NETMINDER Jorge El-Hage recorded his first ever EPL shutout on Sunday night as Manchester Phoenix blanked Milton Keynes.
Going into the weekend, Phoenix were riding a four game losing skid but they snapped the streak on Saturday with a 5-3 win in Bracknell.
El-Hage, who only had a handful of minutes to his name in the EPL before the start of the weekend, lead Phoenix to back to back wins and recorded the clubs first shutout of the season, as regular starting netminder Steve Fone was rested through injury.
It took until midway through the third period on Sunday for Phoenix to break the deadlock as both El-Hage and Lightning netminder Stephen Wall stood firm and held the game scoreless.
Player coach Tony Hand broke up a Lightning attack and found Michal Psurny with plenty of time to pick his spot, and he beat Wall high over his shoulder leaving the Lightning goalie with little he could do.
James Archer sealed the win in the final minute with an empty net goal as Lightning opted to remove Wall for an extra forward in search of a game-tying goal.
The match would also serve as Brit forward Scott McKenzie’s final game as he has been released by the club and replaced by Bari McKenzie as coach Hand looks to shake up the squad after their recent dip in form.
McKenzie, 26, joins Phoenix from Elite League side Cardiff Devils and has also had spells with the Lightning, Belfast Giants, Edinburgh Capitals and Restigouche Tigers of New Brunswick across the pond.
Hand said: ‘Bari is an experienced player both in the Elite League and our own English Premier League. He will bring a different dimension to the team as we look to get back on track in the chase for the league title.”