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CHIEFTAINS BOSS THE BUFFALO
October 8, 2018
Chelmsford Chieftains 14 - Basingstoke Buffalo 1
Chelmsford Chieftains were at full strength for the visit of the Buffalo from Basingstoke. Regular choice Sonny Phillips began the night between the pipes for the Chieftains in from of another large and vocal crowd at Riverside. Once again it was going to be a tough night at the office for coach Joe Wilson and his squad, but only in the physical sense with the ref dishing out a total of 109 penalty minutes between the teams. Two minutes in and Chieftains were given a powerplay when the Buffalo were penalised for having too many men on the ice. Chieftains pressured the defence for the first time in the evening forcing another penalty as Oliver Bower was given two minutes sin bin for a hook on Gary Brown who was making a nuisance of himself in front of the opponents net. But Chieftains failed to utilise that two skater advantage and the game remained scoreless. No sooner had the teams returned to five on five the ref’s arm went up signalling a two minute penalty to Chieftain Charlie Phillips for roughing. Buffalo with a man advantage but Chieftains weathered the storm. 8:35 and a trip on Elliot Dervish was punished and despite continued pressure the Buffalo and netminder Aaron Burton stayed strong, Burton making three saves in succession to keep his clean sheet intact. Chieftains were beginning to look the better team with Buffalo dangerous on the break and Sonny Phillips had to come to his defences rescue on a couple of occasions. At 13.34 more penalties, the first major flare-up of the evening. Chieftains forward Brad Moore was hit from behind and with the officials taking no action he decided to punish the culprit himself and a few well directed shots before players from both sides came together in front of the away bench. The officials became peacemakers Moore and Buffalo Jack Peacock both given two minutes for roughing. Chieftains piled on more pressure but once again it was Buffalo which nearly stole the march with some wayward play gave the visitors a 3 on 1 breakaway. The shot went in but Phillips was there once more standing firm, keeping his clean sheet. With a little over a minute remaining the deadlock was broken at last. Moore intercepted the puck and skated in on net with just the netminder to beat. His initial shot was saved but he reacted to the rebound off of the net minders pads and poked the puck into the back of the net. 1-0 to the Chieftains at the end of the first. A period in which both net minders were instrumental in keeping the scoring to a minimum. Both teams started the 2nd period with a 4 on 4 scenario Charlie Phillips and Buffalo defenceman Mark Austen in the sin bin for separate misdemeanors at the end of the first. Phillips returned to the ice 30 seconds ahead of Austen giving the Chieftains a short powerplay. And seconds after returning to the ice a pass from Ross Brears from behind the Buffalo net found Phillips who scooped the puck high into the roof of the net doubling the Chieftains lead. Four minutes later at 25:47 and the Chieftains pulled further ahead. A pass from Justin Robinson deep in his own zone to Donald Campbell and he returned the favour as Robinson continued his attack, splitting the Buffalo defence. Skating to the left of the goal and as he bore down on goal he shot across the netminder into the corner of the net. 3-0 and the visitors called an immediate time-out to try and steady the ship. But within a minute of the restart Chieftains were celebrating once again. Working the puck around the Buffalo zone and Tom Wilson spotted James Ayling open on the back post. His pass was perfect and instead of the shot Ayling one-timed the puck to Brears who with the netminder wrong-footed found the open net from close in. The visitors started to get frustrated and once again Mark Austen came to the attention of the officials. The Buffalo defenceman boarded Phillips from behind at which unsurprisingly he took exception too. A fight ensued with both played putting in some heavy blows before the officials stepped in. Both were given 2+2 for fighting and 10 for misconduct, Austen lucky to get away with no penalty minutes for the initial challenge. The Buffalo came close when a wayward pass from Chieftains d-man James Dimond was intercepted and once again Sonny Phillips was in action saving two well-struck shots from the opponents. Just before the half-hour mark Chieftains were given another powerplay opportunity, Oscar Evans guilty for a trip on Elliot Dervish. A minute into the powerplay and once again the puck went to Brears behind the Buffalo net. Ayling was unmarked a couple of metres out and he made perfect contact on the Brears pass scoring with a slapshot to give his side an 5-0 advantage. Buffalo pushed the self-destruct button and both player and bench were penalised for a verbal attack on referee Briggs. The players for delay of game and then bench for abuse of an official. Chieftains didn’t take any prisoners and took full advantage with two powerplay goals in quick succession from Kyle Goddard and another from Brears. 7-0 and it was game over but not before the visitors had one final throw of the dice. TJ Fillery and Robinson were given penalties to give the visitors a 5 on 3 powerplay, the latter ejected from the game for cross-checking. The Buffalo bench decided to throw caution to the wind and pulled the netminder with just seconds of the period remaining in an attempt to prevent the shut-out before the break. But this back-fired as the puck found Brears who scored his hat-trick goal, a short-handed goal making it 8-0 at the end of the second period. Sonny Phillips came out of the net at the start of the third period to give back-up keeper James Tipple a shot between the posts. And at 45:56 normal service was resumed when man of the match Ross Brears scored goal number nine, the assists going to Wilson and Ayling. But just seconds later with the fans still celebrating the Buffalo at last made one of their quick breakaways pay, Evans beating Tipple low to the right to prevent the shut-out. Two minutes later and netminder Tipple cleared the puck from his defensive zone with a well directed pass to Brears who found himself alone and clear of the chasing defence. He was scoring at will and made no mistake and Burton was beaten for the 9th time. In normal circumstances he would have headed for the bench, but with no back-up netminder he had no choice but to stay and face the rampant Chieftains. They showed no mercy and within a couple of minutes Phillips, Dervish and Jake Luton all found the net making it 13-1 with the opposition wanting that final buzzer desperately. It came at 60.00 minutes but not before Campbell had beaten the Buffalo defence once more to make it 14-1. A fabulous night’s work from coach Joe Wilson and his team who sit proudly on top of NIHL Division 2 South. A 100% record as has Oxford who sit in second place with a game in hand.
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!