London away | Streatham at home

London Raiders 7 – 4 Oxford City Stars

Oxford City Stars travelled to North East London to take on the London Raiders. Stars were buoyant after some recent results and despite missing the unavailable Dax hedges, Mike Whillock and Shane Moore (all unavailable) as well as long term injury Josh Oliver fancied their chances of picking up two points. The early exchanges were even as both Michael Gray in the home goal and his opposite number Shannon Long both dealing comfortably with what was thrown at them. It took until the 18th minute for the deadlock to be broken when the impressive Ben Ealey-Newman fired home on the power play with the Raiders Rob Jenner sitting the penalty for interference. It took less than one minute for Raiders to equalise with Michal Oravec finding the net. In the final seconds of the period London were attacking when they fired home their second, this time from Liam Chong. The goal was timed at one second before the end of the period and despite Stars protest, the goal stood.

The second period was a disjointed affair as both sides picked up a series of minor penalties. London extended their lead when Oravec picked up his second goal. Stars hit back with Darren Elliott taking advantage of a London penalty reducing the deficit back to one. Elliott and Boris Ruzicka had Stars best chances to tie the game back up, but were unable to beat the inform Gray. The end of the period saw London with the lead at 3-2.

The first five minutes of the third period were to prove decisive as London found the back of the Stars net on three occasions, Marek Nahlik netting twice and Tom Davis netting on yet another power play. Stars replaced the shell shocked Long with Connor Ranby and was soon called into action as London piled forward. Stars steadied the ship and rallied with Andy Cox and then Ealey-Newman, with his second goal, reducing the deficit to two goals with just over two minutes remaining. Stars withdrew Ranby, for the extra attacker but were unable to beat Gray. There was just time for Raiders Nahlik to complete his hat trick and London scoring with an empty net goal.

Oxford City Stars 3 – 8 Streatham Redskins

On Sunday the Oxford City Stars played the Streatham Redskins and it turned out to be a game that the home team would rather forget. The Stars were looking to bounce back from defeats in their last two games but unfortunately could not turn the tide, despite out shooting the visitors 37-33, finishing the match with a 3-8 loss.

As the first period began the home fans were in for a disappointment straight away as the first Redskins goal came with only 10 seconds gone in the game, scored by Evander Grinell with an assist from Joe Allen. The visitors seemed to have the measure of the puck at the beginning of the first period, but as it went on the Stars created more chances and this resulted in three unanswered goals in the period. At just under 7 minutes Joe Edwards scored the first goal, assisted by Dax Hedges, to the delight of the home fans who had been waiting for the chance to ‘Toss the teddy’, with cuddly toys being thrown onto the ice to give to sick children at the JR. After a momentary delay to clear the ice of the toys, the match resumed and momentum was with the Stars, who scored their second goal 7 minutes later during a Powerplay. The Redskins’ Allen found himself ejected from the game with a match penalty for high sticks, as the Stars’ Ondrej Pekarik lay on the floor with blood on the ice. A protest against this penalty resulted in Steven Fisher sitting out for 2 minutes with a penalty of his own for unsportsmanlike behaviour. With the Stars on a 5 on 3 Powerplay, it only took them 22 seconds to score that second goal. Shane Moore received a penalty for high sticks just after the goal, but with David Carr sitting out the rest of the 5 minutes for Allen neither team had the advantage. A penalty against Nick Chinn for tripping meant a second spell of 5 on 3 for the Stars, who once again capitalised on that by scoring their third goal, with Edwards scoring his second of the night, this time assisted by Darren Elliott.

The second period was somewhat of a disaster for the Stars. Despite the Redskins spending almost half the period with a player in the sin bin, the Stars were unable to score again and after leading by two goals at the end of the first period they ended the second two down. At 3 minutes into the period the Redskins’ Adam Mahoney found himself with a penalty for hooking. It was Mahoney’s first of four penalties in the game in total. No sooner had he come out of the box than the Redskins’ captain Joseph Johnston got hold of the puck and slipped it past Connor Ranby, and just under three minutes later Chinn tied the game. The Stars’ fans celebrated a goal of their own shortly after the second Redskins goal but the effort by Ben Ealey-Newman was disallowed. Two more penalties on the Redskins (Callum Best for holding and Mahoney for interference) followed but the Stars could not take advantage of them, much to the frustration of the fans. The penalties were coming thick and fast now, with the Stars’ Andy Cox and the Redskins’ Mahoney in for holding with less than 5 minutes left in the period. No sooner had Cox come out of the box than he was back in again for hooking. The Redskins scored two more goals in the last 2 minutes of the period (the first by Ryan Giles, assisted by Kamil Kinkor, whilst on the Powerplay and the second an even-handed goal by Best, assisted by Fisher).

The third period was no better for the Stars, with three more Redskins goals and every effort by the Stars saved. Early in the period there was some scrapping around the Redskins’ goal and the klaxon went off, but no goal was allowed as the net was off its moorings. The Redskins successfully defended a penalty kill (with Kinkor out for interference) only to have another player back in the box. Giles received a match penalty for head butting, and 5 minutes was served by Daniel Clayton. The Stars had a few chances to add to their tally but all were denied and they called a timeout with 12 minutes left in the game. A few shots on goal by the Stars were all saved and Grinell managed to get the puck and charge unopposed to the Stars’ net, scoring a shorthanded goal with an assist from Chinn. With ten minutes left of the game the Stars clocked up three penalties in a row (Hedges for holding, Josh Florey for holding and Boris Ruzicka for slashing) and the Redskins scored two more goals, the first on the Florey Powerplay (Kinkor assisted by Dominic Hopkins) and the second an even-handed goal by Hopkins with assists from Fisher and Johnston. With a minute left in the game Mahoney sat out his fourth penalty (for tripping) and the Stars desperately tried to get a consolation goal but they had left it too late.

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