Dominant Stars Hammer Haringey

After a disappointing start to the year with a defeat in their first home game against the Bracknell Hornets, bigger things were expected from the Oxford City Stars as they played host to the Haringey Huskies, and it turned out to be a very one-sided game, with the Stars outshooting the visitors by 56 shots to 17.

As the game began the puck went from one end of the ice to the other, and following a shot by the Huskies, Jason Ikin became frustrated and shoved one of their players, earning himself the first Stars penalty kill as he sat out for boarding. The Huskies tried to take advantage of that and get an early lead but nothing materialised. Conor Redmond for the Stars took the puck around the back of the Huskies’ net and tried to score but his shot missed. However it wasn’t long before the goals started to come for the home side. Just under 4 minutes into the game Joshua Oliver passed the puck to Kamil Kinkor, who took a direct shot that went into the net behind David Wride in the opponents’ goal. Kinkor and Redmond both followed up with shots. Samuel Jackson managed to take the puck for the Huskies and took a shot towards the Stars’ netminder Milan Ronai, but Ronai batted it away. Eight minutes in Joshua Florey managed to catch a pass from Dominic Hopkins and added the Stars’ second goal, with a further assist from Matthew Lawday. Lawday took the puck unopposed to the Huskies’ net shortly after this, hoping to add a third goal, but his pass didn’t connect as there was no one there to receive it. An immediate hooking penalty followed on Ben Osborne, as the Stars found themselves with their first power play of the game. They had some good chances from Jake Florey, Kinkor and Alexander Staples, the latter’s shot hitting the back of the rink, but the penalty was successfully killed. The Huskies tried to get something going and took some shots but none of them were on target. With 6 ½ minutes left in the period Kinkor sent a pass diagonally to Theo Bundock, who slipped the puck past Wride, for his first ever goal with the Stars. The second assist came from Staples. Less than two minutes later Oliver scored the Stars’ fourth goal, his shot being stopped by Wride but somehow then ending up behind him in the net. Assists this time came from Andrew Cox and Redmond. Shots from both teams followed, with a Huskies shot being caught in Ronai’s hand. With 42 seconds left before the first period whistle, Ikin took a shot which missed the Huskies’ net but the rebound was caught by Whillock, second assist going to Kinkor, and at the end of the period the Stars were ahead by 5 goals to none.

The start of the second period brought a change in netminder for the Huskies, with Jussi Lynch Grut replacing Wride in goal. This was a slightly quieter period for the Stars, with 19 shots but only 2 goals. Remond and Staples had the early chances, and scrapping in front of the opponents’ net resulted in Lynch Grut crawling on the ice to stop the puck. Ashlee Cave incurred a high sticks penalty and the Stars were on their second power play, but again they couldn’t take advantage of it, shots from Hopkins and Oliver being the closest. The home fans didn’t have to wait too long for a goal though, as five minutes after the penalty ended the puck slid past Lynch Grut, Josh Florey getting the honours this time, assisted by Lawday. The Huskies took the puck and tried to open up their goal tally but their nearest chance came from a pass that was missed by the player closest to the net. Instead, the Stars repeated their first period performance by scoring in the final minute of the period, an unassisted goal by Redmond, and as the whistle blew the Stars’ lead had increased to 7-0.

The third period saw a lot of action as the Huskies began to tire, Lynch Grut letting in 7 of the 17 shots he faced, as the Stars doubled their lead. The first goal came just over a minute in, as Kinkor raced to the net and slotted the puck in, with assists from Whillock and Bundock. There followed chances on both sides, with Stephen Woodford with the best chance for the opposing side. Five minutes in, Redmond added his second goal, which at first glance appeared to have been saved by Lynch Grut, but the puck managed to slide through his legs and into the net. An assist was given to Cox. Two minutes later Whillock added his second, angling the puck above the shoulder of Lynch Grut, with assists from Kinkor and Bundock. And it was seconds later that the home fans had more reason to celebrate, Josh Florey with his hat-trick goal, assisted by Lawday and Hopkins. A couple of minutes later Jake Florey was thrown into the sin-bin for slashing, and the visitors might have fancied themselves a consolation goal, but despite several chances, it wasn’t to be their night. After the penalty ended Whillock took the puck right up to the Huskies’ net but Lynch Grut stopped it with his body. Hopkins then had a shot on goal and it missed, but Joe Edwards caught the rebound and the puck went into the net once again, which a second assist this time from William Harrison. Samuel Park had a go for the visitors but it was no surprise when a 13th goal followed from the home side; it was Edwards again, assisted by Lawday, with a goal that snuck in behind Lynch Grut’s leg. There were now less than six minutes in the game, and the Huskies must have hoped that was it for the score, but two minutes later Kinkor passed the puck to Bundock and he added his second of the game. The Stars were not done, and a further chance followed but it hit the back of the net. With less than three minutes left Hopkins incurred a hooking penalty. If the Huskies were to avoid a shutout now was the time to do it, but instead momentum remained with the home side and the few shots by the Huskies didn’t hit the target. With 10 seconds to go in the game Redmond took a shot but this time it didn’t go in and the whistle blew with no further damage to the Huskies’ pride.

Final score Stars 14 Huskies 0.

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