Phoenix behind in cup duel

MANCHESTER, UK – MANCHESTER Phoenix will have to overturn a two-goal deficit if they are to progress to the final of the EPL Cup. A brace from James Archer and goals from Robert Schnabel and Tony Hand weren’t enough in a 6-4 defeat at Guildford Flames. Phoenix were missing number one netminder Stephen Fone, James Neil and Joachim Flaten though injury but it didn’t stop them putting in a strong performance on the road. Archer and Schnabel tallied on the powerplay but David Savage made it a three-goal game early in the second. Hand and Archer’s second brought the deficit back to just one but once Schnabel was given a ten-minute misconduct for apparently aiming the puck at the referee, it was an uphill battle. Josef Kohut fired home the Flames’ sixth with less than 30 seconds remaining in the second period. The third remained scoreless giving Phoenix a tough but not insurmountable task in the home leg in early March. Manchester are next in action when they travel to Swindon on Saturday (7.45pm) before hosting Slough a day later (5.30pm). To contact the author email Mike.Appleton@prohockeynews.com

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