Phoenix lose ground in title race

MANCHESTER, UK – MANCHESTER Phoenix salvaged just a point as they suffered back-to-back defeats this weekend. Luke Boothroyd scored the only goal in a 3-1 loss to Basingstoke before Peterborough edged them out in overtime at home on Sunday. It was their fifth defeat to the Bison this season and a crucial blow in the title race. Although Boothroyd gave them a good start Phoenix couldn’t capitalise on a number of powerplay opportunities. Manchester had five ‘man-advantages’ but couldn’t find a way through the excellent Stevie Lyle. With five minutes left in the second period they conceded the equaliser and then Joe Greener put Bison ahead on the powerplay. Phoenix sent ten shots Lyle’s way in the third but be was too resolute and Basingstoke wrapped up the game late on. Joe Millar picked the puck in the corner, skated around the defence and back-handed the puck past Fone. Sunday night’s loss to Peterborough came even though Phoenix led twice and looked comfortable. Fone missed the match with a groin injury but Jorge El-Hage was an able deputy between the pipes. In a close, frequently scrappy affair, Phantoms took the lead through Jamie Line, but Phoenix pulled level with a goal from Michal Psurny before Richard Bentham gave them the lead. Parity was short-lived when Joe Graham’s leveller was cancelled out by Psurny’s second in the second period – only for Jeff Glowa to tie it all up again in the third. And he got the telling pass that allowed James Ferrara snatch the game-winning goal deep into overtime. Phoenix now lie in third-place four points behind Guildford who beat Sheffield 4-2 last night. To contact the author email: Mike.Appleton@prohockeynews.com

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