TONY Hand’s title chasing Manchester Phoenix convincingly saw off title challengers Guildford Flames on Saturday night.
Phoenix, who currently lie third in the EPL standings hot on the heels of Guildford and Basingstoke, produced a stunning performance to see off last years champions.
Brit forward Andy McKinney opened the scoring in the first period with a superb solo goal, before second period goals from man of the match Michal Psurny, Luke Boothroyd and Ondrej Pozivil saw Phoenix take a commanding 4-0 lead.
Psurny doubled his total for the night within a minute of the re-start adding Phoenix’s fifth before a power-play goal from Joachim Flaten saw the home side out of sight.
Guildford finally broke through Phoenix netminder Steve Fone’s defences mid way through the third period with a Rick Skene goal, but by this time it was merely a consolation effort from a well beaten Flames side.
Phoenix followed their home success with a 6-1 victory at Telford on Sunday with goals from Psurny (2), Flaten, James Archer, Tony Hand and Tom Duggan.
Manchester’s double winning weekend now means the top three sides are separated by just two points.
Coach Hand said: “Telford are always a tricky team to play against in their own barn and we had to concentrate for the whole game to get the win.
‘I am very pleased with the weekend’s results which keep us right up there challenging for the title.”