National Ice Hockey League Division 1 (South)

Anderson: “everyone is together”

1st October 2019    Match

Head Coach Simon Anderson said the spirit at Oxford City Stars is strong after losing 6-3 at Slough Jets.

The Stars ended the first period 1-1 but conceded four unanswered goals in the second. Oxford finished strongly, winning the third period 2-1.

We now face another tough test with our return fixture against Streatham Redhawks on Sunday in South East London.  

The Stars faced Slough with five players on the side-lines through injuries and suspensions, including netminder Milan Ronai and import Ruslan Cernych and David Manning.

Anderson said: “We are going through a rough patch right now, but I think the main contributing factors are our injuries and suspensions.

“I believe if all teams in this league had their goalie and 3 or 4 other top guys out, they would find it difficult too.

“Obviously if the form continues when we have everyone available, we will need to address the situation, but right now we are sticking together and working through this tough time. The spirit in the locker room is strong and everyone is together.

“It’s crucial not to panic and we look forward to getting our missing guys back and showing everyone the real Oxford City Stars.”

Slough took an early lead before the Stars equalised through Mike Whillock.

The score was level at the end of the first period, but Slough hit four goals in the second period to leave the Stars 5-1 going into the final period.

Oxford stepped up a gear in the third period and Matt Lawday and captain Josh Florey both got on the score sheet. The Stars kept pressing, but could not overturn the score line.

“We started slowly, but I thought the early goal from them done us a favour and woke us up,” said Anderson.

“We played well in the first period and could have been ahead if we had taken our chances. We lost the game in the second. We were sloppy and lost our shape too much and it cost us. To be successful we have to stick to what we are good at.”

He added: “It was a great response in the third period which demonstrated what we are capable of when we play our game.

“Even though we did not win the game, we did enough good things for us to have confidence to take into our games ahead.”

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