Christmas Comes Early At Oxpens Road
Oxford City Stars spread Christmas cheer with 18 – 1 white-wash over Lee Valley Lions
The City Stars took Christmas jumper day to a whole new level this year when they took to the ice in their one off Christmas jumper style jerseys on Sunday night. Fans were given the opportunity to buy the Christmas jerseys with the proceeds going to charity. Adding the icing on the cake though was The Stars dominating performance on ice however, the cherry on the top was the tremendous support the fans showed in the 3rd annual “Air the Bear” where after the first Oxford goal, fans are encouraged to hurl teddy bears onto the ice. The teddies then make their way to the John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital to comfort little one’s in need… Credit to Oxford City Stars management for being so engaged with the community and taking the opportunity to give something back…
On to the hockey…
Period one – Things got underway with Oxford taking control from the first drop of the puck. Countless cycling followed by a dump and chase strategy over the first 3 minutes bore no fruit for Oxford. A shock goal game as Lee Valley’s #20 Brown fired a wide shot that rebounded off the back boards to find #3 Simon Geldart with an open net whilst Oxford net minder Duffy was caught out of place. Just over 5 minutes played and the fans were left waiting for that 1st Oxford goal eagerly waiting to “Air The bear”… It didn’t take long for Oxford to come back though, 56 seconds later Kamil Kinkor from the blue line lets a wrist shot fly to find the back of the net. Bring on the bears… The players help round up the rouge teddies so they can continue their onward journey to the JR – A real feel good moment for everyone! It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. After nearly 7 minutes it was still one all. Lions #24 took a hard fall into the boards and the game halted whilst he gathered himself, finally able to skate back to bench. Still one all after 9 ½ minutes… City Stars were marginally denied on a wraparound attempt by Kamil Kinkor and shortly after he sends a pass through the middle to find #9 Andrew Cox who finds the top shelf and Oxford go ahead 2 to 1, Oxford fans breathe a sigh of relief. Possession changes a few times but its Cox again to #13 Whillock finding #28 Dom Hopkins in space. He saunters through the Lion’s defence, goes left, goes right and it’s in, GOAL! 3-1 to Oxford and the fans roar! Lee Valley get a rare breakaway but Oxford net minder, Duffy is on good form and feeds it back out for another Oxford attack. Many more chances for Oxford ensue as #66 Joe Edwards rings one off the post. The Lions dig deep to try and claw something back they’re caught tripping and #9 Matthew Hepburn gets a 2 minute penalty. Oxford focus on the power play hoping for that extra bit of breathing room and it comes 1:35 into the power play, courtesy of #3 Josh Oliver assisted by #28 Dom Hopkins. Stars lead 4-1 with 5:19 left to play. The remainder of the period was a back and forth affair and although scrappy at times Oxford dominated on the shot board with 22 to Lee Valley’s 4.
Period two – Whatever Coach Redmond said in the dressing room worked as we saw a more focused and energised City Stars attack with an attempt just 9 seconds in. Alas, no goal as the net comes off its moorings – an encouraging start from Oxford. From the faceoff there’s a whopping shot from the blue line by #47 Gray, it rebounds and finds Kinkor waiting, GOAL!!! Number 5 for Oxford after just 15 seconds with the initial assist coming from Josh Florey. Kinkor finds himself behind the net, to Edwards and again it rings off the post. Lee Valley go on the charge but it’s turned over by Redmond who finds #19 Stewart Tait, who wastes no time in notching up Oxford’s 6th goal of the night just 1:58 into the second period. Oxford keep possession – Joe Edwards, Kamil Kinkor & Josh Florey play a little cat and mouse with the Lion’s defence and at 3:52 Florey finds Oxford’s 7th goal. Three in just under 4 minutes. Shortly after, Dax Hedges finds the back of the net on a beautiful play thanks to Hopkins and Lawday. 8-1 Oxford. The onslaught continues with another Oxford goal from Josh Florey, assisted by Kinkor. 9-1. Josh Florey again for Oxford’s 10th of the night, assisted again by Kinkor but this time adding Jake Florey with an assist too. 10-1. With 7:54 left on the clock Lee Valley call a time out – not surprising after the way Oxford control the game. Following the short break the Stars lay waste to any kind of come back, #18 Ikin from behind the net finding #7 Josh Oliver in front and the Stars go up 11-1. Number 12 came as Whillock swoops around the back of the net, flings it to Dax Hedges for the one-timer and the net bulges again. 12-1 and 5:17 left. More excellent passing from Oxford sees them crashing the net. With that intensity it was only a matter of time before goal 13 came from Kinkor who found a wraparound opportunity assisted by Josh Florey and Joe Edwards. 13-1. More coal in the stocking for Lee Valley with 2 minutes to go and goal number 14 for Oxford comes from #23 Connor Redmond and assisted by #27 Staples and #19 Tait. 14-1. Whilst Oxford dominate the shot board again with 20 shots to 2 it has to be said that the defensive team had an enormous part to play in this one.
Period three – Lee Valley change net minders as the third gets underway and Robyn Maby takes up position between the pipes. The City Stars opened the scoring in period 3 after just 49 seconds through Kinkor, unassisted. 15-1. Less than 3 minutes go by and it’s 16-1 as Josh Florey finds Kinkor with space, he directs a pass from behind the net for Joe Edwards to fire it home. Maby shows off some impressive saves in net as Oxford continue to fire shot after shot. Nearly half way through the 3rd period, Redmond seeks out Tait and the puck gets loose but only for a moment as Josh Oliver jumps on it and finds a way past Maby for his 3rd of the night. 17-1. With just over 2 minutes to go the “shirt off the player’s back” player #61 William Harrison puts the icing on the cake for The City Stars. Shots on goal – Oxford, 20. Lee Valley, 4.
The game winds down and the fans count down from 10. It’s all over and it’s safe to say that Oxford fans feel a whole lot more festive now that Christmas has come early at Oxpens Road. 18-1.
Oxford Player of the Match – Josh Florey
Lee Valley Player of the Match – Robyn Maby