Phoenix take crown

Manchester PhoenixCOVENTRY, UK – MANCHESTER Phoenix secured their first EPL Playoff Title with a comprehensive 5-2 win over Guildford Flames.

Michal Psurny scored a crucial shorthanded marker and a blaster from distance to seal a superb victory.

Tony Hand’s side were on top throughout and handled the pressure better than the Flames – landing two shorthanded efforts.

It came on the back of a first period in which they dominated but were unlucky not to be more than one goal to the good.

They killed a powerplay after Tony Hand went to the box for interference and then punished Flames’ Too Many Men call.

Michal Psurny linked up with his player-coach for Luke Boothroyd to smash it in from close distance.

Phoenix should have been further ahead but Mark Lee and his post were proving formidable opponents.

Both sides killed penalties early in the second period before Manchester forged ahead.

And it was some goal too – a fantastic link up between Archer and Mckenzie for the former to rifle home after the latter’s shot.

Guildford tried to get back into it but were denied by Stephen Fone who made some crucial saves.

Then came the killer blow for the League Champions. On the powerplay they let Liam Chong feed Michal Psurny and he cut back inside and fired high past a despairing Mark Lee (36:06).

And it could have been worse as seconds later Flaten was denied by the pipework.

Guildford needed a big third period and got off to the perfect start when Nathan Rempel bobbled a shot through Fone’s five hole 40 seconds in.

It was harsh on Phoenix nettie has he made a brilliant save a couple of seconds earlier.

Phoenix and Flames killed penalties and then Manchester punished another lapse in their opponent’s PP.

Archer fed Hand and he smashed it past Lee on 47:09.

And it got better for Phoenix as Psurny hammered home a howitzer on 49:49.

Guildford didn’t give up though and after Manchester called a Time Out they pulled a goal back. This time Kvetan latched onto a bobbling puck for 5-2 at 50:07.

The Flames pushed and prodded but found Fone on top form – and his defence magnets to every lose puck.

But with time ticking down Flames conceded a Too Many Men penalty and the Phoenix fans duly counted down the clock until they were Champions.

Match Summary:

Guildford: Rempel 1+1, Kvetan 1+0, Kohut 0+1, Longstaff 0+1,

Manchester: Psurny 2+1, Boothroyd 1+0, Archer 1+1, Hand 1+1, Mckenzie 0+1, Chong 0+1, Pozivil 0+1

Period Scoring: 0-1, 0-2, 2-2

PIMS: Guildford 10 Manchester 10

Powerplay: Guildford: 0 from 5 Manchester: 1 from 5

REF: Pering and Thompson

Shots: 9-11, 10-14, 24-7

MOM: Guildford: Nathan Rempel Manchester: Stephen Fone

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

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