Tuesday 20 January 2015

South 2 Weekend Round Up - 17th & 18th January - Courtesy of Bristol Pitbulls

This week, NIHL2S took us a step closer to being able to answer two questions, one from each end of the league standings.
First, can anyone stop the Slough Jets? Haringey Racers had come closest last November, conceding a game-winning goal inside the last minute. But, Saturday night saw the Jets extend their unbeaten streak from the start of the season with a 10-2 demolition of the London side.
Racers actually opened the scoring and the game remained tight at a goal apie...ce at the first break. But Jets would score seven times in the second period before Racers got themselves back on the scoresheet. Kozic with four and Green with a goal and three assists, but it is at the back that Jets seem to be most frightening. In their fourteen games this season, the opposition have only lit their red light 21 times, an average of just 1.5 goals against per game.
The second question was whether the Invicta Mustangs could avoid going winless the whole season. Given that their remaining opposition is against Slough, Peterborough, Chelmsford and Haringey, Saturday night's home tie against Lee Valley Lions was their most obvious opportunity to try and finally remove that zero from the win column.
But, a 10-5 win to the Lions now makes it increasingly unlikely Mustangs can avoid the ignominy of a winless season as their season-long problem of converting shots to goals remains. Outshooting Lee Valley 47-34 still couldn't get them a win. Indeed Lions scored as many goals in this game as their last five combined.
Racers suffered their second loss of the weekend after being beaten 9-4 at the Chelmsford Warriors Ice Hockey Team. In his first game for the Warriors, Andrius Kaminskas returned 2+2. But, the result beyond the impact that "Bomber" may have brought as no less than six players got on the scoresheet for Chelmsford.
That strength in depth gave Warriors a 5-0 first period that Racers never recovered from. In fact, they scored a further two in the second period before Sam Roberts opened Racers' account with the first goal of his hat trick. As a result, Chelmsford have now closed the gap to Racers to a single point with a game to spare.
In the Western Conference's only game, last placed Bristol Pitbulls travelled to take on the first placed Basingstoke Buffalo. Since Bristol had won in that building earlier in the season, the two teams had had a very different experience. But, Bristol's hopes were high after their demolition of Cardiff Enl Devils the weekend previous.
A slow start by Bristol allowed the home side to skate to a 2-0 lead early in the second period. But, despite heavily outshooting Basingstoke over the last forty minutes, Bristol's finishing let them down with only Jamie Newton and Josh Dolphin finding the back of the net. With the game's points being shared, Basingstoke stay top of the conference, but Bristol climb two places off of the bottom of the table.

Report by Graham Goodman - Bristol Pitbulls Media Officer
Photo: Bristol Pitbulls celebrate their draw at Basingstoke - photo by www.flyfifer.co.uk