Phoenix triumph in 10-goal thriller

Messenger Newspapers: Robert Schnabel - on targe Robert Schnabel - on targe

Guildford Flames 4 Manchester Phoenix 6

MANCHESTER Phoenix brought the points back up north as SIX different scorers earned the victory in Guildford.

Normally it is the Flames who start fast in games at the Spectrum but it was the visitors who shocked the home crowd by taking the lead after just 20 seconds.

Robin Kovar hit the puck goalwards from a Frankie Bakrlik pass and it found its way past a screened James Hadfield for the opening goal.

Robert Schnabel doubled the lead inside five minutes with a rasping shot that thundered past Hadfield.

Flames hit back almost immediately with a goal scored by Ben Campbell.

In a thrilling end to end first period, Phoenix took a 3-1 lead to the locker room courtesy of a Tony Hand power play goal.

Flames hit back hard in the second period and goals from Tom Duggan and Ben Campbell brought the game level at 3-3 before Andy McKinney restored the visitors’ lead.

As expected, the home side put Phoenix under tremendous pressure at the start of the third period but Stephen Fone stood tall, making a number of key saves during a couple of Flames powerplays.

Despite playing the majority of the period in their own defensive zone, Phoenix extended their lead with six minutes left. Frankie Bakrlik found himself free in the centre of the Flames’ defensive zone and shot home for a power play goal.

When Robin Kovar was sent to the box on a very strange tripping cal, Flames took the chance to pull Hadfield for the extra skater and it paid off with a goal.

As the penalty was winding down, the extra body told as Branislav Kvetan scored with 37 seconds left in the game.

Flames again pulled their netminder but this time a wicked bounce off the back boards allowed Michal Psurny an empty net tap-in to make it 6-4 with five seconds left in the game.

Player coach Tony Hand said after the game: “It was a tough game again tonight, as it always is down here.

“Guildford are a very good side at home and we knew it was going to be difficult. I thought we played very well and it was great to see six different guys getting on the scoresheet.

“I am very pleased with the points here tonight.”

Phoenix scorers: Robin Kovar, Robert Schnabel, Tony Hand, Andy McKinney, Frantisek Bakrlik and Michal Psurny

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