Double trouble hits Phoenix

Manchester PhoenixMANCHESTER, UK – MANCHESTER Phoenix are licking their wounds after they suffered a double loss this weekend.

A 4-2 defeat at Basingstoke Bison on Saturday was made even worse by a shock 5-4 home reverse to Telford Tigers last night.

Two important calls went the opposition’s way on Sunday and it cost Phoenix two points.

Leading 4-2, the officials missed an obvious James Archer goal in the third period that would have put the game out of sight.

The puck flew past Declan Ryan – with the goal judge indicating as such – but the referee disagreed.

To make matters worse Telford scored whilst Phoenix complained and then were handed another slice of luck.

Their equaliser came with two players in an offside position; the linesman failing to spot the puck had come out of Manchester’s zone.

The quality of the match in the opening stages certainly didn’t indicate how exciting its ending would be.

Nathan Salem put the Tigers ahead in the 12th minute as Phoenix floundered under their opponent’s tenacity.

Tony Hand replied early in the second period before Callum Bowley put the visitors back in front.

But unanswered goals from Andy McKinney and a brace from Robin Kovar had Phoenix well in charge.

The third period began with the Tigers on the powerplay before Archer’s goal was wiped off.

Adam Taylor scored whilst the boos rang out and then Salem cracked home his controversial second.

James Smith rattled the post in an exciting overtime period for Telford and then Salem and Bowley tallied penalty shots to give them an unlikely win.

Kovar scoring Phoenix’ only shot in the best of three series.

On Saturday, Michael Psunry and Hand tallied in a 4-2 loss.

Their goals pulled it back to 2-2 at the end of the second period.

But Phoenix fell foul of the powerplay in the third and Joe Rand made it 3-2 before Zach Sullivan ended it.

To contact the author email: Mike.Appleton@prohockeynews.com

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