National Ice Hockey League Division 2 (South)

MATCH REPORT: Bracknell 9 – Stars 6

25th September 2017    Match

Bracknell Hornets vs Oxford City Stars

23 September 2017

Oxford City Stars travelled to play the Hornets in what was already being billed as a 4 point game, even so early in the season. Both teams were on maximum points going into the game. It was the home side who eventually came on top 9-6, pulling away in the third period following two periods in which the game ebbed and flowed, despite being interspersed with penalties on both sides.

The game started really badly for the Stars as within 75 seconds of the start talisman forward Darren Elliott was heading for an early shower, after being ejected from the game on a kneeing penalty that saw the homes sides Steven Fisher needing the medical attention. After 5 minutes the referee was busy again as Stars Joe Edwards picked up a two minute penalty for high sticks. The same penalty fell on the home sides Jack Tarczycki. Stars josh Oliver combined well with Kamil Kinkor and it was the Czech who had Stars best chances on the powerplay. Stars took the lead in the 9th minute when Matt Lawday finished off a nice move involving Joe Edwards and the impressive Oliver. The home side were back on level terms as William Stead fired in a cross shot from wide that seemed to be going wide, only for it to crash into the retreating defence and go past the wrong footed Mark Duffy in the Stars goal. The game went from end to end with Kinkor going close for the Stars and former Streatham import Sean Scarborough looking the mostly likely threat for the Hornets. Stars took the lead again with a powerplay goal whilst Bracknell’s Tom Fisher was serving a 2 minute minor penalty for slashing. Edwards and Kinkor combined well and the puck came back to Jake Florey just inside the attacking zone, central to the goal. His shot flew past William Sanderson in the home goal. Hornets second goal came in a bizarre fashion, Steven Fisher played the puck out form his own half and outpaced the Stars defence. The puck then became loose and Duffy decided he needed to go and collect it, as he advanced he overshot the puck and Scarborough was left with an open gaol from two metres to score, what will probably be his easiest finish of the season.

The second period saw Bracknell take the lead when two seconds into a further powerplay, Scarborough added his second goal straight from the face off. Stars rebounded and were soon level when Kinkor, having had his initial shot saved was able to lift the rebound over Sanderson. Dom Hopkins and Jason Ikin getting the assists. Ninety second later and the home side were back in the lead when Steven Fisher fired home after Stars had failed to clear their defensive zone. Once again the Stars drew level, when Ikin scored from close range. Bracknell’s go ahead goal was scored in the 35th minute when Stead scored his second goal after Duffy had made the initial save but Stead was the quickest to react as Stars failed to sweep the puck away from in front of goal. This left the score at 5-4 to the Hornets at the end of the 2nd period.

The early part of the 3rd period saw Stars dominate the possession stakes, without really looking like scoring. A succession of penalties on the visitors saw Hornets extend their lead. Ben Ealey-Newman, Tarczycki and Scarborough all adding goals, with Scarborough’s volley of the puck being the pick of the three. This burst saw Stars change netminder with Duffy being replaced by Milan Ronai. A glimmer of hope for the large Stars following saw Oliver reduce the deficit to 3 goals with just over three minutes to go. This was quickly extinguished as Harvey Hind-Pitcher forced the puck home for Bracknell, as once again the Stars defence was unable to clear the loose puck from in front of their goal. This was the Hornets 4th powerplay goal of the period and their 5th in total. There was just time for Lawday to fire home from a narrow angle and score his 2nd goal, for the Stars, and reduce the deficit back to three goals.

Final score Bracknell Hornets 9 Oxford City Stars 6.

Ian Dibley

Picture courtesy of Kevin Slyfield

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