Photo of action from Saturday’s game at Manchester Storm.  Photo courtesy Manchester Storm. 

Manchester storm scored before the game was 5 minutes old, and they never trailed during an eventual 4-3 win over the visiting Flames. 

At 4:10, Storm converted a powerplay with a Jared Vanwormer strike for an early lead.  Owen Griffiths squared it at 11:31, but Storm held a 1 goal margin at the break thanks to Cameron Critchlow just over 2 minutes from period close. 

Flames levelled again early in the middle frame with a Brett Ferguson strike, but 6 seconds into a Storm powerplay, and inside the last 5 minutes of the set, Tayler Thompson had the home team up 3-2. 

56 seconds after re-start, the Flames hole got a bit deeper when Adam Brady had his side up by a pair.  Flames best chance to get back in was just before the period’s halfway point with a short 5 on 3 manpower advantage, but Storm netminder Jason Bacashihua ensured time would burn off the powerplay before the deficit could be reduced.  With 2:29 left on the clock, Flames did get one back through Ian McNulty to set up the nail biter finish.  Shortly thereafter, with Kevin Lindskoug on the bench in favour of an extra skater, Surrey’s men desperately tried to pull even, but it was not to be, and Storm held on for the win. 

“Manchester were full value for that win,” concluded Head Coach Paul Dixon.

“I think they played more to the strengths of their own smaller ice surface than we did.  They kept it simple. They got pucks to the net with a lot of shots and capitalized on some chances.  Not all of their goals were particularly nice looking to the eye, but they had a plan and they made it work very well.”

“Even in the 3rd when we had some 5 on 3 time and 5 on 4, we held possession and controlled the play really well, but were still pretty limited in the good opportunities that created.  We finally got one late, and gave ourselves an opportunity but after that, and again with a lot of possession, we didn’t get that many great chances to tie up in the final minute or two.”

“Sunday night, we will be glad to be back home on the bigger pad, but we have our work cut out for us against a very good Devils side.  We are going to have to be hungry and we need to play one of our better games if we are going to come out on top.”

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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