Hand makes history as Phoenix cruise past Stingrays

Saturday, 29th November 2008

Hull Stingrays 1 - 7 Manchester Phoenix

Tony Hand made ice hockey history on Saturday night when his assist on his teams first goal saw him reach an astonishing career total of 4,000 points in domestic competition. And after that, his team cruised to victory against a hapless Hull outfit with both David-Alexandre Beauregard and Luke Fulghum bagging hat-tricks.

The home side took a fourth minute lead through Slava Koulikov and after Phoenix had spurned several good chances, the equaliser eventually arrived in the final minute of the period, Beauregard back-handing home with Hand gaining his historical assist. Hand was understandably mobbed by his team-mates, received a rapturous reception from the travelling army of Phoenix supporters and the Stingrays presented him with a bottle of champagne to celebrate his achievement before play resumed.

The second period saw the Phoenix totally dominant against a Stingrays team missing two key defencemen and struggling to find any way to keep the visitors at bay. Only the netminding of Curtis Cruickshank prevented Phoenix romping away with the game but, it wasn’t until the 37th minute that his resistance was finally broken, Beauregard netting his second of the game.

The final session saw Phoenix continue their supremacy and turn their advantage into goals. Josh Garbutt gleefully made it 3-1 in the 47th minute and just over a minute later Luke Fulghum bagged the first of his treble. Hull then ran into double penalty trouble and that gave Fulghum the space to grab his second. With Hull now a well-beaten side, Tony Hand decided to give himself a rest for the final eight minutes and Carl Graham made the most of his extra ice time to earn his first Elite League point assisting on the hat-trick marker for Beauregard in the 57th minute. And the Phoenix weren’t finished as 50 seconds later, Luke Fulghum slid the puck through the legs of Cruickshank to complete an emphatic Phoenix victory.

History-maker Tony Hand commented, “Naturally, I’m delighted to have reached the 4,000 point mark, it means a lot to me but, at the time, it was more important to me that we drew level in the game. Hull is always a tough place to play and I thought we dominated the game from that point on. We scored some really good goals tonight in a very solid team performance. We’ve got a busy schedule of games coming up in December, so I’m hoping that we can use this result as a springboard toward a great Christmas for the club and our supporters.”

Phoenix are next in action on Sunday against the Cardiff Devils at the Altrincham Ice Dome on Sunday with a 5.30pm face-off.

Player Profile

Tony Hand

Tony Hand cemented his place as "The Great One" by scoring his 4000th domestic point.

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