first shutout of the season sees Stars claim victory
The Oxford City Stars bounced back from their defeat on Saturday to record a 4-0 win over the Invicta Dynamos, with Tom Annetts recording the Stars’ first shutout of the season despite the short-benched visitors outshooting the home side in all periods with a total of 37 shots against the Stars’ 22.
It was the Dynamos who won the first face-off, and after Jaroslav Cesky had control of the puck for the Stars his pass was intercepted by the Dynamos, Annetts being called into action straight away and managing the first of many impressive saves, catching this one in his hand. An early Stars attempt bounced off the shin pads of the Dynamo’s netminder John Dibble before both sides had chances to start the scoring tally. Halfway through the period saw a scuffle in front of Dibble with several Stars trying to get the puck in, Dibble eventually diving on it. Several chances followed for the Dynamos, who were encouraged by the first penalty of the game for the Stars, on Jason Ikin for clipping, just under 12 minutes into the game. With the Dynamos on a Powerplay, they were stunned when less than 20 seconds later Cesky managed to get hold of the puck and pass it to Alan Green, who flicked it into the net for a shorthanded goal. With over a minute and a half left on the penalty the Dynamos tried to even the score but without success. Benjamin Nethersell doubled the lead for the Stars before the end of the period when 2.5 minutes later he took the puck and skated unopposed to the visitors’ net. As the period wound down the penalty box became busy as Jake Florey for the Stars (holding) and Harrison Lillis for the Dynamos (roughing) received penalties with less than 3 minutes left on the clock, being joined 20 seconds later by Green for the Stars (boarding). With the away side now on a Powerplay they tried once again to find a way past Annetts but as the whistle below for the end of the period the score remained 2-0 to the Stars.
The start of the second period saw an immediate chance for the Dynamos to score. 30 seconds into the period a joint penalty was once again given, this time on Green again (Stars) and on Steven Osman (Dynamos) for slashing. Following some chances by both teams the players returned to the ice only for another penalty to be called a few seconds later, on Brendan Baird for the Stars, for interference. The penalty finished without incident and just after this Green had a great chance to take the Stars even further ahead but his shot was saved by Dibble. Again chances were there for both sides but the next goal came a few minutes later and it was the home side again, Cesky making it one of each type of goal for the Stars, scoring a Powerplay goal with assists from Green and Dominic Hopkins, 15 seconds into a tripping penalty that had been called against Elliott Dewey for the Dynamos. The final penalty of the period came 4 minutes later, Baird once again being called to the box, for tripping. With the Dynamos on a Powerplay again they tried in vain to score, with Joshua Condren having the best chance, Annetts falling over backwards saving the shot. The visiting side kept up the pressure, with most of the rest of the period spent near the Stars’ net as chance after chance was saved. It was no wonder that Osman tried to start a fight with 4 minutes to go in the period.
As the third period began the Dynamos wondered if there was any way back from the 3-goal deficit. The answer was to be no. Both sides traded attempts until fighting broke out with 12 minutes left on the game clock, resulting in roughing penalties for Baird once again and for Lillis, the latter receiving 2+2. Following some chances by the Stars the penalty was once again successfully killed, and after a good chance by the Dynamos that was saved again the visitors called a timeout with 7 minutes left to play. They followed it up with some more attempts to score but despite this it was the Stars who added a fourth goal 2.5 minutes later, Hopkins hitting the puck in from the side of the net, ably assisted once again by Cesky and Green. With 3 minutes left there was another penalty for the Dynamos, Lillis for roughing again, but it passed without incident. With a minute to go the frustration of the visiting team’s failure to add a consolation goal proved too much for Arran Strawson, who slammed a Stars player into the boards, but no penalty resulted. The last seconds of the game saw the Dynamos trying to score a last-minute goal, but it was not to be as the whistle blew for the end of the game.
Final score: Stars 4 Dynamos 0.