Click here for other games being covered
14th February 2004
|Referee: M Hanson|
|Match complete||Manchester Phoenix|
|0 : 0 : 1 = 1||Goals||0 : 0 : 0 = 0|
|10 : 12 : 14 = 36||Shots||7 : 8 : 4 = 19|
|18 : 0 : 2 = 20||Penalties in Minutes||2 : 4 : 4 = 10|
Sheffield Steelers 1-0 Manchester Phoenix
Not icing for Sheffield Steve Duncombe, for Manchester Alan Hough.
Play-off intensity in this physical local derby with neither side giving an inch. In the end, Mike Peron at Platt's right post forced home a rebound with Phoenix captain George Awada sitting a holding penalty for the only goal (51:05).
Phoenix had in truth began to run out of gas in the final period, having played the night before, but it seemed there was to be no way past Jayme Platt. Phoenix lifted their keeper with 66 seconds left but didn't test Bronsard until 25 seconds remained and even then Rick Brebant at the back post was a fraction away from connecting with Mike Morin's shot from the right.
From the outset, Christian Bronsard was soon in action blanking Dave Kozier at the back door, but Sheffield soon kept Platt busy as they wheeled around at speed.
Sheffield made better use of their powerplay in the opening session with Platt making 3 saves before Dion Darling's shot squeezed through and into the net in the 12th minute. But ref Hanson ruled a forward was in the goal crease and Phoenix breathed again.
The visitors earned 48 seconds of 5-on-3 as Gerad Adams joined Ben Bliss in the box and Adams earned himself a 10 minute misconduct at the same time. But Sheffield's strong defensive game meant Bronsard only had to deal with a Dwight Parrish shot through traffic.
The middle session produced more of the same. Platt blanked Erik Anderson's wraparound early on. Phoenix killed two penalties with just 3 shots on Platt, but were struggling to create many chances themselves. Mark Bultje and Rick Brebant both found Bronsard in fine form, but Sheffield were increasingly dominant towards the end of the period. Phoenix had a let-off when Platt fell on his own net and ref Hanson whistled play down.The final session saw Dutiaume squeeze a shot through Platt but it drifted wide, Peron failed to connect on the doorstep and with Awada serving that penalty Erik Anderson swept down the left and found Dutiaume in time and space, but Dutes shot straight at the keeper. Just 20 seconds later Shudra fired in from the left and Peron at the near post found the net for a narrow if deserved win.
Reports used with permission
Views expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of ih-update.co.uk
No responsibility accepted for accuracy of information