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Ice Hockey - Manchester Phoenix 6-5 Swindon Wildcats (After Overtime)
PLAYER coach Tony Hand returned to line up on Sunday night and helped propel Manchester Phoenix past Swindon in overtime.
Hand had been out with an ankle injury since November but lead a Phoenix third period comeback with three assists after his side trailed 5-3 at the second break.
Phoenix, who went down 6-3 in Swindon the previous night, went behind after only 20 seconds on Sunday when Aaron Nell ripped a shot past Manchester netminder Steve Fone.
But goals from Tom Duggan and James Archer put Phoenix in front at the first break before a disastrous middle period put the home side in a hole.
Swindon struck four times through Nell (2), Michal Pinc and Lee Richardson whilst the only response from the home side came from Stephen Wallace leaving Phoenix with everything to do in the third period.
Phoenix were level within five minutes of the restart as Hand provided back to back assists on two goals from Jaroslav Spelda and the teams went to overtime where Phoenix captain Luke Boothroyd scored with a speculative shot from the half way line to secure the extra point.
Hand said after the game: “We were off the pace this weekend and we were punished. We needed a big slice of luck to take the points from this game and we got it, but we can’t rely on that.
“We’ll regroup ready for our double header against Telford next weekend.”
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