REPORT: Chelmsford 1 – 5 Oxford
Oxford City Stars travelled to Chelmsford for their first away game of the National Ice Hockey League, Division Two campaign and came away with an impressive 5-1 victory with goals from Alan Green, Jacob Smith, Sam Brougthon, Josh Florey and Mike Whillock
The game started off competitively, with both sides having their chances early doors. Alan Green fired a puck which hit the upright from the blueline and Young was also tested when Chelmsford went close. Despite only facing five shots in the first period, this statistic was misleading due to the fantastic work that the Stars defencemen were putting in on both shot blocks and poke checks to kill off the attack.
Stars pushed hard and their pressure paid off with Oxford scoring twice in 27 seconds to give themselves a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period. Firstly, Alan Green found the target at the back post off a Sam Broughton pass, before Jacob Smith scored with a great shot from the top of the right circle after being set up by Josh Oliver.
The visitors however, did struggle with their discipline especially in the second period where they conceded three minor penalties, including a brief spell of five on three. Despite this however, Stars again scored in burst with two goals in two and a half minutes from Sam Broughton with a wonderful individual effort before Josh Florey put a goal away at the back post. Chelmsford had the better of the latter stages of the second period, after Stars lost some of their consistency.
The third period was tied one each after a Mike Whillock goal and Ellis Swainsbury for the Stars. A physical period with several roughing penalties both teams found the going tough but overall the Stars had already done enough to seal the two points. There was a moment of contraversy in the game where Warriors Daniel Staples appeared to head-butt Alan Green, but no penalty was assessed by the officals.
Stars will be delighted with the performance ahead of their big three weeks with games against Peterborough, Wightlink and London Haringey. The forward movement, passing was great for long passages of play. Ricky Young in the nets had a solid game and made some fine saves.