Manchester Phoenix knocked out of EPL Cup despite second leg win over Guildford Flames

By Steven Oldham 

Manchester Phoenix are out of the EPL Cup despite beating Guildford Flames 4-3 in their semi final second leg game on Saturday. 

Phoenix were eliminated by a single goal by Flames, 9-8 winners on aggregate after earning what proved to be a crucial two-goal advantage in the tie’s first leg. 

Michal Psurny scored twice in front of the home crowd, with James Archer and Ondrej Pozivil also on target for Phoenix. 

Coach Tony Hand said: “I thought we controlled the game for long periods, taking the game to Guildford. I am proud of the guys tonight after a superb effort.

“They gave me absolutely everything and with a little bit of luck we could have got something from the game.”  

After Flames won the first leg 6-4, it was crucial that Phoenix came out of the blocks quickly to make up the two goal deficit. 

However, they were left ruing early missed chances after Curtis Huppe put the visitors ahead after 12 minutes. 

Phoenix came out fighting in the second period – literally. Robert Schnabel scrapped with Flames’ Nathan Rempel with both players receiving roughing penalties. 

Schnabel’s penalty seemingly fired the team up further, and within 30 seconds of pulling level through Pozivil, Psurny scored his first goal of the game to put his side 2-1 ahead. 

Rempel gained his revenge by scoring Guildford’s equaliser, and with one period left the Flames still had an invaluable two goal aggregate lead. 

Phoenix again took the lead through Archer, before Rempel again levelled the scores on the night and strengthened his team’s grip on the tie. 

With five minutes left, Psurny scored a left sided shot to give Phoenix the win on the night, but they fell one goal short of progressing. 

Flames will now meet Slough Jets in the final, who beat the fading Basingstoke Bison last month to reach the last two. 

Phoenix’s attention now turns back to strengthening their position in the league and building momentum ahead of the end-of-season playoffs. 

Follow @spoldham on Twitter 

Photo courtesy of Richard Allan, with thanks

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