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ICE HOCKEY: Stars launch cup campaign with victory over Swindon
9:00am Thursday 31st October 2013 in Sport
JOSH Oliver scored twice as Oxford City Stars continued their excellent start to the season with a 5-2 win over Swindon NIHL Wildcats.
Both sides went into the opening group game after 100 per cent starts to the league season, but the Stars were always in control.
Nick Oliver and Alan Green found the net alongside Darren Elliott and the player/coach was pleased to come out on top in a physical game.
He said: “It’s always good to get a win at home. There was a big crowd again and going up against our local rivals, it was a good performance.
“The only time they threatened us with goals was when we punished ourselves with penalties.
“They are a good young team and are well-drilled but I think we created our own problems more than anything.
“We turned it on and came out with a good result.”
Swindon began at a ferocious pace, as expected, to dominate the opening exchanges.
Despite the pressure on their goal, Stars opened the scoring when Josh Oliver collected a pass from Jacob Smith and squeezed a shot past Kevin McGurk.
Skipper Nick Oliver quickly matched his brother’s efforts with a goal of his own.
But with two players in the sin bin late in the period, Stars could not hold out and Jan Melichar found the net to halve the deficit.
The second period saw both sides play with more caution, but the home side stretched their advantage, Elliott made the most of a great pass from Sam Broughton to slot home.
It was quickly 4-1, when Josh Oliver tucked home on a powerplay for his second goal of the night.
A time-out saw Swindon regroup and they made the most of James Clarke’s penalty to pull a goal back through Nathan Chilcott’s outstanding first-time finish.
After the intensity of the opening two periods, the third period was surprisingly flat at first.
Neither side found a rhythm, until Green scored his tenth of the season to seal the win.
It began their cup campaign on a high, boosting hopes they can go all the way to the final, which will be held at Oxford.
Elsewhere, the Stars’ lead in the league is only goal difference after Haringey won 5-0 against Invicta Mustangs, although they have played a game more than Elliott’s side.
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