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Phoenix Board the Pirates in Season Opener

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Manchester Phoenix logo Hull Pirates 1 Manchester Phoenix 4

Phoenix Scorers: Robin Kovar, Michal Satek, James Archer and Nico Aaltonen

Phoenix made a great start to their 2015-16 English Premier League Campaign with a decisive win over new boys Hull Pirates.

The new look Phoenix side started well and dominated the early minutes, testing Hull netminder Jon Baston from every angle. Hull’s forwards were struggling to maintain possession and the majority of the period was spent in the Hull defensive zone. However the home defence, with Baston looking very safe, held firm and went to the first break even at 0-0 with Phoenix outshooting their hosts 22-7.

The much deserved go-ahead goal came on 24.05 with a short-handed effort by Robin Kovar. James Neil was sitting out a 2 minute minor penalty for hooking when Nico Aaltonen threaded a pinpoint pass to the rushing Robin Kovar and the big Czech forward waited till the netminder committed himself then roofed the puck for 1-0. Hull came back strong and, for the first time in the match, put the Phoenix defence under some pressure. Stephen Fone in the Phoenix net was alert to turn away a succession of Pirates’ efforts. He had no chance on 35.10 when a Sam Towner shot came back off his pads, straight to Warren Tait and the experienced forward made no mistake, sweeping the puck into the net. Hull then had their best spell of the match and had a few chances to take the lead. Phoenix held strong and the second break arrived with the scores level at 1-1.

The early stages of the third period were nip and tuck but Phoenix were still looking more likely to grab a winner. With just under 11 minutes left on the clock, that goal arrived with a lovely effort from Michal Satek. Mark Thomas sent Stanislav Gron off on a mazy run and he slipped a pass to Michal, who travelled across the face of the goal, turned and beat the netminder for 2-1. Four minutes later James Archer looked delighted when he scored from the left side, assisted by Robin Kovar and Gareth O’Flaherty. The tiring Hull defence crumbled again on 56.12 when Nico Aaltonen took a pass from the impressive Mark Thomas to score with a flashing shot to the right of the despairing netminder. That was the last time the scorer was troubled and Phoenix took the points home after an entertaining attacking display against a hard working Hull outfit.

Coach Hand commented to the Official Phoenix Podcast after the game: “I thought it was a good game tonight and we played well against a hard working Hull side. I changed the lines at the start of the third and it worked well for us with the three goals.”

Phoenix’s next game is at Deeside Leisure Centre against Milton Keynes Lightning on Sunday 13th September with an 1830hrs face off.

Click here for more information and news from the Manchester Phoenix website

Click here to see the latest Manchester Phoenix roster for the 2015/16 season

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