Phoenix Foiled In Shootout Finale

Wildcats earn two points on the road

Last Sunday the Swindon Wildcats got their 2014/15 EPL season off the best possible start, as they earned themselves an away shootout victory against the Manchester Phoenix.


In a night that saw both sides come together, it would be the Phoenix who would draw first blood, after the home sides’ James Archer put his side in front in just over 60 seconds. This close range score would be the only differential between the teams who would drag the game into a frantic second period.


Within seven minutes of the restart Manchester would then go about doubling the lead after several shots on goal. This time it would be the ever recognisable Frantisek Bakrlik placing the puck past netminder Stevie Lyle to land a 2-0 score.


However with just moments remaining in the period, ‘Cats import Tomasz Malasinski would make the most of a powerplay chance to beat Stephen Fone in net and earn Swindon their first of the night.


Having the momentum gained at the close of the period, the visiting side would see themselves make an impressive start to the third and with it, find a reward courtesy of a goal. An initial Jan Kostal slapshot would be followed up by line mate Ollie Betteridge and consequently tie the game for a tight affair.


It was not long before the hosts were back in front from here and after Michal Psurny’s high shot would find the net, Swindon were asked to respond once more.


In the 54th minute that goal then came as forward Aaron Nell was alone on goal to beat netminder Fone and draw the scores again; now standing at 3 a-piece.


A tied score meant an eventual overtime and despite testing the home net on several occasions, Swindon could not find that final goal to end the game.


With neither able to find that defining goal, a shootout loomed to find an inevitable game night winner. The first round would see both Nell and the home side’s Adam Walker have their shots saved to set up a level round 2. This time it would be the ‘Cats Kostal who would find the net, however to then see a replying tally from previous scorer Archer to keep things tied. This left the puck with the travelling side’s Malasinski to score and after some quick hands, the Polish forward would do just that.


With Psurny stepping up for the Phoenix, it took a well positioned save from Lyle to keep out the home side and consequently earn the Swindon Wildcats a two point victory on the road.


A 4 point weekend for the ‘Cats through both cup and league wins, means a undefeated start to the season and match up against the Guildford Flames on home ice this coming Saturday.


Final Score: Manchester Phoenix 3 - 3 (1-2 ASO) Swindon Wildcats


Man of the Match: MAN - Fone / SWI - Sandvik


Scott Gummerson - Press Officer


Wildcats line-up to follow >>>