Phoenix bemoan lack of potency

MANCHESTER, UK – MANCHESTER Phoenix ground out their first home win of the English Premier League season with a 3-1 win over Telford Tigers. Joachim Flatten scored twice with his linemate Michal Psurny adding the other as they struggled against one of the competition’s weaker clubs. After finishing bottom of the table last season, many expected the Tigers to come unstuck at one of the title contenders. But they proved more than a match for Phoenix who were once again poor in front of goal. It took Manchester 35 minutes to break the deadlock after spurning three powerplay opportunities. Tony Hand worked the puck around to Psurny who found Flatten in space. 14 minutes later it was 2-0 as Hand found Psurny for his second of the season. Telford upped the ante and deservedly got back in the game when they took advantage of Richard Bentham’s indiscretion for Luke Brittle to score on the powerplay. But as the game became more frantic and both sides went close Flatten tallied with 49 seconds left to play to save Phoenix’ blushes. That lack of potency in front of goal led to a sub-par performance in Milton Keynes on Saturday. Although Phoenix outshot their opponents 38-23 they couldn’t convert those chances and were hammered 8-2. The defensive steadiness of last week’s games disappeared as Milton Keynes found themselves 6-1 up after two periods. Manchester were 3-0 down in just 13 minutes as Lightning’s top sniper, Adam Calder, took full advantage of defensive frailties to hit two goals, the third coming from Lightning’s man of the match Leigh Jamieson. Robert Schnabel replied and then went toe to toe with Milton Keynes’ Chris Wiggins. Any hopes of a comeback were quickly dashed after just 24 second period seconds though when Adam Carr scored Lightning’s fourth. Jamieson added another two shortly afterwards before a brawl broke out. Lightning took their foot off the gas in the third but although Luke Boothroyd tallied for Phoenix, further markers from Blaz Emersic and Grant McPherson finished it off. To contact the author email: Mike.Appleton@prohockeynews.com

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