Wildcats Return Phoenix To The Ashes

Swindon Wildcats 4 Manchester Phoenix 3

A week on from their last encounter at Deeside, Swindon Wildcats came face to face with Manchester Phoenix once more on Saturday, in a clash they would again go on to win 4-3, writes Ben Callaghan from Total Swindon Sport.


The cats started quickly and were testing Stephen Fone between the Phoenix pipes early on, who was quick to deny Floyd Taylor with a strong pad save. Swindon got the opening goal when Jonas Höög provided an assist with a back handed pass to Tomasz Malasinski who fired into the empty net with Fone nowhere to be found. 


Manchester were struggling to cope with Swindon's forecheck and at 13:21 the home side doubled their advantage. Carlo Finucci forcing Mark Thomas into a mistake and the Canadian slid the puck to captain Jan Kostal who finished with aplomb. Phoenix had chances of their own when Stanislav Gron ripped a shot off the post as the period was coming to an end.


Manchester started the middle period much better and, boosted by a powerplay, were getting many more shots in on Stevie Lyle. They got their route back into the game when a freak deflection of a Wildcats D man saw the puck slide through Lyle's legs, with the goal being credited to Gron. 


The game turned midway through the second when the Phoenix D had some poor shifts consecutively. They allowed the Cats forwards too much room and the home side capitalised, twice. Firstly Malasinski turned provider for player-coach Aaron Nell, as he converted his 250th regular season goal for his hometown club.


Three minutes later, the same duo linked up again and the same result happened. Malasinski fed the puck to an onrushing Nell who fired top corner before accidentally skating into Fone. The Phoenix did manage to test Lyle more linking up for 16 shots but ultimately the spell in the middle of the period cost the Phoenix who ended it 4-1 down.


Manchester knew they'd need something big in the final period to get something from the contest but Swindon remained strong at the back for the majority. The Cats got stuck in penalty trouble in the last five minutes and at that point the Phoenix managed to score a couple of goals. Michal Satek bundled the puck over a stranded Lyle to ensure the finish would be tight.


At 59:01 with Fone pulled Ben Wood tipped a long slapshot from the point down into the net to make it 4-3. The goals proved to be too little too late, with the Cats holding on to a well deserved 4-3 victory.


John Barras Man of the Match awards 


Neil Liddiard - Swindon Wildcats

Robin Kovar - Manchester Phoenix



You can support the Wildcats Movember efforts all this month.  Adam Harding, Jordan Hedley and Stevie Whitfield are leading the push to help promote men’s health this season and they’d be grateful for your support.  Click HERE to find out more and to make a donation.


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