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Phoenix frustrated by Swindon

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Manchester Phoenix logo Phoenix travelled to Wiltshire on Saturday evening to face the Swindon Wildcats, missing both Stanislav Gron and Mark Thomas, but welcoming Czech defenceman Jan Platil, who signed from the Hull Pirates during the week.

James Archer also iced in his 500th league appearance in EPL hockey at the age of just 27.

Phoenix started the strongest and had promising early chances from Ben Wood, Nico Aaltonen and Michal Satek. Swindon's Tomasz Malasinski picked up the only penalty of the period for slashing, before Matt Selby put Swindon in front at 18:42 with a shot that squeezed its way past Fone. Phoenix hit back however and after Swindon netminder Stevie Lyle saved a Robin Kovar effort, Ben Wood slammed home the rebound with only 14 seconds remaining in the period.

Phoenix flew out of the traps at the start of the second, and Nico Aaltonen scored just 14 seconds in with a powerful shot over Lyle's shoulder after being set up by Satek. Swindon responded at 24:13 when Aaron Nell picked out the top corner from a Corey McEwen pass. Satek broke through the Swindon defence after 28 minutes before being hooked back by Selby, but Phoenix were unable to capitalise on the Powerplay.

Then after Robin Kovar was denied by Lyle on a breakaway, McEwen scored a rebound at 31:21. Phoenix were caught on a change at 36:46 and Michael Stratford took advantage to make the score 4-2 after two periods.

The third period started with Phoenix on a 4-on-3 Powerplay but the visitors were unable to get many clear opportunities. Malasinski then intercepted a pass to score his second of the night at 43:32. Swindon continued to frustrate Phoenix, with Lyle turning away a number of shots, but Archer did manage to celebrate a goal with a tip in at 59:43 to make the final score 5-3.

Coach Tony Hand commented: "It wasn't the result we wanted but the boys competed all evening and we generated plenty of chances, so there's lots of positives we can take from the game."

Phoenix host the Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday night in Deeside with a 6:30pm 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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