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Manchester Phoenix 6 Basingstoke Bison 4

November 30, 2009
 Manchester Phoenix 6 Basingstoke Bison 4
Altrincham Ice Dome
29th November 2009

 

 Walker 01.03, 10.56, Courtenay 23.51, 30.13, 32.20, Hagelberg 44.50

Moria 14.01, Long 31.53, Ciccarello 34.40, Chinn 41.08

 

Ed Courtenay, magnificent again, scored 6 and set up 4 this weekend

Manchester Phoenix kept space between themselves, Milton Keynes and Slough with an entertaining win over a struggling Basingstoke Bison.

Phoenix went into the game after a 7-4 win at Swindon, with the peerless Ed Courtenay scoring 3+3. The Courtenay-Tony Hand line has been productive all season and on Sunday it fired immediately. With a minute on the clock Hand picked out Courtenay in front of goal. With everyone expecting a shot, the Canadian slid the puck across the goal to in-form Adam Walker who easily netted his first of the evening after Courtenay‘s pass had fooled everyone else on the ice. A truly lovely goal that underlined the quality of the Phoenix first line.

Walker is in good form himself, and clearly benefits from playing on a line with Hand and Courtenay in the same way Iain Bowie has done so far this season. Walker made it 2-0 with half the period gone, with a smart finish after Hand and James Neil combined.

 

Phoenix captain Luke Boothroyd and Bison's Slovakian import Ondrej Lauko

Steve Moria got Basingstoke back into the game in a period where neither side seemed concerned with defending. Adam Summerfield, in for the injured Steve Fone, gave a creditable performance between the pipes though will have been disappointed with conceding to Moria’s strike, which went down the middle. Summerfield was not helped early on by his defence though confidently took an excellent glove save as well as making other solid contributions.

Phoenix’s customary second-period blitz came courtesy of Courtenay, who scored a hat-trick in nine minutes; the first a short-handed breakaway with Joe Graham in the box for a silly roughing minor. The second came on the power play as the impressive Andre Mattsson grabbed an assist along with Walker. The third, another assist for Walker, came after Bison had halved the deficit through Tom Long. Phoenix, as so often, came back strongly following the goal and Courtenay finished coolly.

The period’s scoring was not done: Joe Ciccarello scored short handed with Summerfield late to come out. At 5-3 going into the third few home fans expected a difficult period. Yet just 68 seconds in Nicky Chinn -who had taken some good-natured banter from the crowd – netted sharply from visitors’ man-of-the- match Sam Oakford and Long. 

Phoenix restored the two-goal cushion three minutes later as Jaakko Hageberg got a deserved goal, deflecting the puck high over Tom Annetts as Joe Graham ripped a shot from the blue line.

 

Second-choice 'keeper Adam Summerfield takes the plaudits after his full Phoenix debut

Mattsson hit the inside of the post late on, and Phoenix played out time comfortably. Adam Summerfield picked up man-of-the-match on his full debut for some excellent stops which should give him confidence should Tony Hand choose not to seek a replacement for Fone, who will be out for around a month with a dislocated shoulder.

Phoenix face a difficult fortnight, with another visit from MK to come next Sunday and four players set to miss at least three games while away with the GB Under-20 squad. For now though, they sit top and look comfortable. 

* All photos from manchesterphoenix.com

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