Match Report 18th November 2018
Ultimate Windows sponsored Billingham Stars finally snapped an 11-game losing streak in devastating fashion as they crushed National Ice Hockey League (N) Moralee Division 1 basement side Nottingham Lions 1-13 at the National Ice Centre on Sunday evening.
Still missing key players in Cal Davies, Jack Davies, Jack Emerson and the suspended James Flavell, it was a determined Stars outfit who sought to get the upper hand from the first drop of the puck. The onslaught started after just 84 seconds, good forechecking behind the net from Matthew Campbell stripping the Nottingham defence of the puck for James Moss to feed Michael Elder for the one timer low into the Lions net. The home side struggling to get out of their own zone, Kevin Boyd made it two on 8.02 when he collected behind the net and lifted the puck over the stranded netminder. Just less than a minute later it was three, Boyd the man on the near post to poke it under the keeper’s pad. Nottingham did not help their own cause as indiscipline let them down, and it was on the power play that Billingham took the game away from their hosts on 11.53, Darren Stattersfield’s blue line slap shot tipped home by Cain Taylor. The game all but over before the first interval, the Lions registered just five shots as the visitors ran riot.
Nottingham with just pride to play for, they came out for the middle session looking to get the simple plays right and restrict their guests’ possession. To an extent the ploy worked as the Stars extended their lead by just two further goals, pure power from Campbell on 25.38 then a great pass from Tom Keeley found Chris Sykes free on the back stick to roof past the netminder with just 69 seconds remaining on the period.
The home side kept up their resistance for the first half of the final twenty, Alex Preston’s early backhand goal cancelled out by Nottingham’s solitary reply on 43.03 when Jack Crowston one timed low past Mark Watson to break the Stars netminder’s shut-out. It all fell apart for the Lions in the final eight minutes as Billingham racked up the goals, Campbell’s low shot on 52.14 starting a run of six goals in as many minutes to punish a lax Nottingham defence. Taylor bagged his second straight from a face off on 54.38, then Moss got a deserved goal on 56.01 when he finished a lovely cross ice pass from Ethan Hehir. Campbell’s hat trick marker came less than half a minute later to prompt a Lions time out, but Head Coach Matt Bradbury’s words had little effect as Stattersfield fired past the glove 37 seconds after the restart. Preston finished the rout with 92 seconds remaining with a shot from a tight angle, 1-13 a true reflection of a dominant Billingham performance.
Man-of-the-Match for the Stars was Chris Sykes.
Game stats not yet available.
Stars Media Team caught up with Bench Coach Garry Dowd and Lions' Head Coach Matt Bradbury after the game - you can hear their thoughts by clicking here.
The Stars return to North Cup action on Saturday 24th November with a trip to Blackburn Hawks (face off 6pm), followed by a National Ice Hockey League (N) Moralee Division 1 encounter with Solihull Barons at the Forum on Sunday 25th November (face off 6.30pm).
Hull Pirates 12 Nottingham Lions 1
Sheffield Steeldogs 7 Blackburn Hawks 1
Sheffield Steeldogs 5 Sutton Sting 4
Blackburn Hawks 3 Solihull Barons 5
Nottingham Lions 1 Billingham Stars 13
Solway Sharks 2 Telford Tigers 4
Telford Tigers 7 Hull Pirates 1
Murrayfield Racers 4 Solway Sharks 6