Stars continue winning ways
MATCH REPORT: Stars Vs Peterborough Phantoms
Oxford City Stars travelled to Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday looking to pick up two further points in their NIHL campaign. Without Josh Florey and Milan Ronai, and long-term injury Stewart Tate, Stars added young netminder Daniel Treuherz to their squad.
Stars started the brighter when Dax Hedges opened the visitors account in the 3rd minute after good work from Martyn Gray. They were soon pegged back as the hosts equalised on the powerplay, whilst Stars Dom Hopkins sat a two-minute penalty for tripping. The goal scorer was Conor Pollard who was set up by former Stars player James Pentecost. Stars were slow to pick up the tempo and despite good efforts from Michal Oravec and Tom Davis, were being subjected to Peterborough attacks that required Stars netminder John Dibble to be at his sharpest as the puck kept bobbling around in front to his goal. It took a fine save from Dibble in the 17th minute to keep the scores level going into the first interval.
The second period was dominated by the Stars in terms of territory, so it was against the run of play when Phantoms Clint Herring picked up the puck and was able to set up Ross Clarke for the home side to take the lead. Stars upped their work rate and this paid dividends when Stars player of the match, Darren Elliott equalised with Josh Oliver getting the assist. Stars went ahead in the 34th minute when they scored the goal of the game. Jake Florey picked up the puck in his own defensive zone, skated forward, sending Peterborough players aside, like skittles in a bowling alley. He then had the composure to finish with a neat finish past Danny Lane in the home goal. Stars added two more decisive goals before the period end with firstly Matt Lawday finishing from a Florey pass and Tom Davis finding the back of the net. Stars conceded a goal with 9 seconds remaining in the period when Nick Alley netted whilst on the powerplay. This melee of scoring left the score at the end of the 2nd period at 5-3 to the Stars.
Within a minute of the start of the 3rd period the advantage had been reduced to one goal as Pentecost finished off a sweeping Peterborough move. The game was starting to get a little niggly with the Stars gaining the advantage when the home side started taking penalties. Firstly, Mike Whillock and then Elliott capitalised to move the Stars advantage to three goals. Elliott then completed his hat trick and the scoring with the assist going to Alex Staples., The closest Peterborough coming when they hit the bar with a shot. Stars should have extended their lead when they were awarded a penalty shot after the impressive Lawday was brought down when through on goal. Josh Oliver took the penalty shot but his hot was easily saved. Stars saw out the remainder of the game and look forward to returning to home ice, next Sunday, 10th February, when they entertain Bracknell Hornets (5.15pm Face Off)