10:20am Thursday 10th October 2013
A PERFECT start to the season continued for Oxford City Stars with a 4-1 victory at Haringey Racers.
In a cagey game, the visitors only took a decisive lead in the final ten minutes, stretching their winnig streak at the start of the season to five matches.
Player/head coach Darren Elliott, who was one of the Stars’ scorers, was delighted to claim a victory away to one of their rivals for the championship.
He said: “There has been a lot of hype coming into this game. There was a lot of speculation but we turned up, turned it on, did a good job and we’ve come away with a big ‘W’.
“The only thing that let us down in the first period were the penalties, but if you can get through penalties against a team that’s chasing you for the title, it’s a big achievement.”
Both sides came into the game with 100 per cent records and the first period was unsurprisingly tight.
With the two netminders looking solid, there was no breakthrough in the opening 20 minutes and instead the sides started to take penalties.
After two early powerplays for Stars, disaster stuck with two players ruled off the ice for over ten minutes each.
Alan Green was adjudged to have attempted to spear a Haringey player, before Andy Cox checked a player to the head , earning the Stars 26 minutes in penalties between them.
Haringey also struggled to keep out of the box and retaliation in the Green penalty in particular ended up with Stars having a powerplay for two minutes.
Despite the extra space on the ice, neither side could take advantage and Stars were relieved to finish the period on level terms.
The visitors regrouped at the break and made a breakthrough two minutes into the second period.
Sam Broughton shot from range and Jacob Smith got the faintest of touches on the puck to deflect it past Denis Bell in the Haringey net.
The goal was not the cue for a moreexpansive game, though, with both sides remaining defensive.
Stars took a penalty midway through the period when Josh Oliver was called for charging and Racers took advantage with a terrific goal from Lee Hounslow, who fired into the top corner.
It was not 1-1 for long, with Green, back from the bin, combining with Nick Oliver to leave Elliott with a shot from close range to put Stars ahead once more.
Haringey pushed hard for an equaliser in the final frame, but in the end their determination boiled over into ill-discipline.
Stars seized on the powerplay, scoring twice in less than 30 seconds through Josh Oliver and Jake Florey to cap off a fine victory.
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