Peterborough Phantoms 2 Manchester Phoenix 3 (OT)
MANCHESTER Phoenix brought the points back up north after a good win against Peterborough Phantoms. Phoenix were icing without the injured Liam Chong and player/coach Tony Hand, who used the game to have a look at the team from the bench in preparation for next week’s play off quarter-final.
The first period started at a ferocious pace with both teams testing the netminders.
Phoenix were making the better of the chances but fell behind to a Luke Ferrara as the Peterborough forward found himself alone at the left hand post to put the puck home past Stephen Fone.
Phoenix were still creating chances and deservedly equalised. Robin Kovar was the scorer and James Archer was awarded an assist.
Phoenix turned the screw in the second period and Phantoms’ netminder Kamil Jarina, returning from injury, had to be in top form to keep the eager Phoenix forwards at bay.
Stephen Fone at the other end was also having a great game but was beaten five minutes before the break by a fine goal by Darius Pliskauskas.
At the end of 40 pulsating minutes of end to end hockey, the home side took a 2-1 lead into the third period. However they would be without the influential Mark Levers, who picked up a 10 minute misconduct penalty after complaining bitterly that he had been hooked behind the Phoenix goal line.
Phoenix were sticking to their game plan as the final period progressed and scored a delightful goal.
Luke Boothroyd cleared his own defensive zone and found Michal Psurny to the left of netminder Jarina.
With the Phantoms’ defence looking comfortable, Michal created space for himself to fire the puck home for the short handed equaliser.
The extra period was only 90 seconds old when Frankie Bakrlik silenced the home crowd with an opportunist winner. Great work by Andrew McKinney found the in-form Bakrlik who delighted the travelling Phoenix fans with the game winning goal.
Player/coach Tony Hand said after the game: “We played well tonight and I thought we deserved the points. Peterborough always make it tough in their own rink and with them desperate for points to keep their play-off hopes alive, made it difficult for us all night. We are playing well and are looking to keep things going into the play offs.”
Phoenix scorers: Robin Kovar, Michal Psurny and Frantisek Bakrlik