Oxford City Stars secure 3rd place
Match Report: Oxford City Stars away at Chelmsford on Saturday 6th April 2019.
Oxford City Stars travelled to play Chelmsford Chieftains needing a win to secure a 3rd place finish in the NIHL Wilkinson Conference. Stars were boosted by the returning defenceman Dom Hopkins, but it was the other returnee to the starting line, netminder Milan Ronai who Stars can ultimately thank for their hard-earned victory by one goal to nil.
The second period started in a more positive fashion for the Stars, as first Matt Lawday and then Lee Richardson were denied by Phillips. In the 7th minute of the period Ronai was forced into a triple save, having to cover all of his goal crease to make the 3rd save. The puck bounced loose but all of the players had drifted towards the side of the ice and it was the young netminder who was quickest to react as he swept the puck away from danger. Michal Oravec had a good chance for the Stars and it was his pass who set up Josh Oliver for the game winning goal in the 39th minute.
The third period was absorbing as Stars sought to extend their lead, whilst having to maintain their defensive discipline. Oliver, Lawday and Oravec had good chances to extend the lead, but Ronai made a crucial save in the 55th minute to kick away a powerful shot. Chelmsford withdrew netminder, Phillips, for the extra forward player for the final 30 seconds of the game but were unable to beat the defiant Ronai.