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Manchester Phoenix
LogoUkManchesterPhoenix

Logo 2003-2007

New-phoenix-logo07

Logo 2007-Present

League English Premier Ice Hockey League
Founded 2003
History Manchester Phoenix
2003-04; 2006-Present</br>
Arena Altrincham Ice Dome
Capacity 2,150
City Altrincham, England
Team Colours White, Black & Red

              

Head Coach/Director of Hockey Ops Tony Hand, MBE
Owner Neil Morris
General Manager Andy Costigan
Team Captain

The Manchester Phoenix is a professional ice hockey team from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, England. The club was formed in 2003 as a result of the efforts of supporters group Friends of Manchester Ice Hockey to bring top-level ice hockey back to Manchester after Manchester Storm folded in 2002.

Phoenix were founder members of the Elite Ice Hockey League upon its formation in 2003, playing in the 17,500 capacity MEN Arena. The cost of using such a large facility proved financially untenable, and Phoenix suspended playing operations in 2004 pending the construction of a smaller purpose built ice facility. Construction of the Altrincham Ice Dome commenced in 2006, and the club returned to the Elite League for the 2006-07 season. After three seasons in the EIHL, the club joined the English Premier Ice Hockey League on April 30th 2009.

OriginsEdit

In 2002, the Manchester Storm, once the best-supported Ice Hockey club in Europe, ran into serious financial trouble and was folded. Initially fans protested against SMG, the company who owned the Manchester Evening News Arena as it was perceived that troubles had arisen due to SMG's disinterest in continuing to house the Storm at the Manchester Evening News Arena. This soon turned into a rally in support of the team and a supporters group known as 'The Friends of Manchester Storm' was established after Gary Cowan, the owner of the Storm officially announced he was finalising the organisation's operations due to unsustainable debts.[1] Once it became clear that the Storm were not to return, FOMS changed their name, becoming the 'Friends Of Manchester Ice Hockey'. [2]

This group had two established aims, namely to bring top level professional ice hockey back to Manchester and to ensure the creation of a new ice rink facility in the region. In 2003, a club was formed and with fans choosing to symbolically title the team the 'Manchester Phoenix', rising from the ashes of the Storm.

Initial Playing OperationsEdit

The Phoenix would be founding members of the British Elite Ice Hockey League and played out of the MEN Arena for their inaugural season. Under player-coach Rick Brebant, and later Paul Heavey, the team finished sixth out of eight in the league, the final qualifying place for the playoffs. Phoenix finished second in their Playoff group ahead of the Belfast Giants, qualifying for the semi-final, where they were beaten 6-1 by the Nottingham Panthers. [3]

Despite an impressive beginning, with 3,600 turning out for the first home game against the London Racers, crowds would not be consistent and it soon became apparent that ice hockey at the busiest indoor venue in Europe would no longer be viable with the season's average attendance being just 2,150 per game. As a result, the Phoenix temporarily suspended playing operations at the end of the 2003-04 season. [4]

In May of 2004 the Phoenix announced that they had the funding to construct a new temporary ice rink but problems arose as to exactly where to locate the facility. As a result, the deadline for inclusion in the EIHL passed, and the Phoenix withdrew from the 2004-05 season. The club had still not managed to build a new venue by the following year, and announced that the Phoenix would not be part of the 2005-06 season either. [5] In November 2005, the club announced details of a new rink to be built in partnership with Nikal, David McLean and Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council. The new rink would seat 2,026, with 24 wheelchair spaces, and standing for approx 4-500[6]. Planning permission for the rink was finally granted in early January 2006 and construction began on March 30, with the rink to be sited in Altrincham. [7]

With progress being made, the Phoenix confirmed their inclusion in the EIHL once again, for the 2006/07 season with the Ice Dome scheduled to host its first game on September 24 2006. The Phoenix also announced the appointment of Tony Hand as player/head coach. This was regarded as a huge step forward for the organisation, as Hand is regarded by many as the greatest British ice hockey player of all time. Unfortunately for Hand and the team, unexpected delays followed and so in the interim Phoenix home games were held at either IceSheffield or Deeside Leisure Centre. After further construction and two further missed completion dates, the rink eventually opened with a reduced capacity of 1,000 on February 25 2007, with Phoenix playing host to the Basingstoke Bison. [8] It was the first time professional hockey had been played in Manchester for the first time in almost three years. The remaining 700 seats were installed over the following months, with the Dome completely ready for the beginning of the 2007/08 season.

For further information, please see 2006-07 Manchester Phoenix season.

2007/08 SeasonEdit

During May 2007 the squad was rebuilt, with club captain Scott Basiuk and forwards Matt Rich, K. C. Timmons, Adam Walker, Brett Clouthier and defenceman Simon Mangos all resigning to Tony Hand's team as well as the additions of Rhys McWilliams from the Solihull Barons, Jeff MacMillan from the ECHL's Phoenix Roadrunners and clinching the signing of former NHL player Scott Fankhouser as first choice goaltender. [9]

The season started well for the Phoenix, with Fankhouser winning EIHL player of the week early in the season. [10] This didn't last though, and results began to slide. Hand reacted to this by releasing K. C. Timmons and signing former Fresno Falcons forward Luke Stauffacher in his place in order to try and create more goal scoring opportunities. Timmons would sign for the Coventry Blaze, and would answer his critics by scoring a hat-trick against the Phoenix at the Ice Dome in December 2007. [11]

Form continued to be hard to find for the Phoenix though. Despite scoring significant numbers of goals, the Phoenix defence proved to be anything but watertight and high scoring games became a regular occurrence. Manchester closed the regular season on the 23rd of April with a 6-2 away loss to the Hull Stingrays, finishing 7th in the EIHL. This was perceived by many fans to be somewhat of an underachievement by the organisation.

The Phoenix's seventh placed finish ensured a post-season matchup with their fiercest rivals, the Sheffield Steelers. Again two high scoring games would follow; the Phoenix lost 5-4 in Sheffield, ensuring a tense return leg at the Ice Dome. Despite scoring four goals, the Phoenix defence again proved to be a problem, with the game ending 4-4 in front of a sell out crowd of 2150. The draw meant that the Phoenix exited the playoffs in the first round for the second year in a row. [12]

2008/09 SeasonEdit

For Game-By-Game Log see 2008-09 Manchester Phoenix Season

During the close-season, the Phoenix again re-built their squad. Tony Hand was again appointed head coach and moved to strengthen the British contingent of the squad, re-signing Carl Graham and Adam Walker, fully promoting Phil Hamer from the U-18 squad and on the 16th May, announced the signing of Team G.B. defenceman Luke Boothroyd. Soon after, the Phoenix re-signed a familiar face in Dwight Parrish, who had iced for both the Manchester Storm and the Phoenix in their debut season. Alex Dunn and Josh Garbutt were the final two defencemen signed by Hand.

Hand also signed several more non-British players to the Phoenix roster, re-signing fans favourite Brett Clouthier, and offering Canadian duo Grant Jacobsen and David-Alexandre Beauregard their first taste of European hockey, as well as signing Odessa Jackalopes pair Kenton Smith and Nathan Ward. Smith would also be named club captain. Bruce Mulherin, Luke Fulghum and the hard-hitting Kyle Bruce completed the forward lines for the Phoenix. Manchester brought in first choice Team GB Goaltender Stephen Murphy who had previously played with Tony Hand in Dundee. Phoenix also re-signed Adam Summerfield as backup for Murphy. [13] Soon after the season had started however, Grant Jacobsen left Manchester to return to Texas and was replaced by Lucas Burnett.

On Sunday 15 February 2009, the Phoenix made club history after beating the Basingstoke Bison 6 - 1 (11 - 3 on aggregate) in the semi-final second leg of the challenge cup, booking a place in their first Cup Final and a two-legged tie with the Belfast Giants in March. There was to be no fairytale ending for the Phoenix, as the Belfast Giants lifted the Challenge Cup. Phoenix were also beaten in the Final of the British Knockout Cup by the same opponents. Manchester would be defeated in two legs by the eventual EIHL Playoff runners up, the Nottingham Panthers. [14]

Despite the two cup final defeats, the 2008/09 season was a positive one for on-ice operations for Manchester, with the team playing an attractive and far more successful style than in previous years. They would finish the season in sixth place but had spent much of the season in a far higher league position. The Phoenix fans also enjoyed the play of David-Alexandre Beauregard, who won several awards for 'EIHL Player of the Season' and, as a result of his play is regarded by many Phoenix fans as the greatest player to wear the shirt. Problems arose off-ice though, and the club again struggled to balance the books. As a result, at the end of the season, the club declared its intention to move into the English Premier Ice Hockey League. [15]

2009/10 SeasonEdit

Squad re-structuring for the 2009/10 season, the Phoenix' first outside of the EIHL began immediately with the announcement by the organisation that not only would Tony Hand continue to play, but that he had signed a three year deal as Phoenix Head Coach. Adam Walker, Luke Boothroyd, Carl Graham and Adam Summerfield were also confirmed as re-signed from the 2008/09 roster. They would be joined in a Phoenix shirt by returning goaltender Steve Fone as well as exciting British defenceman Joe Graham, young Scottish forward Iain Bowie and Phoenix ENIHL regular Ben Wood. [16]

Soon after Tony Hand would announce an exciting double coup with the addition of experienced EIHL and Calder Cup winner Andre Payette [17] as well as the confirmation of Ed Courtenay in a player/assistant coach role. [18]

ENL AffiliateEdit

In the summer of 2007, the Manchester Phoenix organisation announced the creation of a team to ice in the English National Ice Hockey League, the amateur level below the EPL. The creation of this semi-professional team was seen as the final step in a completely integrated youth development program. The team originally iced in the 'North 2' division of the ENL, but were promoted after a playoff win over the Blackburn Hawks. [19] They initially bore the Phoenix name and play at the Altrincham Ice Dome, as does the senior team.

The team is currently coached by Paul 'Nipper' Bayliss. From August of 2009, the team was re-named to become the Trafford Metros[20], honouring the history of the team who skated on the Devonshire Road ice rink in Altrincham. Despite the name change, the Metros will continue to be the ENL affiliate of the Manchester Phoenix.


EPIHL Roster 2009/2010Edit

Players as of April 30th 2009

Goaltenders
Number Player Catches Acquired Place of Birth
30 Flag of the United Kingdom Adam Summerfield L 2007 Whitehaven, England
31 Flag of the United Kingdom Steve Fone L 2009 Sheffield, England
Defencemen
Number Player Shoots Acquired Place of Birth
2 Flag of Sweden Andre Mattsson L 2009 Port Au Prince, Haiti
4 Flag of the United Kingdom Luke Boothroyd R 2008 Huddersfield, England
10 Flag of the United Kingdom Joe Graham R 2009 Nottingham, England
15 Flag of the United Kingdom Ben Wood R 2009 Manchester, England
25 Flag of the United Kingdom Ryan Johnson R 2009 Sheffield, England
Forwards
Number Player Shoots Acquired Place of Birth
7 Flag of Canada Andre Payette L 2009 Cornwall, ON, Canada
8 Flag of the United Kingdom Greg Wood R 2009 Sheffield, England
9 Flag of the United Kingdom Tony Hand R 2006 Edinburgh, Scotland
11 Flag of the United Kingdom Robert Lachowicz R 2009 Nottingham, England
12 Flag of the United Kingdom James Neil R 2009 Nottingham, England
27 Flag of Canada Ed Courtenay R 2009 Verdun, QB, Canada
29 Flag of the United Kingdom Adam Walker R 2006 Fife, Scotland
33 Flag of the United Kingdom Iain Bowie R 2009 Fife, Scotland
44 Flag of Finland Jaakko Hagelberg L 2009 Tampere, Finland
Staff
Number Staff Member Position Acquired Place of Birth
9 Flag of the United Kingdom Tony Hand Player/Head Coach 2006 Edinburgh, Scotland
-- Flag of the United Kingdom Paul Bayliss Assistant Coach 2008 England
-- Flag of the United Kingdom Paul Turner Equipment Manager 2005 Sheffield, England

Non-Returning PlayersEdit

Players confirmed as not returning to the club from the 2008/09 season;

Non-Returning Players
Number Player Acquired Released Released To
5 Flag of Canada Kenton Smith 2008 2009 HC Valpellice Bulldogs
7 Flag of the United States Alex Dunn 2008 2009 Odessa Jackalopes
10 Flag of Canada David-Alexandre Beauregard 2008 2009 HC Valpellice Bulldogs
16 Flag of Canada Brett Clouthier 2006 2009 Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees
27 Flag of the United States Luke Fulghum 2008 2009 Coventry Blaze
31 Flag of the United Kingdom Stephen Murphy 2008 2009 Belfast Giants

Honours and AwardsEdit

2003/04

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

Retired NumbersEdit

  • #17 Flag of the United States Dwight Parrish - Jersey retired for services to ice hockey in Manchester.

Head CoachesEdit

Individuals who have been appointed Head Coach of the Manchester Phoenix;

Club CaptainsEdit

Players who have captained the Manchester Phoenix;

Two Team PlayersEdit

Players who have featured for both the Manchester Phoenix and the Manchester Storm in league fixtures;

NHL DrafteesEdit

Players who have played for the Manchester Phoenix who have been selected in NHL entry drafts;

NHL Draftees
Position Player Draft Position Draft Year Draft Team
F Flag of the United Kingdom Tony Hand 252nd 1986 Edmonton Oilers
RW Flag of Canada Ed Courtenay 5th 1991 Exp San Jose Sharks
D Flag of Canada Jeff Sebastian 115th 1991 Winnipeg Jets
LW Flag of Canada Andre Payette 244th 1994 Philadelphia Flyers
LW Flag of Canada David Beauregard 271st 1994 San Jose Sharks
G Flag of the United States Scott Fankhouser 276th 1994 St. Louis Blues
D Flag of Canada Mike Lankshear 66th 1996 Toronto Maple Leafs
LW Flag of Canada K.C. Timmons 141st 1998 Colorado Avalanche
LW Flag of Canada Brett Clouthier 50th 1999 New Jersey Devils
D Flag of Canada Jeff MacMillan 215th 1999 Dallas Stars
C Flag of Canada Brian Passmore 199th 2000 Minnesota Wild
RW Flag of Canada Kyle Bruce 231st 2001 Florida Panthers
C Flag of Canada Grant Jacobsen 270th 2001 St. Louis Blues
D Flag of Slovakia Radoslav Hecl 208th 2002 Buffalo Sabres

FootnotesEdit

  1. Storm Clouds Brewing. www.SportsBusiness.com. Retrieved on 2009-05-08.
  2. Storm Sink As Cash Bid Fails. BBC.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-08.
  3. Phoenix Bow Out Of Playoffs. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-09.
  4. Phoenix Take Time Out As Part Of Plan For Future. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-09.
  5. Phoenix On Back Burner. Manchester Evening News. Retrieved on 2009-05-09.
  6. Altrincham Ice Dome seating plans (PDF). Altrincham Ice Dome website. Retrieved on 2007-01-30.(pdf)
  7. Phoenix on ice. BBC. Retrieved on 2007-01-22.
  8. Bison Partypoop On Phoenix Opener. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-09.
  9. 2008 Elite Team Roster. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  10. Scott Fankhouser, Player of the Week. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  11. Timmons Hat-Trick Floor Fatigued Phoenix. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  12. Phoenix Bow Out Of Playoffs Despite Superb Effort. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  13. 2009 Elite Team Roster. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  14. Phoenix Beaten But Far From Disgraced. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  15. Phoenix Join The English Premier League. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  16. Phoenix Confirm First Eight Player Signings. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  17. Power Forward Payette A Two In One Boost For Phoenix. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-08-08.
  18. Dual Phoenix Role For Ace Sniper Courtenay. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-08-08.
  19. Manchester Phoenix ENL 8 v 7 Blackburn Hawks. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  20. The Metros are Back!. ManchesterPhoenix.co.uk. Retrieved on 2009-12-08.

External linksEdit

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Manchester Phoenix. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).


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