Manchester Phoenix run riot on Deeside debut
Manchester Phoenix opened their season long Deeside ‘residency’ with a resounding win over Swindon Wildcats in front of sizeable crowd at Deeside Leisure Centre.
The English Premier League ice hockey side are playing their home games at DeesideIce Rink this season following an agreement between the Phoenix, Flintshire County Council and Deeside Dragons while their plans for a 3,000-seater arena come to fruition.
Phoenix kicked off their season with a 3-3 draw away to Swindon Wildcats in a pre-season challenge match on Saturday.
Sunday saw Swindon travel up to North Wales and were met by a rampant Phoenix team who came out of the traps fast just like they did the previous evening.
The home side went in front on 9.18 with referee Perring having his hand up for a delayed penalty, Phoenix took no time at all to strike the first goal of the evening.
Great work down the right wing by Gareth O’Flaherty found Nico Aaltonen who switched to Robin Kover to net easily past Hadley in the Swindon net. Nico Aaltonen made it 2-0 on 15.22 with Phoenix dominating the match.
Assists went to Robin Kovar and Ben Wood. Shots on goal may have been even at the end of the 1st period but Phoenix’s two goals left the home side in command at the first break.
Swindon came back at Phoenix in the second but an outstanding individual goal from Michal Satek on 28.12 made it 3-0.
Swindon continued to have their chances and found themselves on a 5 on 3 powerplay after a Ben Wood roughing call and a Luke Boothroyd delay of game penalty however, Phoenix punished some slack defending by Swindon with a short-handed goal by Robin Kovar.
Then came the Stephen Fone show as the Phoenix back stop pulled off a combination of saves to maintain their lead.
One triple save in front of his net looked like the save of the season as Swindon shook their heads in disbelief as the puck refused to find the net.
The third period began with the storyline similar to that which was being told throughout the game
James Archer fell foul of the referee and found himself in the box for hooking but once again Robin Kovar roofed the puck on the resultant short handed power play There was time for one more Phoenix goal when Stanislav Gron found the net on 48.31 to make the score 6-1.
Phoenix showed some signs of tiredness in the last 10 minutes and Swindon scored a couple of consolation goals on 53.26 and 57.25.
A great performance by Phoenix resulted in an outstanding 6-2 scoreline in favour of the Manchester side.
Phoenix’s next games are against Telford Tigers with the Sunday game at Deeside – 6.30pm face off. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com