Beau treble fires Phoenix toward Cup semi-final

Thursday, 16th October 2008

Manchester Phoenix 6 - 2 Edinburgh Capitals

Leading scorer David-Alexandre Beauregard bagged a first period hat-trick as the Manchester Phoenix blasted their way to victory over the Edinburgh Capitals, and put themselves within a whisker of a semi-final berth in the Challenge Cup.

Needing a victory to put pressure on the Newcastle Vipers, Phoenix exploded from the blocks to totally dominate the first period over the Scottish visitors. Only quality netminding from Edinburgh goalie Michel Robinson prevented Phoenix racing into an early lead, but once Beauregard notched the opening in the eighth minute, the Montreal native showed why he is one of the most feared finishers in the Elite League. His second goal came in the 17th minute completing a pass from Tony Hand and after Bruce Mulherin added a third marker for the home side just 23 seconds later, Beauregard completed his treble haul before the first interval.

Edinburgh, who had been outshot 20-7 in the first session, regrouped in the interval and hit back with strikes from player coach Doug Christiansen and Andrej Rajcak, but never really threatened a serious comeback as Phoenix regained a three-goal margin just past the half-hour mark. With the result never really in doubt, Phoenix continued to dominate the possession but left it late in the final period before adding their sixth goal courtesy of Luke Fulghum.

The victory saw Phoenix finish their Group A campaign with six points from their four games and a Belfast victory over the Newcastle Vipers on Saturday will ensure they go into the semi-final draw.

Phoenix player coach Tony Hand commented afterwards, “I asked the guys for a professional performance and they responded well. David’s finishing was clinical, he had had three great chances and buried all three of them. We signed him to score goals and he isn’t letting us down. The Capitals gave us a bit of a scare in the second period and you have to credit them for that, but the guys got back to a solid work ethic and I thought we fully deserved the victory.”

Hand added, “If Belfast beat Newcastle on Saturday, then we’re into the semi-final draw and with the way the team are playing at the moment, we’ll look forward to whoever that pits us against..”

Phoenix are on the road for both league games this weekend. On Saturday they travel to the Nottingham Panthers for a 7.00pm face-off in the National Ice Centre, before heading north to Edinburgh for a 6.00pm face-off at the Murrayfield Ice Rink.

David-Alexandre Beauregard

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