Double Champions

The Deeside Dragons have had a massive weekend in Sheffield for the Laidler playoffs. On Saturday morning, first game of the weekend, Widnes Wild were the first team to make it to the Sunday final by taking out the Nottingham Lions with a score of 3 goals to 1. Then came the Dragons facing off against Blackburn Eagles at 4.30pm Saturday. As the Eagles only just made it into the Playoffs pipping Altrincham Aces to the post, nobody expected them to take an early lead with the 1st 2 goals of the game. This was the wake up the dragons needed and the scoreboard was quickly rectified with a goal from Simon Furnival followed by 2 more from Adrian Palak putting the dragons in the lead, 3-2 at the end of the 1st period.
In the second period a goal from James Parsons and another from Furnival put the dragons well on the way to winning with a score of 5-2. After a 3rd goal from Blackburn, coach Lol Paul pulled Matthew Compton from the net and replaced him with netminder George Cox. After a quick period adjustment (letting in 1 Eagle puck) Cox began to block shots like a brick wall. With the net secure, Palak was given some space to put another in the Eagles net taking the score to 6-4 at the end of the 2nd period.Into the 3rd period and the Dragons confidence was running high. 3 more goals added to the board by Adrian Palak giving him his 2nd hat trick of the game. Unfortunately within the final 2 minutes of the game, Filip Supa went down with a serious injury to the knee, requiring assistance from the ice by team mates. With the dragons on the powerplay, the Eagles managed to put a final puck past Cox taking the score to 9-5 to Deeside. All in all a very exciting game to watch and with that result it meant the Dragons were then to face local rivals Widnes Wild, on the Sunday in the Playoff final.
After the success of the semi-final against Blackburn Eagles, the Dragons were looking to carry on their winning streak.
Sundays game pit the Dragons against Widnes Wild which was expected to be a tough, dramatic matchup following the last time they met, which saw Widnes abandon the game at 25 minutes due to ‘’player safety concerns’’. Fans were not left disappointed with 2 fast goals from Adrian Palak within the 1st 4 minutes. This was then levelled up with goals from Scott Mckenzie and Pavel Vales for the Widnes side within the next 3 minutes. This 2 all score remained up until the end of period 1.

The 2nd period saw another 2 goals from Simon Furnival and Filip Supa which took the dragons 2 goals clear of the Wild. After a slashing penalty awarded to Widnes player/coach Mckenzie, Owen Bennett took to the ice to dole out some retribution but was instantly sent to the box for delay and misconduct gaining a 2+10.

Onto the 3rd period and despite plenty of shots on both goals, the netminders were holding the scores blocking and freezing every puck for the majority of the final period. It was only at 58 minutes than Widnes player managed to get a puck past netminder George Cox due to a busy net area and some messy passes near the goal. This took the game to 4-3 to the dragons. Seeing an opportunity to finish the 60 minutes on a draw Widnes took the decision to relieve their netminder David Good (on loan from Hull Jets). This allowed an extra player to attack Deesides defence, but to no avail as Adrian Palak managed to take a shot at the empty goal from the far end of the neutral zone. This goal wasn’t to be as it hit the right hand side of the post, slighty disappointing but Palak managed to get the puck once again seconds later and put the puck away  making the score 5-3 at exactly the 59th minute. Widnes knew it was over at this point and sent David Good back to the net for the final dying minute. The score at the end of the buzzer was 5-3 meaning the Deeside Dragons have ‘’done the double’’, winning the Laidler Conference trophy and the Laidler Playoff trophy

Report courtesy of Chris Barnes

dragons playoff final

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