Stars tame Minotaurs
Ultimate Windows sponsored Billingham Stars took full points at the weekend. Following a Â 4- 1 road trip win at Ice Sheffield, the Stars returned home on Sunday night and made it a double with a 3 -1 win over Manchester Minotaurs.
Twenty four hours after the Stars win at Sheffield the Ultimate Windows sponsored Billingham Stars returned to home ice action taking on Manchester Minotaurs, the new look Manchester side featured import Lukas Zeman and the Stars knew they needed to mark the Czech U20 international out of the game.
The first session saw Billingham apply the early pressure but Manchester absorbed the Stars attacks and turned the tables on the home side as they tested Flavell, however neither side could find an opener and the first closed all square.
With Stars on the power play James Moss found a way through just past the games halfway mark assisted by Cal Davies and Mike Elder. Four minutes later Manchesterâ€™s answer also came through a power play marker as Brian Worrell blasted home low from the point to close the second all even at 1 goal each.
Stars skipper Paul Windridge helped move the Stars ahead when he picked out Michael Bowman with a well-crafted pass that saw Bowman one time the Stars go ahead goal. Manchester piled on the pressure but some top drawer saves from James Flavell denied the visitors. The Stars fifth power play goal for the weekend came from Stephen Wallace assisted by Andy Finn and Richie Thornton and made it 3-1 with six minutes to play.
With just over a minute left on the clock Manchester pulled their goalie and went in earnest hunt for two goals, Stars never quite found the finish to bag the empty netter but they thrilled the home crowd as a number of long range shots drifted wide or were cleared at the last minute by the back pedalling Manchester defence. Flavell again pulled off some great stops and the clock counted down to Billinghamâ€™s second win of the weekend.
Billingham Head Coach Terry Ward was delighted with the weekendâ€™s results ;
â€œWe’re absolutely delighted with the 4 points, we expected two hard games and that’s exactly what we got. We were a couple of bodies short at SheffieldÂ on SaturdayÂ with Flav and Richie Thornton missing, but we got a 4-1 win and the guys worked really hard for thatâ€.
â€œWe were expecting a much improved Manchester with two imports to give us a tough game and they did that. We knew that they had lost a few games in the last period so we needed to keep something in the tank for that and we pushed them really hard in that last period and we’re delighted with it. We knew we would have to work hard to beat them, every team has had to do that, if you don’t work hard enough you get beat, as Sutton found out. We were aware of that so our plan was to outwork them in every periodâ€.