Send us news, start your message Messenger News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Manchester Phoenix 1 Basingstoke Bison 2
12:27pm Monday 17th September 2012 in Sport
MANCHESTER Phoenix lost their opening home EPL league fixture to a resolute Basingstoke Bison team on Sunday evening.
Phoenix were hoping to build on an excellent Saturday win in Swindon and started the game strongly.
Twelve shots on goal in the first eight minutes saw the home side dominate and pepper the Bison goal.
However, Stevie Lyle in the Bison net had an inspired performance and kept everything out of his goal. Chance after chance fell to the Phoenix lines but Lyle stopped everything that was flung at him.
The home side then hit penalty trouble with Andrew McKinney going to the box on an interference call and Robert Schnabel also sitting out a rather harsh minor penalty for cross checking.
This put Bison on a five on three play and they took full advantage with a goal from Greg Owen. Phoenix continued to dominate and ended the first period with a 17-10 shot advantage but a goal down.
The second period followed a similar pattern with Phoenix taking the game to Basingstoke and were treating their fans to some flowing attacking hockey. Stevie Lyle continued to thwart the Phoenix forwards with a goaltending master class, as he saved shot after shot. Stephen Fone in the opposite net had to be alert to deny Bison on the couple of occasions they managed to trouble the Phoenix rearguard. Once again the period ended with the home side outshooting their visitors but went to the second break still a goal down.
With just over three minutes gone in the third period, the Phoenix faithful nearly brought the roof down as their favourites finally managed to breach the Bison defence.
Tom Duggan found Scott McKenzie on the left wing and the speedy forward gained the offensive circle and sent a rasper of a shot between Lyle’s pads and the post for the equalising goal.
The match appeared to be heading for overtime as J Davidson-sponsored Phoenix continued to press and Basingstoke concentrated on defence when a Phoenix breakdown saw the visitors gain the offensive zone with their top line on the ice and Joe Greener was in the right place at the right time to score past Stephen Fone for a 2-1 lead. Phoenix tried hard to get back on level terms, even pulling netminder Fone for the last 50 seconds, but Basingstoke held on for two fortunate points.