Beauregard double, but Capitals make the playoffs

Saturday, 21st March 2009

Edinburgh Capitals 6 - 3 Manchester Phoenix

Manchester Phoenix headed north on Saturday to face an Edinburgh side determined to secure their place in the playoffs competition, and the Scots maintained their recent good form to secure their post-season berth.

With the Capitals all fired up for the game, Phoenix were soon on the back foot and defending as the home side strove to dictate the game. Edinburgh opened the scoring in the seventh minute as their leading sniper Mark Hurtubise scored the first of his brace on the night unassisted. And the Scots doubled their lead two minutes later as Jason Cassells tallied assisted by Cingel and Garside. Phoenix fought back and reduced the arrears in the 12th minute on the powerplay as Kenton Smith and Nathan Ward worked the puck to the front of the net for David-Alexandre Beauregard to finish. The home side however continued to force the pace and regained their two-goal advantage in the 15th minute as Christiansen and Stefishen did the hard work for Kyle Horne to fire the puck into the top corner from the slot. Pasi Raitanen in the Capitals goal made an excellent save to deny Nathan Ward on a shorthanded breakaway and the Scots led a the first break.

Phoenix, no doubt disappointed at their first period came out strongly in the second session and again cut the Capitals lead to one as Beauregard bagged his second of the night on assists from Luke Fulghum and Josh Garbutt in the 23rd minute. Once again though, Edinburgh raised their effort and three minutes later Mark Patterson gave them their third two-goal lead beating Stephen Murphy on assists from Hay and Hurtubise. Raitanen again made important saves denying first Kyle Bruce and then Ward as the Phoenix responded. Phoenix were now pushing strongly and shortly before the second interval Lucas Burnett fired home their third goal after a nice feed from Josh Garbutt.

Despite the home fans being aware of the news that Hull were losing at home against Cardiff, the Capitals players maintained their concentration to end their home league campaign on a win. The Scots continued to enjoy more of the possession without unduly troubling Murphy in the Phoenix net. Entering the final five minutes, Phoenix replaced Murphy with Adam Summerfield and disappointingly his first action was to pick an excellent backhand shot from Hurtubise from his net in the 58th minute. And the home side wrapped up a morale boosting win in the final minute as Cassells netted his second in a goalmouth scramble.

Speaking after the game, Phoenix player coach Tony Hand remarked, “We knew Edinburgh would play hard wanting to make the playoffs and they did just that. Our guys worked hard and we actually outshot them, but their incentive proved decisive on the night. With the news coming through that Hull had lost, we chose to give Murf an early finish and Adam Summerfield the final few minutes. Tomorrow we face Belfast in another huge game for our club as we go for the Knockout Cup and wait for news of whether it’s Coventry or Nottingham in the playoffs.”

Phoenix face the Belfast Giants in Altrincham at 5.30pm on Sunday night in a game that doubles as the final home league game and the first leg of the Knockout Cup Final.

David-Alexandre Beauregard

David-Alexandre Beauregard found the back of the Capitals' net twice to add to his stunning season points total

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