Phoenix head for Playoffs

Manchester PhoenixMANCHESTER, UK – MANCHESTER Phoenix have received a boost ahead of their EPL Play-Off Semi Final showdown with Basingstoke Bison.

Defenceman Ondrej Pozivil will be available after his Match penalty from last weekend’s win over Bracknell Bees was downgraded to a Game.

He received the ban following a headbutt on Scott Spearing but now that has been overturned following a review from the EPL.

Phoenix will be at full-strength as they aim to go one better than last year’s heartbreaking Final loss to Slough.

But they’ll have to get past their most stubborn opponent of the season at the Coventry’s Skydome.

Basingstoke have beaten Tony Hand’s side in five of six of the side’s meetings with netminder Stevie Lyle proving Phoenix’ nemesis.

The former Cardiff Devil shot-stopper rarely concedes more than three goals against Manchester and his defence forces attackers to take efforts from distance.

Michal Psurny is in good form though with 45 goals from 56 matches and if he replicates that form then they have a great chance of progression.

Phoenix will also need to improve on their powerplay conversion rate of just 16 per cent.

Hand said: “Play off weekend is something special and we all strive to get there.

“Basingstoke are a good team with a good coach in Doug Sheppard and we will have to be on top form to go through to Sunday.

“But I thought we played some of our best hockey of the season last weekend in our win over Bracknell and we will carry that forward to Coventry.”

Phoenix face off at 7pm on Saturday whilst the other Semi Final between Guildford and Milton Keynes begins at 3pm.

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

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