Beauregard hat-trick as Phoenix go nap

Saturday, 21st February 2009

Basingstoke Bison 2 - 5 Manchester Phoenix

Manchester Phoenix kept the pressure on the Cardiff Devils as David-Alexandre Beauregard maintained his amazing goalscoring exploits, blasting a personal hat-trick past the Basingstoke Bison on Saturday night.

Phoenix wasted no time, exploding out of the starting blocks with Luke Fulghum bagging the opening goal with just 29 seconds played, on assists from Alex Dunn and Beauregard. In a first period that saw plenty of goalmouth action and numerous scoring opportunities for both sides, it was the Bison who tied the game up in the ninth minute as the diminutive Brent Hughes beat Stephen Murphy in the Phoenix goal. The home side were visibly boosted by the goal and they pressured the Phoenix into penalties, first on Luke Boothroyd and then Adam Walker, but the visiting penalty killing saw both minors effectively dealt with. And to rub salt into the Bison wound, when Kurt Reynolds was binned for Delaying the Game in the 18th minute, Phoenix needed just 27 seconds of powerplay for Nathan Ward to collect a Kenton Smith feed and fire the visitors into a first interval lead.

The second period started as an almost carbon copy of the first with Phoenix needing just 32 seconds to further increase their advantage as Beauregard continued his league-leading scoring form, completing a pass from Fulghum. The quick marker seemed to knock some of the resistance out of the home side, but they gradually recovered their composure and it wasn't till the 32nd minute that Phoenix further increased their lead. Once again it was David-Alexandre Beauregard doing the damage, completing a move involving Fulghum and Tony Hand.

The final period saw the irrepressible Beauregard complete his personal treble in the 45th minute, taking yet another pass from Tony Hand before saluting his 52nd goal of a memorable season. Tempers frayed shortly afterwards with Luke Fulghum and Bison's Brent Hughes both served double minor penalties for Slashing and Cross-Checking respectively. With a heavy schedule of games looming, Phoenix took their foot off the pedal and the home side reduced the arrears with a little over a minute left to play, Ivo Mocek the scorer.

Phoenix player coach Tony Hand commented, "Given the schedule we're involved in right now, tonight was an excellent performance from all the guys. We've got a few tired bodies right now and with another game at home on Sunday, it'll be another big test of our stamina and staying power. Naturally, David will grab the headlines tonight; he just keeps scoring and long may it continue for us, he's a natural predator."

Phoenix now have three straight home fixtures. Sunday 22nd in the Elite League at home against Basingstoke at 5.30pm, Thursday evening at 7.15pm in the second leg of the Knockout Cup semi-final against the Newcastle Vipers before returning to league action on Saturday 28th with a 6.30pm face-off against the Coventry Blaze.

David-Alexandre Beauregard

David-Alexandre Beauregard is the leagues leading scorer.

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