Ice Hockey - Manchester Phoenix reports - Sept 12 editiom

Sheffield Steeldogs 5-2 Manchester Phoenix Manchester Phoenix 4-3 Sheffield Steeldogs TONY Hand’s new look Manchester Phoenix failed to reclaim the pre-season Rose bowl trophy from rivals Sheffield on Sunday as they went down 8-6 on aggregate.

Hand’s side, which was only finalized last week with the addition of final import forward Robin Kovar, beat rivals Sheffield on Sunday in their home opener but lost the tie the previous night over the Pennines.

Sheffield, having already completed pre-season challenge games before the War of the Roses clash, struck five times on Saturday with Phoenix goals from new signing Frantisek Bakrlik and James Archer replying for the visitors.

On Sunday, Phoenix flew out of the blocks with an early strike from, the already impressive, Bakrlik who blasted home on the powerplay before Phoenix Czech forward Kovar was ejected for fighting with Sheffield’s Lee Hayward in a one-sided fight.

Steeldogs Greg Chambers drew the visitors level with a penalty shot strike and Phoenix’s Andy McKinney and Sheffield’s Lubomir Korhon traded goals before the end of an eventful first period.

A much quieter middle session saw Phoenix retake the lead as last seasons hot shot Michal Psurny opened his account for the year with a quality finish.

But five minutes into the final period, Sheffield drew level again as Chambers struck for a second time. Psurny added his second goal with three minutes remaining to give the home side the win on the night, but the visitors retained the Rose Bowl trophy they won last season with an aggregate victory.

Phoenix man of the match Bakrlik said: “We knew it was going to be a tough weekend but there were a lot of positives to take into training this week and we will be ready for Saturday.”

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