Kovar brace sends Phoenix top

Manchester PhoenixMANCHESTER, UK – MANCHESTER Phoenix returned to the top of the EPL on Sunday after a tough and often scrappy 6-4 win against the Peterborough Phantoms.

Robin Kovar grabbed a brace whilst Tony Hand and Michal Psurny amassed a goal and four assists apiece.

Phoenix put 11 goals past Peterborough on their last visit and it looked like another rout was on the cards when Hand fired them ahead after just 76 seconds.

Kovar doubled the lead with a superb solo effort on 10 minutes before James Archer grabbed a third three minutes later.

Erik Piatak replied but Psurny scored a brilliant short-handed goal with three minutes left in the period.

If the opening 20 belonged to the home side, it was Peterborough who dominated an extremely scrappy second.

But despite outshooting their opponents 26-4 they could only manage a solitary Slava Koulikov goal.

Phoenix turned up the heat in the third and were effectively out of sight as Kovar and defenceman Robert Schnabel made it 6-2 with ten minutes remaining.

Peterborough rallied but late two goals from James Ferrara made little difference.

The win puts Hand’s side back on top of the EPL just ahead of Basingstoke Bison.

They can extend their advantage with a win at Milton Keynes Lightning on Monday (7.45pm).

Meanwhile, Phoenix have signed Czech forward Jaroslav Cesky as short term injury cover.

The experienced left winger has scored 33 points in his 27 games so far this season for Peterborough Phantoms.

He has been brought in as Frankie Bakrlik is likely to miss the next few weeks with a leg problem.

To contact the author email Mike.Appleton@prohockeynews.com or tweet @mascarandy

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