ICE HOCKEY: Shining Stars in double delight

Oxford Mail: Oxford City Stars celebrate after Nick Oliver (right) doubled their lead against Basingstoke Buffalo Oxford City Stars celebrate after Nick Oliver (right) doubled their lead against Basingstoke Buffalo

Oxford City Stars leapt to third place in the English National League Division 2 South table following back to back victories in the space of 24 hours.

A 4-1 success at Chelmsford Warriors was followed by a 9-5 home win against Basingstoke Buffalo.

It saw the team climb six places to sit on the heels of the leaders.

The hosts missed three good chances early on in the Chelmsford clash and paid the price when Stars went ahead.

Dax Hedges smashed the puck home at the back post after picking up a rebound from Joe Edwards’ shot.

The forward was unlucky not to double Stars’ lead, only for his shot to rebound off a post.

Chelmsford went a man down when Will Polston was sin-binned, as Stars kept up the pressure.

Alan Green twice went close to adding to Stars’ advantage in the second period, before Nick Oliver’s pass picked out Jacob Smith, who fired in for 2-0.

Josh Oliver then bagged Stars’ third goal after Green’s well-struck shot had been parried.

It was all over when Nick Oliver hammered in Stars’ fourth of the contest.

Although the hosts clawed a goal back it was too late.

The next day, Stars repelled some severe pressure from the visitors before edging into the lead.

Smith picked out Edwards who smashed home during a powerplay.

Stars doubled their lead when Oliver fired in at the far post.

And it was 3-0 when Sam Broughton picked up the puck following a turnover and shot home from close range.

Although Basingstoke cut the deficit through Matthew Lawday, Edwards swapped passes with Smith before finding the back of the net to re-establish Stars’ three-goal lead.

Lawday then got his second goal, only for a quickfire double from Green to stretch the home side’s lead to 6-2.

Both sides went a man down just after the half-hour mark, when Hedges and Basingstoke’s netminder Craig Agass were ejected after a clash.

Agass charged out of his crease to attempt to play the puck and collided with Hedges and a scuffled ensued, with Edwards and Lawday also penalised for roughing.

Basingstoke scored a fourth goal through Mark Pitts, but Josh Oliver made it 7-4 with a neat finish.

The visitors bagged their fifth through a Gregory Martyn strike, before Nick Oliver scored No 8.

Green then completed his treble to wrap up a highly-successful weekend for Stars.

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