MANCHESTER, UK – MANCHESTER Phoenix were left ruing missed chances and a slice of luck after they went down 4-2 to Guildford Flames last night.
Despite leading 2-1 early in the second period they were hit with two goals in just under four minutes before succumbing to the flukiest of sucker punches.
Curtis Huppe fired the Flames into a fourth minute lead after Phoenix had done all the running.
But Milos Melicherik and veteran David Longstaff replied to give Guildford the advantage heading into the third.
Phoenix upped the ante and outshot their opponents 12-6 but saw Mark Lee stand on his head in the Flames’ goal.
And with time ticking away Richard Bentham hit the post.
But Guildford wrapped it up in the most bizarre circumstances.
Branislav Kvetan won the puck in the neutral zone, crossed the blueline on the right hand side and launched a speculator towards Jorge El Hage’s net.
The shot was a yard wide and over the net but took a deflection off the plexiglass, bounced over the goal and went in off the back of Phoenix’ unlucky netminder.
It was a bitter blow for Phoenix as they’d matched last season’s champions for the vast majority of the match.
Hand’s side now lie in third place, 11 points behind the table topping Flames.