Phoenix deservedly claim Roses honours

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Manchester Phoenix logo Manchester Phoenix claimed a comprehensive 5-2 win over the Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday night in Blackpool.

Phoenix killed off an early penalty before opening the lead on a breakaway as Ben Wood fired past James Hadfield at his near post at 4:16. The lead was doubled just 42 seconds later as a 2-on-1 situation saw Edgars Bebris find Vaclav Meidl who fired in off the post. Sheffield began to exert more pressure as the period wore on however Steve Fone remained solid, making a series of good stops to preserve the 2-0 advantage. Robin Kovar saw a shot come off the outside of the post late in the first period, with Phoenix in control of the game.

The second period saw Sheffield create more presentable goal scoring opportunities, but despite a couple of late powerplays, the visitors were unable to get on the scoreboard. The best of the openings fell to Adrian Palak who was denied by a point-blank save before Phoenix went straight down the other end, and Bebris was stopped shorthanded by Hadfield.

Sheffield rallied early in the third period and hauled themselves level. Liam Kirk’s shot from the left point after just 22 seconds went through a crowd and in, before Kirk netted again at 42:31 on the powerplay, as he stuffed in a rebound. Sheffield’s celebrations were short-lived however as only 19 seconds later, Phoenix won a face-off and Kovar sent a rocket of a shot into the top corner to restore Phoenix’s lead.

Phoenix grabbed a critical insurance goal late in the period as Roman Malinik raced away from the Sheffield defence and found the top right hand corner at 55:27 to make it 4-2. Sheffield pulled their netminder in an attempt to get back into the game but Bebris scored from the halfway line at 58:06 to settle matters.

Ben Wood claimed the man-of-the-match award for Phoenix after an imposing performance at both ends of the ice.

Phoenix are at home next Saturday evening against the Telford Tigers, with a 5pm face-off in Blackpool.

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