Saturday evening saw a return to action for Swindon, still in search of their first win of the season. Manchester visited the Link for the first time this season, the visitors also looking for their opening win of the season.
The Phoenix started brightly and tested Lyle straight away. At 1:51 they opened the scoring, Edgars Bebris picked the puck up and fired the puck past Lyle, with the assists going to James Neil and Luke Boothroyd. The Cats rallied and were given a gift at 3:33. Joni Tuominen turned the puck over onto Tomasz Malasinski's stick and the Polish international wasted no time in firing the puck into the roof of the net.
Swindon pressed harder and were working very well along the boards with Ben Davies and Max Birbraer fighting for every puck. At 15:09 the Cats took the lead, the second line linking up well again with strong work along the boards. Max Birbraer found space in the slot to spin and fire a quick wrist shot past Fone for the 2-1 lead. No further goals would come in the opening period despite good chances falling to both sides.
The second period proved more of the same, Swindon found themselves being denied by Fone on multiple occasions. Manchester tied the game up midway through the second through import Roman Malinik, he sped down the wing and fired high into the net past Lyle with what was a great finish.
The Cats then scored two quick goals with two goals in less than 90 seconds. Ben Davies finished a really smooth powerplay move at 32:12, the assists on the goal being given to Tomasz Malasinski and Aaron Nell. At 33:28 the Wildcats scored again. Kyle Smith made a long cross ice pass to Tomasz Malasinski who controlled the puck with his feet and shot the puck low into the bottom corner of the net for a 4-2 finish.
The third period was twenty minutes of shut down hockey. Swindon knew they had to remain solid to ensure the points would stay in Swindon and Manchester were running out of steam as the game got closer to the end. Manchester were creating good chances with Jakub Langhammer and Edgars Bebris forcing Lyle into some good glove saves.
Right at the end of the game Aaron Nell found himself through on goal and the Wildcats player coach slipped the puck between the legs of Fone to complete the 5-2 victory.
Man Of The Match:
Swindon Wildcats - Tomasz Malasinski
Manchester Phoenix - Stephen Fone