Cartier Hat-Trick sinks the Capitals

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Manchester Storm 6 – 2 Edinburgh Capitals

Manchester Storm defeated the Edinburgh Capitals 6-2 at the Altrincham Ice Rink this week, as a hat-trick by Cody Cartier helped the Altrincham based club move up to sixth in the standing with a 6-2 victory on Sunday night. The game also coincided with the annual ‘Pink the Rink’ game that saw the club joining forces with The Christie charity and made more than £1,000 by the end of the evening, as match night announcer Jon Hammond and Storm player Eric Neilson both went pink for the game and saw Neilson sporting not only pink hair, but also a pink beard too for the cause.

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Eric Neilson ‘Pretty in Pink’ – Photos by Aaliyah & Mark Ferriss of All Sports Photography.

It saw the opening to the game being mainly played inside the Manchester zone and had the Capitals very much on top in the first half of the period. Storm had their netminder in Mike Clemente to thank, as without his saves the visitors would have been ahead by a couple of goals and saw his teammates struggling to get into the game.

Manchester through struck first against the run of play, with Patrik Valcak squeezing his shot somehow through the pads of Travis Fullerton in the Capitals nets and had it nestle in the bottom corner to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the 4th minute. Edinburgh soon got back on level terms, as after some lovely build up play by the Capitals forwards it saw Mason Wilgosh and Taylor McDougall combining to set up Jared Staal, whose high rising shot flew in over the shoulder of Clemente to tie the game.

Manchester tried to force the play a bit late on in the period and saw them starting to some much-needed momentum in their play prior to the break. Play in the Second saw a more even game, with the home side taking the lead on the power play after Edinburgh’s Mike D’Orazio got called for an elbows penalty and was iffy in truth. From that call the Storm moved the puck nicely around on the powerplay and ended up with Cody Cartier blasting one from the blue line to give Manchester a 2-1 lead.

Storm then opened up a two-goal cushion through a Patrik Valcak strike, when the home forwards stripped the puck from a Capitals man by the boards in the neutral zone, but then finished off nicely by the Czech forward see daylight between the Caps. Edinburgh brought it back to a one goal game again soon after through, with Mason Wilgosh netting at 31:55 and saw the Capitals man firing the twine to trail 3-2. Quite literally over a minute later, it saw Darian Dziurzynski then re-establishing the two goal cushion for the home side, with a lovely team move that saw Paul Philips and Patrick Valcak combining once more for the hosts fourth.

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Scramble at the Front of Capitals goal – Photo by Aaliyah & Mark Ferriss of All Sports Photography.

Manchester then found themselves having to kill off a late 5 on 3 Capitals power play at the back-end of the second, with Paul Swindlehurst and Patrik Valcak both serving time in the penalty box for their respective calls. That penalty kill saw Mike Clemente and the Storm Penalty Kill, doing an outstanding job of killing off the penalties and virtually killed off the hopes of the visitors getting back into the contest, as it looked to have taken the wind out of them.

Third period action saw the Storm coming out a very different animal so to speak than the previous two periods, as the hosts bossed proceedings and took the game to the visitors as Edinburgh just fell away badly and saw them becoming very sloppy and careless. Cody Cartier made it 5-2 for the home side as the forward grabbed his second of the game and saw that contest effectively over, with the Storm beginning to feel more comfortable and started to enjoyed themselves.

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Cody Cartier celebrates one of Three strikes – Photos by Aaliyah & Mark Ferriss of All Sports Photography.

Cartier, then had one chalked off by the referee for a high sticks and despite a polite inquiry by the Storm players, it saw the goal washed out by Mr Brown. With 5.50 left in the third, it saw the Canadian eventually completing his hat trick and fired in a sixth goal past Travis Fullerton, to round off a good evening all round for the club on and off the ice. The win moves Manchester into sixth position ahead of next weekend’s games against the Cardiff Devils at home on Saturday, before they make the long trip up north to face Edinburgh for a third time in Murrayfield on Sunday.

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