Phoenix rise to Cup Challenge

Sunday, 30th September 2007

Manchester Phoenix 3- 0 Edinburgh Capitals

Manchester Phoenix opened their Challenge Cup campaign with a hard-fought, but deserved victory over the Edinburgh Capitals.

With netminder Scott Fankhouser again in superb form, saving all of the thirty shots he faced for his first shutout of the season, Phoenix took the game with a goal in each of the three periods.

Leading scorer Joe Tallari fired the Phoenix in front in the ninth minute adding the finishing touch to a superb cross-ice pass from Tony Hand. Edinburgh kept in the game with some good work of their own, and proved that they will be no easy game for anyone this season. As play got a little chippy towards the end of the period, Tallari and Capitals Hemingway both picked up Roughing penalties.

The second stanza was just 19 seconds old when Phoenix doubled their lead as captain Scott Basiuk joined the rush and found the space from which to convert a pass from Sean Starke. The goal gave Phoenix some breathing space, but their opponents didn't buckle and hit back, forcing Fankhouser to earn his clean sheet with some excellent saves.

Phoenix completed their victory in the 48th minute as Omar Ennafatti and Brett Clouthier worked the puck down low for Sean Starke to complete a good night with smartly taken goal lifting the puck over Perras in the Capitals net. Tempers frayed in the final minute after Basiuk and Hemingway clashed, and then Clouthier and Jeff State dropped the gloves for a short, but entertaining fight.

Phoenix player coach Tony Hand commented, "That was a good win against a much improved Edinburgh side. They came to play, but I thought we always had another gear we could move up to. It was a good start to the cup campaign for us and another good team performance."

Scott Fankhouser

Scott Fankhouser got a shut-out and earned MOM
(Image: Richard Murray)

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