War of the Roses: Manchester Phoenix look for revenge on the ice in grudge match weekend

Manchester Phoenix are looking for revenge this weekend in a War of the Roses clash which could leave blood on the ice.

After coming agonisingly close to completing the perfect start to their season last week, the Phoenix’s will be looking to bounce back with grudge matches against Basingstoke Bisons and Sheffield Steeldogs.

Phoenix travel to their conquerors in last year’s play-off final the Bisons on Saturday, before returning home for a rematch with the Steeldogs on Sunday night.

The War of the Roses pre-season clash with the Steeldogs ended with blood on the ice for the Manchester outfit as they were thrashed 6-1, but player-coach Tony Hand has played down the significance of that encounter.

“Of course the boys want revenge, but result of that pre-season loss wasn’t representative of anything, positive or negative, given how different our preparations were for that game from theirs.”

The Phoenix won their first game of the season against  Bracknell Bees but suffered a defeat on penalties against  Swindon Wildcats, although Hand’s side did sacrifice a two-goal advantage over Swindon when on the verge of completing a perfect weekend.

“If you’d told me we’d come away from last weekend with three points out of four, I’d have been delighted.

“I thought in the second game we looked a little tired, coming off the trip back from Bracknell and also our training camp. To be up 2-0 and then give away that lead was really disappointing though.”

The new-look roster is still a work in progress, but Hand is confident in the end product.

“We’ve got six or seven new guys in, and obviously they take a little while to blend. They’re all really good guys though and we’re definitely getting there.”

Manchester Phoenix take on the Basingstoke Bison at Planet Ice Basingstoke on Saturday September 20 at 6.30pm, and then return to the Altrincham Ice Dome to play Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday September 21 at 5.30pm.

Image courtesy of officialphoenix, via YouTube, with thanks

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