Phoenix begin playoff push

Manchester PhoenixBRACKNELL Bees stand between Manchester Phoenix and a place in the EPL Play Off Final weekend in Coventry.

Tony Hand’s side will travel to Berkshire on Saturday (6pm) before returning home for their Quarter Final second leg a day later (5.30pm).

The Bees finished the regular season in sixth but Phoenix have beaten them five times already this year and go into the tie as clear favourites.

But Bracknell have true scoring prowess with veterans Martin Masa and Lukas Smital bagging 149 points between them this season.

They are complemented by Shaun Thompson too with the GB squad member pitching in 34 goals of his own.

Phoenix have been scoring freely recently but defensive lapses, especially in the third period, will need to be cut out if they are to make it four appearances in a row at Coventry.

Netminder Stephen Fone has returned at the right time though and he is pivotal if Manchester want to make the final four.

He made his first appearance since mid January on Sunday in the 5-4 loss to Telford.

Hand said: “I was disappointed to let that game slip from our grasp as should have closed out the game. The season is now all about getting to the play off finals and we are totally focussed on this.”

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

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