Chelmsford Chieftains 16, Bristol Pitbulls 3
CHIEFTAINS ‘warmed up’ for next weekend’s home clash with league leaders Invicta Dynamos with this emphatic victory on Sunday evening.
A first period scoreline of 4-0 was testament to Chieftains’ dominance with the goals coming from Sean Easton and Aaron Connelly, while Tom Long notched the first two of his four on the night.
The second period was a much tighter affair as things began to heat up and words were said between players and things had threatened to boil over. However, referee Matt Thompson kept a firm but fair grip on the game.
Long completed his hat-trick inside the first 27minutes and James Ayling was the only other Chieftains scorer in this period. Both goals required some work from team-mates to set them up or occupy defencemen and the team ethic head coach Dean Birrell has instilled in the side shone through.
At the other end of the ice Euan King had had an easy first period facing just six shots while his Bristol counterpart had faced 21. However, he was beaten early in the period thanks to Ali Band, who went on to get the man of the match beers for the Pitbulls with a fine display.
With Bristol only having 12 skaters it was always likely they would fade in the closing stages and so it proved as three goals inside the first 150 seconds of the third period killed the game off. They came from Danny Hammond, Matt Turner and Long.
At 45:01 it was double figures time as an Alex Green shot bounced off Darren Brown's skate and went into the net, much to the bemusement of all concerned. Brown had been working hard all night and deserved his goal, and the man of the match award.
Goal number 11 came quickly after with Green making sure his name went on the scoresheet followed up quickly by Hammond netting his second of the night. Bristol did pull one back on 51:10 through Alan Armour and again on 56:08 when Henrik Sahlin beat King. The last four minutes were dominated by the Chieftains as they fired in four more. Included in the four was a great pass from Easton to Hammond to create a 2 on 0 breakaway and Hammond unselfishly slid the puck into the path of Turner to score his second of the night. Ross Brears and Connelly were also scorers in the third, as was Blaho Novak.
Speaking after the game Birrell said: "It was a tough second period, but I said to the boys that they need to show some killer instinct and get used to killing games off, which we did with some style.
“You can only play what's in front of you and although Bristol came short on numbers some of their plays were good and they did put up strong resistance in the second period. It will have given us a boost tonight as we look forward to a tough weekend next weekend when we face Invicta Dynamos on Saturday, followed up by a tough road trip to Bracknell."
Fans are invited to arrive early for Saturday’s game as doors open at 5:15 and the game faces off at 5:40. Invicta are the league leaders and reigning champions and in the previous encounter with them this season the Chieftains drew 3-3.