November 11, 2011

UK Hockey Round Up Thursday 10th November

Sheffield Steeldogs 4 – 1 Manchester Phoenix.

There was a rare midweek fixture in the English Premier League as the Sheffield Steeldogs made the return trip to Altrincham to face the Manchester Phoenix. The two sides had met last Saturday in Sheffield with Manchester running out the winners 3 – 2. That victory put the Phoenix only 1 point behind their Yorkshire rivals in the standings going into tonight’s game.

It was however the visitors who started the more lively. First ex Phoenix favourite Greg Wood and then sniper Janis Ozolins gave the Steeldogs a 2 goal lead with in the first 5 minutes. The physical start then spilled over as Gomenyuk and Long went for fighting. But it was the visitors who kept the advantage at the end of the first.

The Phoenix’s up and down start to season did look to be continuing but did manage to start the second the better. The attacking play leading to the puck crossing the line but being washed out by the referee. A 5 on 3 powerplay a few minutes did lead to a Phoenix goal from Harabin but Greg Wood again popped up to restore the visitors 2 goal lead going into the final period.

The third period started even but perhaps it was a sign of the way the night was going for Manchester that when Tony Hand was awarded a penalty it was saved by Bowns in the Sheffield goal. Phoenix continued to press but it was Ozolins again that popped up to score the forth following a Steeldogs time out and put the nail in the Phoenix coffin.

Many of questioned player coach Andre Payette’s physical, hard hitting tactics but tonight it paid off as it has all season. It may not be pretty and is often controversial but this is a Steeldogs team that last season finished 7th in the EPL and this season look at times capable of breaking into the top four.

Final score Sheffield Steeldogs 4 – 1 Manchester Phoenix

Neil Tucker

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