Super Stars Snatch 10th Successive Victory
The match up between Oxford City Stars and Chelmsford Chieftains, at their home rink, the Riverside, was a cracker of a game. The Stars secured their 10th successive victory, Milan Ronai earned his 2nd consecutive shutout and there was also a beautiful rendition of 500 Miles by The Proclaimers flooding out of the Stars changing room after the match too. It’s been a while since Oxford last beat Chelmsford on their own turf and the celebrations were much deserved, by the players and the supporters alike.
For the first 20 minutes of action, the Oxford travelling support didn’t get a good view for the most part due to the puck spending a good deal of time in the offensive zone up at the other end of the rink. The first goal came a minute or two short of half way into the period; Matt Lawday was the one to get the puck past Chelmsford’s Sonny Phillips, with help from Josh Florey and Joe Edwards. A couple of minutes later a very strong effort from Dom Hopkins saw him get the puck in the net, get the red goal light on, only to have the goal disallowed. There were no further goals during the opening section of the game, there was a penalty for Chelmsford, however the Chieftains were able to successfully kill their penalty.
The Chieftains were able to keep the puck in Oxford’s defensive zone more so in the second period than they did during the first. With play shifting between the Stars and the Chieftains for the opening minutes of the period, that soon changed when Josh Oliver scored at 24:39, with an assist from Conor Redmond, to give the Stars a two goal buffer over the Chieftains. A mere 69 seconds later, Andy Cox scored an unassisted goal in which the puck hopped, skipped and jumped over the goal line and into the back of the net. The Stars were on the penalty kill for 4 minutes during this period, due to 2 penalties coming within a short space of time, and it was during this time that Milan Ronai made multiple solid saves to keep the Chelmsford goal tally at 0. Chelmsford, too, received a penalty towards the end of the period, but neither teams were able to score on their power plays.
The Stars went into the final period with a 3 goal lead, yet they didn’t get too comfortable. As the clock a couple of seconds under 9 minutes remaining of the game, Dom Hopkins netted the 4th and final Stars goal of the evening with a well-placed banger from the blue line. Mike Whillock and Joe Edwards assisted on the goal, marking Edwards’ second assist of the game. It was after this goal being scored that the Chieftains really piled on the pressure and had the Stars push back just as hard with strong defensive play and good timing.
The match concluded with a final score of Oxford City Stars 4, Chelmsford Chieftains 0, to add to the Stars double digit winning streak.