still expecting the official to blow the whistle and for them it never came and seen the Spanish International play the ball back across goal towards Edin Dzeko and his scruffy shot went over the line to give them them lead.
The goal was historic for two reasons as well, the first being City being the first team in the Premier League era to reach 100 goals the fastest and also was the first EVER goal to be awarded via the Hawkeye system too.  
City then seemed to go to asleep a bit after scoring but they had little flashes of opportunities and shown that with Silva creating a chance for ‘the Beast’, with Negredo running on the dink over the defence and with the ball not coming down quick enough, the Spanish hitman improvised with a shot and saw Marshall just get a finger to it with him putting it out for a corner kick.






Noone and Campbell revel in leveller at 1-1  :BBCSPORT 
Alvaro Negredo had another chance go begging soon after, when a little ball was floated into a gap by Pablo Zabaleta for the Spanish striker and saw him move into the penalty area and with a flash of the foot saw it just move away from goal and was a poor effort by Negredo high standards. He then found himself in the book soon after with a late tackle on Gunnarsson and earned him a yellow card. 
Cardiff with their first really attack in the game scored against the run of play as Craig Noone was up in support with Jordon Mutch and his little flick on saw Noone run unchallenged in the area, before then tricking City Captain Vincent Kompany inside out and then beat Joe Hart at the near post to give the visitors an unlikely equaliser in the scheme of things on 29 minutes.
That goal seemed to wake City up a bit more from their mini slumber as three minutes later, City was back in front after a Yaya Toure pass with the outside of the foot was chased onto by Dzeko and the Bosnian striker then ran at the Cardiff defense drawing 3 players towards him before the ball was knocked away from Dzeko, but only as far as Jesus Navas who came running in and his shot went in despite Marshall save attempt for a 2-1 lead on 33 minutes.
Edin Dzeko was at the heart of another penalty appeal waved off by Swarbrick, after Michael Turner nudged Dzeko in the back, but the referee wasn`t interested in the incident and it was one of the things where if it was outside the area, then nine times out of ten it`s given as a foul.
Half time came and both sides would have been reasonably pleased, City to be leading 2-1 and Cardiff to be still in the game and only being a goal down but annoyed to give a second goal away as well.
Cardiff started the second half a bit more openly than the first half as they looked to go in search of a goal to draw level. Jordon Mutch had a shot saved by Joe Hart which seen the England number 1 having to be on his toes still. City you felt needed another goal to kill off the game and with Dzeko wasting a good chance and then Silva seeing his shot go just wide of the target after a good touch by Dzeko to give him a chance, Silva should have put the shot on target at the very least as it would have capped off a great move.
Alvaro Negredo was then replaced by fellow striker Sergio Aguero with the Blues looking to change the attack a bit and went with the ‘little and large’ combination up front.
In the 76th minute Yaya Toure then went on one of his infamous lung bursting runs from his own half and as shrugged off a challenge from the opposing defenders, he played a little one-two with Aguero before firing the ball home past David Marshall left hand side for a 3-1 lead and give the home side breathing space and take the wind out of the Cardiff sails in the process.
City then made it 4-1 in the 78th minute, when a great ball by Toure again saw the Argentine striker take the ball down and turn Caulker inside and out a few times in the box, before choosing on the far corner to give the home side 3 points and 103 goals for the season for the Blue side of Manchester.
Deep into stoppage time the former Manchester United player Fraizer Campbell gave the away side the last word in the game, after he peeled away from Martin Demichelis in the area and ghosting in behind him to prod home from the 5 yard box and see the score line flatter the visitors in truth.
Manchester City now head into their League Cup second leg encounter match down in London, with them defending a very healthy 6-0 lead from the first leg against strugglers West Ham United at Upton Park and should see them move onto the Cup Final at Wembley.



Psurny ‘high five’ sees Phoenix FLY past the Jets

Uncategorized









MANCHESTER PHOENIX   7   –   2  SLOUGH JETS 

Bakrlik, Watkins, Psurny x5                                                             Line, Keiras

 Manchester Phoenix`s Czech forward Michal Psurny scored five goals as he helped move the Phoenix back to the summit of the English Premier League table Sunday night, after a 7-2 victory over the troubled Slough Jets at the Altrincham Ice Dome. 

From the first puck drop Phoenix were taking the game to the young side from Berkshire way with the young Croatian netminder Andrej Vasiljevic in the Jets goals and as the game went on they`ll wonder if their bus had ran over a group of Black cats, they walked under ladders or had cracked mirrors on the way up to Manchester with some bad luck they got.
Phoenix got the scoring underway at 3-35 in the game with Frankie Bakrlik netting against his former club after Czech team mate Robin Kovar helped assist on the goal alongside Andy McKinney as Bakrlik tipped the puck home to give Phoenix an early 1-0 lead. Manchester doubled the lead when they broke away through Liam Chong as he hit the puck around the boards to which Richard Bentham skated on to, he then passed back to Liam Chong and his pass out from goals fell to Jack Watkins who then roofed it home past Vasiljevic to double the lead for the home side at 8-08.
Phoenix were in control of the first twenty with Slough struggled to get anything in the way of an attacking play going at all after the home defence were in a miserly mood at the back.
Slough only two players to make any impact in the period was Jamie Line and Matt Towalski as they looked to try and generate a few shots on the Manchester goals but when they did Steve Fone was ready to answer the call (no pun intended).
Michal Psurny then turned into a goal scoring machine for the rest of the game as he made it 3-0 with absolute ripper from the face off circle as it went as quick as a flash over the shoulder o the netminder for 3-0 at 18-30 with James Archer assisting on the Czech forward first goal of the night.
With the period coming to a close, Slough had one last effort before the break and saw Jamie Line put past Fone to make it 3-1 and Tony Hand would have been livid to have conceded a late goal in with just six seconds remaining on the first with the timed at 19-54.
Second period saw Slough play a bit more hockey as Manchester seemed to slightly take their foot of the gas and saw Slough battle back in the game. Mindaugas Kieras was called for Tripping at 23-44 which saw a good powerplay by the Phoenix, in which they moved the puck round quickly and had Slough scrambling with the extra man advantage but couldn`t convert on it. 
The Visiting Jets killed off the penalty and saw them go on their own power play with James Archer being called for Holding along the penalty box side of the rink as he held an opposing player by the boards a touch too long for Referee Steve Brown liking and put Manchester on the Penalty Kill at 27-52.
Jets power play never got going and they were made to pay for it, when Rob Schnabel dispossessed the Jets PP unit in the Phoenix zone and passed towards Michal Psurny positioned on the edge of his own zone, he then sent a pass off down centre ice to the open Tony Hand.
Hand then skated on goal before making a spin move and playing Psurny in, who in turn tried to play a pass back across the net for Hand and with the netminder out of position the puck ricocheted off the skate of Matt Towalski and slowly wobbled in over the line for a 4-1 game at 29-44 for a Shorthanded goal too.
Phoenix went on the power play two more times in the period, starting off with Daniel Rose heading to the box for the away side after he chipped the puck out of play for a Delay of Game call at 33-07 and then James Buckingham followed him at 36-31 with the player adjudged to have Clipped Frantisek Bakrilk leg after the forward stayed down clutching his knee which Bakrlik has recently come back from injury with.
The Jets then struck the post as they tried to pull a goal back with the last mintue of play of the period, once again the away teams scored at the end of the period. With five seconds remaining in the period the Jets pushed for a final shoot and after Steve Fone was nudged slightly in his crease, as a Slough player was stood in the crease behind Fone before Mindaugas Kieras scored and the puck went in the net with as the horn sounded.
Steve Fone who is usually mild mannered skated towards the referee and wasn`t a very happy camper as was a couple of players who asked about the man in the crease prior to the goal going in, However Brown ignored all views in the Red and White of the Phoenix and saw the lead down to to two with the goal timed at 40-00. 
Manchester can say they were fortunate too for a few goals especially the fourth goal as a couple of goals were scored by deflections in off Jets Defenceman and summed up the bad luck they are having at the moment too. 
Michal Psurny grabbed his Hat-Trick goal at 47-32 when his pass across goal took a bounce off Jamie Line as he tried to block the puck and ended up diverting in his own net for a 5-2 scoreline. Psurny then scored his fourth less than a minute later when a long pass by Hand found the Czech forward and buried high past the netminder for 6-2 timed at 47-51 with Hand and Schnabel assisting exactly like the previous goal.
Manchester still had one more goal left in them or should i say Michal Psurny had one more goal left in him, the Czech sniper found the net for the 5th time in the game to make it 7-2 at 53-24 with Richard Bentham getting an assist on the goal after his shot hit the boards behind the net and fell kindly to Psurny who put home to finish off the game. 
Steve Balmer then headed to the box for shooting the puck out of the playing area for a Delay Of Game penalty before we had saw a little scrap between Brad Watchorn and Phoenix Andy McKinney as they dropped the gloves.


Both combatants threw some good punches before the linesman came into break up the fight and saw both respective players head towards their own lockers room as both received 2+2 for Roughing at 58-30. 
Victory meant that along with Guildford falling to the Swindon Wildcats 5-2 down at the Link Centre, that the Phoenix moved top to the tree with a better wins record over the other two sides around them and seen then lead for this weekend at least.




PHOENIX PODCAST: http://manchesterphoenix.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/the-jets-bomb.html

OFFICIAL Report: http://www.manchesterphoenix.co.uk/news/2420/psurny-five-goal-haul-phoenix-take-points

P W OW OL L PIM F A Pts
1Up
Manchester Phoenix 34 22 3 2 7 258 159 97 52
2Down
Basingstoke Bison 37 21 4 2 10 353 141 108 52
3Down
Guildford Flames 38 21 3 3 11 321 158 121 51
4No change
Milton Keynes Lightning 35 18 4 0 13 336 139 116 44
5No change
Sheffield Steeldogs 37 12 2 7 16 673 131 160 35
6No change
Swindon Wildcats 35 12 4 1 18 293 115 123 33
7No change
Bracknell Bees 37 11 3 3 20 510 120 150 31
8Up
Telford Tigers 36 13 2 0 21 428 115 134 30
9Down
Slough Jets 35 13 1 1 20 231 116 152 29
10No change
Peterborough Phantoms 36 11 0 7 18 345 126 159 29

Manchester`s Cool Hand Luke fires Phoenix to victory!!

Uncategorized










MANCHESTER PHOENIX                    5   –   2                   BASINGSTOKE BISON


Wood , Bakrlik ,Boothroyd x2 , Archer                                                       Melacharino , Karpov



An unlikely double by Captain Luke Boothroyd saw the Manchester Phoenix overcome their fellow title rivals in the Basingstoke Bison 5-2 in an entertaining game last Sunday evening. Manchester moved to within a point of new leaders the Guildford Flames. With Phoenix having Frantisek Bakrlik returning to the Manchester line up, they looked to get back to winning ways after their heavy 7-2 loss on Saturday to the Milton Keynes Lighting in what was their 2nd big defeat handed to them within a fortnight at the Coventry Skydome by the same team.
Their opponents at the Altrincham Ice Dome the THEN, league leaders the Basingstoke Bison find themselves on the receiving end of a beating too on Saturday night with the Hampshire club losing 4-2 on their travels at Telford.
Both sides desperately wanted to avoid a ‘Nil point’ weekend, as it would give the winners the extra boost for different reasons. If the Bison won the game the overall series would see them lead 3-1 if it came to down to it in the table they`d have the upper hand but if Manchester won it, then it would help their cause as they the extra games in hand that would see them get a head start on their rival.

There was a huge crowd in the Ice dome as they witnessed these two top two lock horns in a top of the table clash.
Early moments of the game saw the Manchester forwards testing Dean Skinns in the visitors net as it saw him stand up to the task, stopping all shots he faced.
Basingstoke then came into the game as they had the Manchester defence all at sea for a while in the opening 10 minutes of play the with Bison seemingly camped in the Phoenix zone. Manchester was finding it really difficult to clear the puck from out their end of the ice with then visitors pressing them back.
Manchester was then down a man for when defenceman Joe Graham got called for Hooking at 2-05.
So it didn`t come as any surprise when at 10-30 gone in the game, the Bison struck the first blow through a Tomas Karpov shot that got blocked by Phoenix player near the net and the puck fell fortunately for the visitors and gave Andrew Melachrino the opportunity to put past Steve Fone for a 1-0 lead to the Herd and gave the small number of Basingstoke fans that made the long trip, something to cheer early on.
Phoenix almost scored on fast break when a pass down right boards saw Liam Chong skate away on a 2 on 1 with Michal Psurny great move and pass across goal saw the Czech man robbed at point blank range by Skinns, as Psurny and everyone in the rink thinking it had gone in.
They responded in the next run of play, as it took 56 seconds from the Bison goal to seen Ben Wood screamer from the Bison blue line fly in past Skinns in the nets and the delight was for all to see on the defender face, Bakrlik and Kovar grabbed assists on the tying goal at 11-24.
Phoenix fans had hardly any time to sit down when returning forward to the Phoenix line up in Frantisek Bakrlik as he turned from provider to scorer with the Czech forward skating into the visitors zone and then put the puck through the legs of the goalie to give Phoenix a 2-1 lead and turn the game on it`s head at 11-55.
Phoenix then started to take the game over with them peppering Skinns and having a few near misses which saw the Bison netminder fumbling and looking very unsure most of the evening.
Rob Schnabel then took a trip to the penalty box for what was a bizarre Interference call after he had put a hard hit on Michael Wales which saw the Bison player flying and end up crashing by the boards while he had the puck, a lot of people in the rink was baffled with that call, but it was a period littered with some baffling calls on both sides. One notable call was during a Phoenix Penalty kill as the home side cleared the puck down the far end of the ice played stopped as the 4   officials on the ice had somehow managed to forget the error and saw the stripey`s look very embarrassed indeed over the incident.




Second period saw Manchester move up a gear or two as they were now pinning back the Bison in their own zone much like they had done to the home side in the opening period. It didn`t take Manchester long to extend their lead either when a pass behind the net by Tony Hand saw  Luke Boothroyd skate to the front of the net with a couple of Basingstoke Bison defenders unable to deal with it and the Phoenix captain put home for 3-1.
Manchester had a great chance to make 4 not long after when James Archer was fed in front of the goals by Hand, but Skinns was equal to it to and produced another good save from the forward to keep it a two goal game.
There was a delay in the game when Player Coach for the Bison, Doug Sheppard took a puck to the face off Ben Wood clearance and saw a couple of Bison players protest to the ref asking for a call.
Nicky Chinn then picked up a needless penalty for the away side when the his side started a rush and at mid ice saw Chinn use his stick to blantantly trip up a Phoenix player skate in his own zone and saw the referee at the far end call it, leaving the bench on Basingstoke unimpressed with Mr Chinn at that point in time as they were having a good spell of possession then.
At 31-30 the game was close to being killed off as the home side scored on the resulting power play, after work by Rob Schnabel and Tony Hand saw the Player coach pass it out to Boothroyd who fired in his second of the game with a one timer for 4-1.
We then had a controversial moment towards the back end of the period as with 1-17 left in it, there was a mad scramble around the Basingstoke goals and saw a Basingstoke player trying to clear a Phoenix man from the front of the crease and as the Manchester man got in front of him, we saw the two players then come down together after the Basingstoke man had cross checked the Phoenix man into the crease and sent the goalie backwards seeing both players landing on top of him. Play continued for a good 10 seconds after which involved a scrum at the front of the net trying to get the puck while Skinns was down and after a shot came that seemed to hit Skinns in his body, a rebound was then put in to the net and the referee signalled a goal.
While the netminder was getting treatment by the medical staff, the away side disputed the goal and the home side wanted clarification that it had counted. Referee down that end in Dave Emmerson gave the goal originally and was in no doubting it was good as he gestured to the Bison players that the defenceman had cross checked the Phoenix man into the goalie and that he caused the problem leading to the ‘goal’.
 Confusion rained on for a few minutes with Basingstoke obviously fuming and Phoenix and everyone in the rink wanting to know what on earth was happening,
after consultation with the line assistants and the second referee in the game it was judged to be no goal and that play would stop now and continue again after the intermission with Skinns looking badly injured and saw an early end to the period.
We came back off from the break and played out the remaining 1-17 of the second, where upon the visitors cut the lead in half with touch lucky goal through Tomas Karpov.
The goal came after Robin Kovar had skated just outside his zone and Ciaran Long stick who was trying to knock the puck away clearly took the legs from under the Czech man and in the process wiped out a Bison player as a result, Karpov took possession of the puck and skated across goal Steve Fone before sliding it under Fone for a 4-2 game coming at 39-36.
Basingstoke for the remainder of the second looked to have out come and put up a little more fight as they weren`t going down easily.


Third stanza saw the game kind of fizzle out in the end really as the officials started to make calls and face off`s which had players on both sides not happy with and the referees were slowing the game down.
Bison picked up a power play opportunity early in the period with Bakrlik receiving a bit a late hit from an opposing player to which he then skated for the puck and retaliated to the earlier hit he got catching a Bison player with an arm causing a penalty on the Czech man for Elbowing at 41-09.
Both sides collected Icing infringement penalties and with Manchester currently serving their own penalty it was made tougher, when Luke Boothroyd collected another weird call by the officials, when he was sent for High Sticks despite the stick staying below waist height, it was one of many calls in the game that had both sides frustrated it seemed with the officiating. 
Phoenix then made sure of the points after some board play by Richard Bentham and Jack Watkins saw the young Watkins pass the puck into the path of James Archer and this time he buried the chance at 57-25 to make the game 5-2 as the away side were chasing shadows. 
The clock rundown and saw Manchester not only beat another title rival but more importantly in the long run, see them the series 2-2 over the season so far with the next meeting played down at Planet Ice in Basingstoke and the possible title decider coming in the penultimate weekend of the season between the two.
Basingstoke will mark this down as forget and move exercise, while Phoenix will be delighted to have taken 2 points off a near rival in the table and see the title race starting to gather speed in a interesting title race.



    
English Premier League
GP
W
OTW
OTL
L
GF
GA
Pts
1
Guildford Flames
37
21
3
3
10
156
116
51
2
Manchester Phoenix
33
21
3
2
7
152
95
50
3
Basingstoke Bison
36
20
4
2
10
136
104
50
4
Milton Keynes Lightning
33
17
4
0
12
136
111
42
5
Sheffield Steeldogs
36
11
2
7
16
123
158
33
6
Bracknell Bees
36
11
3
3
19
115
143
31
7
Slough Jets
33
13
1
1
18
112
137
29
8
Swindon Wildcats
32
10
4
1
17
108
119
29
9
Telford Tigers
34
12
2
0
20
109
130
28
10
Peterborough Phantoms
34
10
0
7
17
115
149
27

LINKS:



BOLTON NEWS:

Kovar Treble Helps Phoenix Stay In Touch With Leaders

Uncategorized




Manchester Phoenix  6 – 3  Swindon Wildcats


Kovar x3, Psurny x2, Bentham                              Kostal, Hoog, Nell

                       




Manchester Phoenix managed to finally record their first win of 2014 after securing a win over the Swindon Wildcats at the Altrincham Ice Dome winning 6-3, thanks to a Hat Trick by Czech forward Robin Kovar as they shrugged off their 5-2 loss to Basingstoke the night earlier.
Phoenix were boosted for the Sunday game, by the return of Steve Fone between the pipes for Manchester, after the netminder had missed the Bison encounter with an illness and so the Sheffield born shot-stopper got off his sickbed to help his side earn a big win, especially with the Bison losing in Telford.
From the opening face-off, neither side really got to grips with the game but did see Tony Hand create the first shot of the game himself. When the Phoenix Player-coach got the puck in the middle of the zone and his slap shot zinged off the bar and away to the corner, as it had Lyle beat in the Wildcats nets. 
Swindon found themselves on the penalty kill after 3.19 in, when Steve Whitfield got called for Tripping after he brought down a Manchester player.
Manchester managed to make the extra man advantage count in their favour, with the home side taking the lead on the powerplay through a Robin Kovar poke at 5.11.
Within a couple of minutes of taking the lead in the game, Swindon then turned the game on it`s head. As at 7.59 the Wildcats with one of their first attacks in the game, saw Sam Smith skate towards goal and with the puck lost at the front of the home sides net. Henri Sandvik then his shot saved by Steve Fone, but the rebound got turned in by Jan Kostal as the Cats made it 1-1.
Then the visitors made from trailing to leading in no time at all, as they made it 2-1 after a Ryan Watt looked to be getting dealt with easily by Fone, but much to the embarrassment of the Manchester netminder. With the netminder scooping the puck back towards him to cover it, instead he seemed to knock it through his legs towards the back door. Where upon Jonas Hoog was on hand to tuck home for a bizarre goal at the 9.16 mark, to put Ryan Aldridge`s men a goal up in the contest.
Swindon then grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck as they looked to insert their dominance for the rest of the period, with the Wildcats pressuring the Phoenix defense and causing them mistakes and just flat out frustrating the home team.
Manchester`s play had become extremely disjointed and they looked like a side that was all at sea and lacking in shape and idea of what they were doing, though to have to give a tonne of credit to the visitor`s for the way they played and stifled the home side play.
Swindon was looking more like the home side than the away team, due to the way they were bossing Phoenix around the ice and putting the hits on their opponent`s as they looked very much like Manchester did at the start of the season.
It shown as well, that the home side were certainly missing a key player like Bakrlik out on the ice, with Manchester not having a player of his qualities that could hold the puck up and torment the opposition`s defence much like he does for the Phoenix.
For the good play Swindon had in the first, they only shot it 7 times in the opening twenty and yet they went in leading 2-1.
Second period saw the Manchester defence in a tangle to start with, as they struggled to stop the early Swindon attacks with them throwing themselves into the path of the Wildcats players to block shots.
Manchester eventually edged their way back into the game as they made it an evenly contested match, with them taking the game to Swindon.
The Wildcats were still shading the play and despite Aku Pekkarinen being called for Roughing at 24.56, the home side made nothing at all of the following power play thought it nearly saw Swindon score shorthanded.
Then at the halfway stage of the contest we saw the turning point in the match, with Manchester firing in 3 quick goals after 83 seconds that saw them take full control of the game from that point on wards.
Manchester`s first goal was scored by Michal Psurny with the assist going to his  fellow Countryman, when Czech defenseman Robert Schnabel played the puck back to the forward and his shot found a way in past Stevie Lyle for 2-2 at 30.44.
Phoenix then looked like the ‘old Phoenix’ as they quickly broke down the left wing with Jack Watkins sending Liam Chong dashing down the wing, before passing to the back post where Richard Bentham skated to the front of the net and neatly finished off the move, beating Lyle in the Cats goal for 3-2 that came at 31.08. That then saw Ryan Aldridge call a time out to try and gather his troops together after the double strike.
Less than a minute later, Robin Kovar then scored his second goal of the game as good play by recent signing to the Altrincham based outfit in Jaroslav Cesky, saw him cause Swindon problems before making space for Kovar to fire home in the top corner for a 4-2 Phoenix lead at 32.03, after that goal the home side never looked in any danger again.
Stevie Lyle looked like a rabbit in the headlights of a car most of the game as he made some weird saves over the game as he had to deal with the home team attacks, with the Cats massively on the back foot now as Phoenix looked like they were queuing up to score at times and see a complete reversal of the opening period play.
Phoenix had dominated the second period after they led by two goals, to see them head into the final intermission leading.
The Third period saw Phoenix fall asleep in the opening few minutes of the period as a pass by Jonas Hoog saw the returning Aaron Nell to the Wiltshire club slam home the puck, with Fone unable to make it to the other side of the net and Nell buried it a 4-3 score at 43.01, to give Swindon a little sniff of a comeback.
Ryan Watt then picked up a Hooking call at 44.19 to see the home side back out on the powerplay and from it saw Phoenix regain the two goal cushion again, thanks to Michal Psurny smacking in the rebound for 5-3 at 45.21, to see Phoenix virtually wrap up the points and see them head to their first win in 2014.
Swindon had two more power plays efforts within the final ten minutes of play, but Manchester held them off and nearly saw Michal Psurny score an outrageous goal for the home side, when the Czech forward skated round the back line and then took it wide of Lyle before sliding the puck past and unluckily, struck the far post and go safe.
Robin Kovar then added the exclamation point on the game as the forward completed his hat trick at 54.43 to see his shot beat Lyle for a Phoenix 6-3 lead and saw them move within two points of current EPL leaders the Basingstoke Bison with the Phoenix gaining two points back on them, after they down Saturday night.
Next weekend will seem like a revenge mission for Manchester, which sees them face both recent conquerors of the Phoenix in the last few games. With them travelling back down the M6 South to the Coventry Skydome, where they take on the Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday before they then take on the leaders Basingstoke Bison on Sunday with Manchester possibly having the chance to go back top depending on results.




Phoenix Podcast
OFFICIAL  PHOENIX
The Bolton News:

LEAGUE TABLE 

English Premier League
GP
W
OTW
OTL
L
GF
GA
Pts



1

Basingstoke Bison
34
20
4
2
8
132
95
50
2
Guildford Flames
35
21
2
3
9
150
108
49
3
Manchester Phoenix
31
20
3
2
6
145
86
48
4
Milton Keynes Lightning
31
16
4
0
11
128
105
40
5
Sheffield Steeldogs
34
11
2
6
15
118
145
32
6
Bracknell Bees
34
9
3
3
19
106
140
27
7
Slough Jets
31
12
1
1
17
106
130
27
8
Telford Tigers
32
11
2
0
19
103
124
26
9
Swindon Wildcats
30
9
3
1
17
95
114
25
10
Peterborough Phantoms
32
9
0
6
17
107
143
24

SPENGLER CUP Day 6: Geneve upsets Moscow in FINAL

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GENEVE-SERVETTE  5 – 3  CSKA Moscow

The 2013 Spengler Cup Tournament came to a close in Davos, Switzerland on New Year`s Eve, as it saw a replay of the preliminary round match that was arguably the best game of the 2013 tournament, as the Swiss side Geneve-Servette beat the Favourites CSKA Moscow 4-3 in Overtime.
This time though, it would be only be only one side that would be in this contest as it saw Geneve-Servette lift the 87th annual Spengler Cup to see the Switzerland hockey club win it`s first ever major piece of silverwear in it`s clubs history.

Geneve-Servette got the scoring underway in the final at the 7 minute mark, when a powerplay goal by Juraj Simek saw the forward scored from a rebound.
Alexandre Picard started the play in the Moscow zone after he passed to Garrett Stafford, whose blast was blocked at the front of the net and Simek swooped onto the puck and backhanded home for a 1-0 lead.
Geneve then doubled their lead at 10-25 after Denis Hollenstein scored from a rebound that came off Kevin Romy shot, after the puck was saved originally by Rastislav Stana in the CSKA nets, but the puck came right on the stick of Hollenstein and he dispatched the puck in the nets as the defense was non-existant.

The Swiss National League side shown their dominance more in the game, as they score an early goal in the Second period thanks to Lennart Petrell, who was on hand to guide the puck home after Stana made another save.
The netminder had made a kick save to stop Roland Gerber shot from the angle but saw the puck come straight out towards the front of the net and Petrell got there ahead of the Russian defenseman and made it 3-0 at 23-48.
CSKA then found themselves 4-0 down in the contest at 36-21, after the Russian side won the faceoff in their own zone and then Igor Fefelov poked it into the path of Geneve defenseman Daniel Vukovic. His blast was blocked at the front of the net, but saw Kevin Romy turn the puck in just as he was falling to the ice as CSKA was getting embarrassed now and this game was turning into a romp for the Swiss side now.
CSKA pulled a goal back at 39-00 through Oleg Saprykin as he made it 4-1 with the CSKA forward diverting the puck home, with the Russians looking to try and work their way back into this final.

In the final period, CSKA Moscow started to buck up their ideas with an early powerplay goal at 41:15. As Alexander Frolov scored a nice skilful goal, after he pinched the puck off Petrell stick in the attacking zone and then stick handled his way past a sliding defenseman and then by the netminder, who had come out of his crease as he slid it home for a 4-2 scoreline and the aftermath of the goal saw both teams come together in a scrum.
With time ticking down the Russians pulled another goal back thanks to Nikita Zaitsev as he made it 4-3 and set up an exciting finale to the game.
Frolov for CSKA had battled hard for the puck behind the Geneve net on the 3rdgoal for Moscow, Frolov then dished a pass out to Zaitsev and he fired past Robert Mayer for a one goal game at 56-31.
The Swiss side called for a time out with under 3 minutes to go in the game and with CSKA going in search for the goal to tie the game, pulled the goalie for the extra attacker with over a minute left.
Moscow lost possession in the neutral zone and saw Goran Bezina and Matthew Lombardi combine to set up Kaspars Daugavins who slotted past the last defenseman for a 5-3 empty net goal at 59-00 to lead Geneve-Servette to their Spengler Cup triumph and beat the pre-tournament favourites twice in the tournament.



SPENGLER CUP 2013 :DAY 5 – Swiss side advances & Moscow win shootout

Uncategorized

Day 5 of the Spengler Cup tournament was Semi Finals day as HC Geneve-Servette took on Team Canada, but before that was HC Davos hosts of the 87th Annual tournament against Russian side CSKA Moscow.

HC DAVOS   4  –  5  CSKA MOSCOW 

      after Penalty shots



The first Semi Finals saw it go all the way to a penalty shoot out, that saw Hosts HC Davos and CSKA Moscow play a very close knitted affair between the two top teams in European Ice Hockey.
It was the Hosts that scored the opening goal of the game through Enzo Corvi who started and finished off the move at 3-28. Corvi had dispossessed Georgy Misharin at the halfway line and he Andres Ambhul broke away on a 2 on 0, with Ilya Proskuryakov in the CSKA nets hung out to dry as Ambhul drew the goalie out, before sliding it to the side for Corvi to shot into the unguarded net for 1-0.
CSKA Moscow drew level a few minutes later at 7-12, when good work by Alexander Radulov down low saw him battling constantly for the puck, he then threw the puck back out towards llari Filppula whose wrist shot bounced in and out for a 1-1 game.
HC Davos then retook the lead at 15-42 in the period, when Nicklas Danielsson picked up a rebound off the pads of Proskuryakov in the Moscow nets, saw Niklas Persson shot make it 2-1 to see them go into the break with the lead.  
CSKA Moscow once again drew level in the contest, when argubly player of the tournament in Alexander Radulov, saw him skate from his own halfway line skate into the Davos zone and wristed one past Leonardo Genoni in the hosts net for a 2-2 score at 20-19.
Moscow then took the lead for the first in the game as it was Radulov again the man who scored the goal for the CSKA side, after the puck bobbled to him and with the goalie down his shot just crept in and to make sure, he forced it in again at 29-44.
Davos responded with Ville Kositinen scoring the tying goal at 34-11, as the home side went on the attack with a quick break and with CSKA defensemen getting back, it let Kositinen skate unopposed into the Moscow zone and slot past the netminder for a 3-3 game.
The Russian themselves then lead once more with Vladimir Zharkov getting ahead of his man and saw Stanislav Egorshev pass across goal, turned in by the forward at 38-09 for a 4-3 lead.
The Third period saw HC Davos pushing for the tying goal and with a few minutes remaining, Sergei Gimaev went to the penalty box for Tripping and so Davos pulled their goalie for the extra attacker and while on the powerplay they scored the tying goal with 2:35 remaining in the game.
Davos forward Peter Sejna managed to tip in a Zdenek Kutlak one time shot from the point, as it beat the Moscow netminder for a 4-4 game and made the last couple of minutes nervy.
Overtime couldn`t separate them and so we went to penalties shots.
Alexander Radulov scored for CSKA , while Reto von Arx scored for Davos and meant that if Alexander Frolov penalty shot went in, then CSKA would win and he managed to to convert it for a 2-1 win on penalties and 5-4 overall, as that meant they were in the final of the Spengler Cup.





















TEAM CANADA    5   –  6  HC Geneve-Servette 




In the 2nd Semi Final, it saw a Swiss side make the final after Geneve-Servette defeated the current champions of this tournament in Team Canada as it was a very tight match in the end.
Team Canada will be wishing they could have restarted this game from scratch again, after they were torn part for the opening half of the match by Swiss side Geneve-Servette.
Things didn`t get off too well for Team Canada, as  Matthew Lombardi scored the opening goal of the game at 2-46, before the Canadian`s then went two goals down as at 15-22 with Denis Hollenstein adding the second in the goal column for the Swiss National League side.

The Second was no better for Team Canada with Inti Pestoni making it 3-0 for Geneve, with Matthew Lombardi and Kaspars Daugavins assisting on the goal.
Allan York then got pulled by the coach and replaced him with Matthew Hackett, who had played previously in the tournament with AHL side the Rochester Americans, who had been been knocked out by the Canadian`s in the last round.
Canada did eventually get on the scoreboard, after a strike by Alexandre Giroux that made it 3-1.
Geneve pushed ahead going 4-1 up, through a Arnaud Jacquemet goal at 28-13 just as the Swiss side was taking over the game in a big way. 
Just before the end of the period, Team Canada stayed in the game as they pulled it back to a two goal game with a Travis Roche powerplay effort making it 4-2 at 37-15.
It was a lot closer the game in the third period, with Geneve scoring their 5th goal thanks to Matthew Lombardi second of the game and looked to be it at that stage of the match.
Team Canada then mounted a comeback attempt, as Jacob Micflikier scored a 3rd goal for the men from the Great White North at 49-22 and then a minute later, Geneve-Servette made it 6-3 through Daniel Vukovic goal.
However, that didn`t stop the Canadian`s rallying late on, as they scored two late powerplay goals for a 6-5 scoreline. Try as they might Canada, they threw everything at the Swiss team including the kitchen sink, but their opponent`s held on to see them qualify in the final and play off against CSKA Moscow in the Spengler Cup final on New Year`s Eve.

SPENGLER CUP DAY 4: Wins for CSKA & CANADA

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Day 4 of the 2013 Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland saw Quarter finals day as CSKA Moscow faced HC Vitkovice Steel In the afternoon game, while it was battle of North America in the Evening as Team Canada came up against the American Hockey League side the Rochester Americans.

CSKA MOSCOW  3    –   2   HC VITKOVICE STEEL

 (AFTER OVERTIME )

In the opening Quarter-Final of the Spengler Cup, Russian side CSKA Moscow rallied from two goals down to eliminate Czech Republic side, HC Vitkovice Steel from the tournament, with CSKA winning the game in overtime 3-2.
A scoreless opening period of hockey saw both teams come out not wanting to make any mistakes that would see their opponents capitalise on, as the first period was played in a very tense period.
Second period saw the game brake into life after a Richard Stehlik blaster from the blue line, saw the Czech side go 1-0 ahead at 24:36 and then less than a minute later, Vladamir Svacina scored after a pass to back door by Ondrej Roman and saw the forward put home at 25:06.
Four minutes later CSKA Moscow then mounted a recovery operation, as first off Ruslan Zainullin grabbed a goal back with a nicely taken effort which saw the forward spin and shoot past Filip Sindelar in the Vitkovice nets to see them trail by one at 29:45. 
Then with nine seconds remaining in the Second period, Vladimir Zharkov deflected in Nikolai Prokhorkin shot on the powerplay to see them tie the game at 2-2 and make it all to play for in the third period.
Much like in the first period of play the third became even tenser and saw both sides cancel out the other in the game. The game went into overtime to see who would face Host HC Davos in the Semi-Finals.
The game winner took just 46 seconds to come by, with Yakov Rylov sending the puck rocketing past Sindelar in the Steel goals for the overtime winner and send the Pre-tournament favorites CSKA Moscow into the Semi-Finals of the Spengler Cup, winning 3-2.


TEAM CANADA  6  –  3  ROCHESTER AMERICANS 

The 2nd Quarter-Final saw Team Canada make it through to play HC Geneve-Servette in the other Semi-Final, as they overcame the Rochester Americans to advance to the next round.
Team Canada scored the opening goal of the game as Byron Ritchie capitalised on a lucky bounce from a Jason Williams pass, to blast home past Matthew Hackett in the Rochester goals for the 1-0 lead, coming at 7-31 in the game.
Jacob Micflikier then tapped home the second goal for the Canadians, when a shot by Brett McClean from the Americans left face-off circle saw the puck come loose after Hackett failed to deal with it and Micflikier was alert to where the puck was and he tapped it in for a 2-0 lead at 15-05. 
Worse was to come for the AHL side, when Micflikier netted the Canadian`s third goal in the period and his second of the game. After the puck had diverted off his stick from an Ahren Spylo shot at 18-41 and it looked to have seen Canada book their place in the Semis already.
In the Second it was a much different game, with the Americans pulling one back in the contest through Americans forward Johan Larsson, as the forward skated into the zone before passing to team mate Alexander Hutchings and his effort flew by Chris Mason in the Team Canada goal for a 3-1 score.
Canada then regained their three goal cushion, when Derrick Walser shot went right through the legs of Hackett to make it 4-1 for Team Canada at 26:06 and then 50 second later, “the Amerks” came back through a Daniel Catenacci goal after he tipped in Luke Adam`s pass at the front of the net for a 4-2 game.
Joel Armia made it a nervous Team Canada bench when  he scored Rochester 3rd of the game, as panic set in at the back and saw Adam, once again at the heart of the attack.
His fast pass across the Canadian`s goal, was partially cleared by Walser and saw Armia ready to pounce as fired the loose puck home for a powerplay goal at 33:11 to make it 4-3 with the “Amerks” growing in confidence now.
The final period saw the Canadians take the game away from their opponents, as good movement by the Team Canada powerplay unit, saw Byron Ritchie pick up his second of the game as he fired home a fifth goal past Hackett, to see the men in the Red Maple leaf shirts all but see off a stubborn Rochester side.
Alexandre Giroux then made the game safe with 43 seconds of the match remaining with an empty net goal, as the opponent`s pulled the goalie for the extra man with them going in search of two goals to tie the game, but Giroux goal ended their hopes and saw Canada go on to face Geneve-Servette in the Semi Finals.