Oxford City Stars secure 3rd place

Oxford City Stars travelled to play Chelmsford Chieftains
needing a win to secure a 3rd place finish in the NIHL Wilkinson
Conference. Stars were boosted by the returning defenceman Dom Hopkins, but it
was the other returnee to the starting line, netminder Milan Ronai who Stars
can ultimately thank for their hard-earned victory by one goal to nil.

The second period started in a more positive fashion for the
Stars, as first Matt Lawday and then Lee Richardson were denied by Phillips. In
the 7th minute of the period Ronai was forced into a triple save,
having to cover all of his goal crease to make the 3rd save. The
puck bounced loose but all of the players had drifted towards the side of the
ice and it was the young netminder who was quickest to react as he swept the
puck away from danger. Michal Oravec had a good chance for the Stars and it was
his pass who set up Josh Oliver for the game winning goal in the 39th

The third period was absorbing as Stars sought to extend
their lead, whilst having to maintain their defensive discipline. Oliver, Lawday
and Oravec had good chances to extend the lead, but Ronai made a crucial save
in the 55th minute to kick away a powerful shot. Chelmsford withdrew
netminder, Phillips, for the extra forward player for the final 30 seconds of
the game but were unable to beat the defiant Ronai.

Ian Dibley

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