Phoenix vs Blaze in Challenge Cup semis

Tuesday, 7th November 2006

The draw took place on Monday for the semi-final pairings in the bmibaby Elite League Challenge Cup competition, and the Phoenix drew probably the toughest opposition in the in-form Coventry Blaze.

The dates for the two-legged semi-final clashes are still to be decided and announced but, the first leg will take place in the Coventry Skydome Arena with the return expected to be an early game in the schedule of the new Altrincham Ice Dome.

Phoenix GM Andy Costigan noted, “It doesn’t really matter who you meet at this stage in a cup competition, the opposition will always be tough and in Coventry, we’ve probably got the toughest possible. We’ve just played them and lost twice although we were missing players through injury in both games. Hopefully, by the time we meet them in the semis, we’ll be back to full strength and then we can see what happens.”

Work is continuing at a pace on the new home for the Phoenix in Altrincham and the club are keen to host the second leg of the tie in the new facility if possible. A Phoenix spokesperson added, “slotting games into and out of the original schedules is something we all have to live with. However, we’ve been on the road now since September and we’re very keen to give our magnificent fans a big cup-tie atmosphere in the new building if a date for December can be agreed.”

With a number of players receiving treatment for injuries and the usual bumps and bruises, Phoenix are looking forward to an initial midweek update from the medical staff as to the improving fitness of David Vychodil and Adam Radmall.

Phoenix are back in bmibaby Elite League action this coming weekend with a Saturday road trip to Edinburgh to take on the Capitals before a Sunday night ‘home’ game against the Sheffield Steelers in Ice Sheffield.