Stars Defeated By Devils As Regular Season Comes To A Close
The final regular season match for the Stars saw them travel down to Gosport to face their closest rivals this season in the form of the Solent Devils in their home rink. Even though Oxford stepped into the rink already being the NIHL 2 South champs, this didn’t stop either team from still giving it their all out on the ice.
The initial 10 minutes of the game saw nothing more than a couple of good shots on net for both sides. The tempo was fast and both teams were trying their best to be the first ones to get up on the score board. However, it was the hosts who were the first to find the back of the net with a well-placed goal from Richard Facey and Alex Murry. In the remaining half of the first period, Jake Florey received a 2-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct (which was successfully killed), Mark Duffy was able to save a breakaway chance and Solent’s netminder, Christian Cole, too made a couple of excellent saves to deny the Stars from scoring.
The second period followed a similar pattern to the events of the first with the Stars dominating the opening minutes only to have their efforts overcome by the Devils scoring about half way through the period, which was also near the half way point of the match. This time the goal was scored by M.Pitts with R.Facey and A.Murry earning the assists for it. Oxford were given 2 penalties in the remainder of the second person with a bench minor penalty for too many men as well as Andy Cox being made to sit a 2-minute interference penalty. Upon returning to the ice, Cox was in a wonderful position to receive the punk in the neutral zone before skating into the offensive zone, only to be robbed of a goal by yet another wonderful save by the Devils netminder.
Going into the final 20 minutes of the game the Stars were 2 goals down and looking to score their first goal of the night. A couple of solid chances at scoring for Oxford were not enough to seal the deal with Cole in the Solent net on top form. In the final few minutes of the game the Stars pulled the netminder in the hopes of being able to score with the man advantage. Despite coming very close indeed to getting the goal they needed, the Devils were able to gain possession of the puck and score into the empty net up the other end of the ice.
The final score was a comfortable 3 goal shut out for the home team as the Solent Devils cemented 2nd place in the league.