|Deeside's Adrian Palak in action against Altrincham Aces|
(Photo by Peter Sheffield - www.psd-images.co.uk)
A bad-tempered encounter at Chester Road saw the Dragons leading 4-1 at the end of the second period, with Owen Bennett thrown out of the game for fighting.
Paul lifted the lid on his frustrations with the Deeside squad during that second break, as Altrincham threatened to claw their way back into contention and their response confirmed the Flintshire side’s pre-season tag as favorites for Laidler Conference honours.
Paul said: “It definitely wasn’t as easy as it looked against Altrincham. We spent a lot of time in the penalty box, and they had a seven-minute powerplay. I have never seen that happen before.
“We were a bit flat in the first and second periods, but still ended that part of the game 4-1. In the second break, I raised my voice for the first time this season and the guys scored five times.
“There were a few silly penalties for lipping at the referee, but I was still pleased with our overall performance. Adrian Palak was outstanding and his second goal was an absolute rocket.”
Palak was on target after just seven minutes on Saturday night, before an equaliser from the Aces just moments later. Further strikes from Mike Jones and Filip Supa extended that advantage before the first break, while Palak added a fourth on 26 minutes.
A chaotic middle session saw no further goals – but in the final 20 minutes, Deeside hit a purple patch. James Parsons added his first of the evening, alongside two further strikes from Palak, and goals from Supa and Simon Furnival.
Paul added: “I told the lads last night that every game is now a final. It is one thing to get to the top of the league, but another to stay there.
“We have got to go out and win every game, as the other teams will be looking to knock us off.
“It is a long season, so we need to keep up our 100mph energy and passion from the minute the puck drops.”
The Dragons are back in NIHL action next weekend, when they make the trip to face Blackburn Eagles on Saturday evening.