Manchester Phoenix closed to within three points of the English Premier League summit with a convincing 6-1 home win over league leaders Guildford Flames last night.
Two goals from Michal Psurny, and one apiece for captain Luke Boothroyd, Joachim Flaten, Ondrej Pozivil and Andy McKinney took Phoenix to a resounding victory.
Rick Skene’s consolation for the visitors came too late as the home side had built up a commanding 6-0 lead, to give Phoenix a third straight victory over Guildford this season.
Psurny said: “We deserved those two points tonight. Everyone did their job perfectly and we have to build on this result.”
This result, combined with Basingstoke Bison’s 4-1 win over Slough Jets last night sees Bison move top of the table again on 51 points. Guildford are a point behind with Phoenix now on 48.
More good news for Phoenix came with the return of ex-NHL player Robert Schnabel after several weeks off injured to give Coach Tony Hand a full squad to include in the game.
Today, Phoenix face bottom club Telford Tigers away from home. Tigers are on an unenviable run which has seen them lose every game since a 4-1 win over Phoenix on November 11.
Despite the poor run – not helped by injuries and players leaving – Tigers have a habit of surprising Phoenix and the Altrincham club will be looking to avoid another defeat as they continue to chase down top spot in the league.
The last time the teams met, Phoenix annihilated Tigers 10-2 at the Ice Dome, with a Psurny hat-trick the highlight. Coach Hand hit a double, and there were also goals for Boothroyd, Pozivil, Flaten, Bari McKenzie and Tom Duggan.
Another similar performance could take Phoenix to second as Guildford and Basingstoke meet in a top-of-the-table clash in Surrey.
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Photo courtesy of Richard Allan, with thanks