London Ice Hockey - Streatham Ice Hockey News 2014 | Streatham Ice Hockey -
Mar 6, 2017

RedHawks dim Stars in Streatham

Streatham snapped their four game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over Oxford City Stars on Sunday evening. With rain lashing down outside Streatham Arena, the crowd entered the building knowing at the very least they would stay dry for a few hours.

Not only that but the refreshments from the fully licensed bar and music played by DJ Aaron Thompson created a lovely ambience that whetted the appetite for some National Ice Hockey League action.

The teams warmed up with the coaching staff observing their opposition lines with Streatham’s Jeremy Cornish stood in his team tracksuit beside injured defenseman Ryan Giles. At the other end of the rink Oxford coach Simon Anderson sat notepad in hand wearing his team blazer with a sweater underneath.

A controversial fashion choice for the well-respected Stars coach but not as controversial as the technical issue that saw the national anthem interrupted by a Stormzy track.

1st Period

The game started with both teams looking to get an early advantage. Streatham’s Ryan Webb had an early chance but was denied by Mark Duffy in the Oxford goal. Webb looked unfamiliar in his full face cage, worn to protect two stitches to his face from the previous night.

Streatham were missing three key defenseman with Jack Tarczycki and the aforementioned Giles in the building watching, and Vaclav Drabek no doubt refreshing the popular @StreathamHockey Twitter feed back in his native Czech Republic for score updates.

Coach Cornish moved Adam Wood back on defence to plug the gap and the leggy forward nearly repaid his coach early on by tipping a quick moving puck into the home bench thus denying an Oxford attack. Was it unfriendly fire and a deliberate move to show his displeasure at being moved back to the blue line? The answer would come before the sixty minutes was up.

Cornish was not the only man under fire from the black rubber disk of vulcanised rubber and Oxford defenseman Florey absorbed two slapshots from Liam Rasmussen in the space of a few minutes. To his credit the Oxford man continued to play as he and the body beautiful Dom Hopkins helped keep Streatham to shots outside the danger areas.

The crowd were enjoying the exciting start but it was goals they really wanted and George Norcliffe delivered the first of the night to send them wild.

A lofted pass by Wood was expertly latched onto by Sean Scarbrough and he showed great composure to wrong foot the Oxford defence and pick out Norcliffe arriving late, who then fired past Duffy’s blocker and into the net.

If the crowd expected Streatham to romp on to an easy victory they were as mistaken as an EU referendum poll, as Oxford came back harder than before.

Alan Green was creating problems up front backed up by Jaroslav Cesky and Streatham’s defence had to up their game to hold firm. Unfortunately they were unable to hold on till the first period buzzer as Cesky picked up a pass from Hallam Wilson in the slot and in one smooth move backhanded the puck past Colclough and into the bottom corner of the net.

Oxford’s fans celebrated in the corner of the rink while the Streatham fans contemplated another tough day at the office. As the minutes ticked down both teams upped the physicality as Wood charged around like a man possessed and Oxford’s Edwards lined Norcliffe up with a lung busting hit in neutral ice but failed to topple the Streatham man.

With a few minutes to go in the first, referee Blaine Evans finally pulled out his infamous finger to beckon over Wood who was circling obliviously waiting for the face off. Like a pupil skating to the front of the class, Wood ambled towards Evans while the whole crowd waited to see what would happen next. The predictable stern talking too, was quintessentially Blaine and nothing else of note happened before the end of the first.

The period break gave fans the chance to buy Streathams fantastic range of merchandise including a new scarf range and of course copies of Streatham in the 1930’s by Steve Phillimore plus the Ice Hockey Annual by Stewart Roberts.

2nd Period

The second period started much better for the home side despite Colclough pulling off a good early save from Cesky. Streatham Captain Joe Johnston had the crowd on their feet shortly afterwards as he went on a mazy skate through the Oxford team and rolled back the years before being denied by Duffy.

Wood was also in good form as his athleticism and reach proved too much for the Stars forwards time and time again. His display signalled that he did not want to knock Jeremy Cornish’s teeth out with a puck, and indeed was relishing his new role.

Green was also buzzing with energy for the Stars and this ended badly for unlucky linesman Strain who was drilled to the ice by the Oxford man, after James Warman evaded the initial hit. After soothing words of experience and a tap on the head from Evans, who famously had his teeth knocked out earlier in the season by a wild clearance from Mr Giles, Strain dusted himself down and the game continued.

The final chance of the period fell to the speedy Ranson , who had done a sterling job on the penalty kill, but couldn’t beat Duffy who gloved the puck after Rose had fired in yet another Streatham shot.

At 1-1 the third period was set up for a classic finish, but not before period break SCORO. Some have complained that the hole is too small for anyone to bag the £500 jackpot but long-time supporter Brian Dixon almost managed it the week before. He was up again to try and win with a shot from the red line, but like his hero Kevin Keegan he couldn’t handle the pressure and missed the net completely. Also shooting was PA announcer Angela Smith, who also missed but achieved her primary objective of not stacking it on the ice.

3rd Period

Media outlet 482 days tweeted from the gantry that the next twenty minutes would be a big one and so it proved. If the game had been decent without much action, that changed as both teams decided to go for the win.

Streatham scored almost from the restart as the recently quiet Callum Best exploded back into form with a shot that pinged into the top corner from the slot to leave Duffy no chance.

Momentum was lost a few minutes later as the match paused briefly while Evans fixed a hole in the ice showing all the hardy skills that made him Telford’s number 1 Zamboni driver back in the day.

Soon after the Stars equalised to make it 2-2 as the puck bobbled across the crease and youngster Hallam Wilson beat Colclough at the second attempt. Streatham looked shell-shocked and Green pinged the puck off Colclough’s water bottle on top of the net causing some Oxford fans to celebrate prematurely before realising that the puck had not gone in the net.

The let off was punished by the home side with five minutes to go as Best weaved into the zone and his shot rebounded to Norcliffe who buried the puck past  Duffy before wheeling away in celebration.

Streatham needed to keep it tight, but a ricochet landed nicely to dangerman Cesky and he went through on goal before firing high and wide after seemingly dekeing Colclough.Oxford had another big chance before the end to level but Scarbrough’s flying superman dive enabled him to tip the puck away from a City Stars stick as it was about to fire.

As the buzzer sounded the home fans celebrated a 3-2 win and man of the match George Norcliffe earned himself the beers and kiss from Sports Therapist Tanya Romans. The critics’ choice for man of the match would likely have been Wood, but with this he learned his first lesson as a defenseman… unless you score or save in UK hockey you rarely get the beers.

Both sets of fans departed the Arena to a clear sky and for some a cool pint and some food in RedHawks sponsors the Earl Ferrers public house.