Another rout keeps Phoenix top

EPL ICE HOCKEY:

Manchester Phoenix 12 Slough Jets 2

Rampant Manchester Phoenix tightened their grip on top spot in the EPL with another double-figures rout at the Altrincham Ice Dome.

After playing a strong road game that gave them a 3-1 win away at Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday night, Phoenix were looking for their eighth win in eight games, and got off to a flying start when goal machine Frantisek Bakrlik opened the scoring with a short-handed goal with five minutes gone. Michal Psurny doubled the lead on 12 minutes.

Phoenix totally ran riot in a dizzying second period that put the result beyond any doubt. Tony Hand, Bakrlik and Liam Chong all bagged goals in a four minute spell leading up to the game’s half way point that saw a shell-shocked Jets call a timeout to regain composure. It clearly had little effect as Robin Kovar scored a sixth for Phoenix on 30 minutes.

Jets got onto the score sheet when Ales Padelek scored on 35 minutes, following a sustained period of pressure from Slough, but this only served to spur Phoenix onto more goal scoring feats, as James Archer, Michal Psurny and Jack Watkins blasted three goals in a staggering two minutes to effectively wrap up the game at 9-1 after two periods.

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Tony Hand gave himself and Steve Fone the rest of the night off as Jorge El Hage took over in net for the final period for the second week running.

The goals still kept coming, though, as Archer got another on 48 minutes and Richard Bentham struck a minute later. Michael Wales scored a late consolation effort for Slough with six minutes remaining, but Liam Chong rounded off the night with a twelfth for Phoenix with just over three minutes left.

The win puts Phoenix two points clear of second placed Guildford Flames, who suffered a penalty-shot defeat to Basingstoke Bison, and sets up a crunch 48 hours next weekend, as Phoenix take on the Flames in back to back games in Surrey on Saturday, then at home on Sunday starting at 5.30pm.

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