Stars turn it on for Titans !
Ultimate Windows Billingham Stars stuck to their winning ways on Sunday night when they faced a new look Telford Titans at Billingham Forums Ice Arena.
The Stars ran out 9 â€“ 1 victors against the Titans in a game that saw the young Telford goalie Sam Gospel take a peppering as he faced 63 shots on his net.
The first closed all even at one goal each but the score line did not reflect the pressure that Billingham applied as they tried to beat a young goalie, who only allowed one goal from 23 shots.
Stars Stephen Wallace was unlucky not to be rewarded after he skated the full length of the ice and had another shot sneak wide of the post.
The Stars breakthrough came after 17 minutes when Jack Davies latched onto a Cal Davies rebound with a second assist to Martyn Davies.
Telford`s response was swift as English Premier two way prospect Macaulay Haywood hit the Stars on a short-handed breakthrough to tie with just over a minute left of the session.
The second period proved much more productive for the Stars who started to move the puck out wider and created passes that made the keeper move forward and work across his crease.
A four minute purple patch for the Stars saw them bag three quality goals. Michael Bowman fired into the roof of the net after a pin point centre ice pass form Garry Dowd. Paul Windridge made it three as he fired top corner assisted by Garry Dowd, Bowman made it four with another into the roof with set up from Richie Thornton to put the Stars in the driving seat on the half way mark.
Cal Davies and James Moss were both denied from point blank range by Titans keeper Sam Gospel.
Titans were unlucky when they hit the post on the counterattack.
Play went to the other end and a Stephen Wallace rebound fell to Paul Windridge who fired home to close the second with the Stars 5 -1 in front.
Stars Richie Thornton added the home sides sixth after only 10 seconds of play in the third period, a short-handed effort pushed home close to the post.
With just under 10 minutes to go Stars skipper Paul Windridge sealed his hat-trick after pouncing on a Michael Bowman rebound to make it 7-1.
The goal of the night came following some excellent cross crease and diagonal passing between Bowman, Wallace and Windridge that saw Michael Bowman fire home to also seal his hat trick.
Billinghamâ€™s ninth of the match came from Stephen Wallace assisted by Bowman and Campbell to close the game 9 -1.
Man of the match for Telford went to Macaulay Haywood with Stephen Wallace taking it for the Stars.
Billingham Director of coaching Terry Ward was impressed with his teamâ€™s performance;
â€œFirst period they were strong â€“ their goalie had a really good game in the first period, we had a lot of shots, one goal â€“ they got one back. So we said to the boys letâ€™s be patient here, letâ€™s move the puck around, let the puck do the work, and once we did that thatâ€™s when we started moving the goalie around a little bit and it paid dividends for us.
It wasnâ€™t just a one-line game â€“ the other lines couldâ€™ve got plenty of goals as well. The goalie had a really good game, but I think the experience of the two finishers in Spike and Bomber paid dividends. Stephen Wallace was just outstanding tonight, he moved the puck around, he made some beautiful passes, drew the goalie out, and passed it across ready for the guys to bang them in at the back post.
You can only keep winning games â€“ Telford the last couple of weeks have put a few shocks out and the leagueâ€™s woke up a little bit to them â€“ theyâ€™ve signed some good players so tonightâ€™s victory was all the sweeter.
Itâ€™s all about confidence and getting your players back â€“ theyâ€™re back now, especially that first line, theyâ€™re back playing. The second and third line werenâ€™t hindered so much but the first line was devastated by Stephen and Spikeâ€™s injuries so itâ€™s nice to get back to full strength and the team is now clicking again.
Stephen Wallace was outstanding, so were Paul Windridge and Michael Bowman. Defensively Andy Munroe had a cracking game again and big Jamie Pattison at the back is always good. Garry Dowd with his physical presence put some good hits out tonight which put a smile on everyoneâ€™s faces!â€
Stars remain in second place in the NIHL Moralee conference ahead of third placed Blackburn Hawks who are only trailing Billingham by two points but have two games in hand.
Stars face Manchester away next weekend before a KD Flavell & Sons Cup clash with Sutton Sting on the Sunday night.