London Ice Hockey - Streatham Ice Hockey News 2014 | Streatham Ice Hockey -
Mar 13, 2017

Emotional Sunday

Streatham ended their regular season campaign with an exceptional evening of hockey that put their players and fans through every emotion possible. The scoreboard at the end of the game showed a 6-4 loss against Chelmsford however it told only a small part of the story.

The pre-game announcement by Liam Rasmussen that he would be joining Captain Joe Johnston in retirement at the end of the season, was the precursor for a match well attended by the home support.

With iconic figures of Streatham’s past such as Tony Goldstone, Erskine Douglas, Steve James and Jim Johnston, joined by many players from the modern age sat in the stands, the scene was set for a memorable evening.

The league champions Chelmsford predictably cared little for the script and put in a first period display to prove they were totally unfazed by the occasion. It took only two minutes for them to take the lead as youngster Jake Sylvester jinked his way past the Streatham defence and finished coolly. Less than a minute later it was 2-0 as Darren Brown pressured the Streatham defence into coughing the puck up in the corner and squared to Matt Turner all alone in front of goal who buried it past Matt Colclough.

Streatham huffed and puffed but couldn’t get going, and were struggling to contain the Chieftains rapid breakout. With four minutes to go in the period, Johnston did well to stop a Chelmsford breakaway but the puck subsequently bounced into the path of Cameron Bartlett, whose first time shot pinged into the top corner. A minute later it was 4-0 as Huska skated down the right wing and picked his spot to leave the home fans stunned into silence.

It wasn’t the first time this season that Streatham had been overrun early on in front of a big expectant crowd, but Coach Jeremy Cornish used the break to get his team back in order and they came out for the second period with renewed purpose.

The RedHawks needed a spark and it came from their winger Sean Scarbrough who made a sharp turn in the neutral zone, skated in the zone and fired a slapshot straight past Phillips to finally give the crowd reason to cheer. The goal galvanised the home side and they began to enjoy a spell of dominance, capped off when Johnston fired into the net from the point before celebrating and leaving a lump in the throat of most fans and his own.

Chelmsford slowly clawed their way back into the game and both teams began to rely more and more on their goalies as the play opened up.

The next goal would be massive for momentum and it was Streatham who claimed it as George Norcliffe skated through the middle of the ice and saw his shot squeeze through Phillips’ legs and into the net. With three minutes remaining in the period Jack Tarczycki, recently returning from injury, picked up the puck on his own blue line and skated through a number of challenges before scoring to draw things level and spark wild scenes of celebration.

The atmosphere in the building was buzzing as the second period ended, and this was followed by a presentation to former goalie Will Sanderson and his fiancé Sarah for their dedication to the club. It was a touching moment that saw the Streatham team emerge from their locker room in the corner of the rink to bang on the glass in appreciation for their former team mate.

Streatham started the third period strongly again and had numerous chances to take the lead before being hit by a sucker punch from the classy Turner who latched onto a loose puck and made no mistake from in front of goal. To their credit Streatham continued to battle, but with the minutes ticking down, Cornish opted to go for broke and pulled Colclough, only to see Liam Chong make it 6-4 with an empty netter.

The game ended with the whole arena on their feet to salute the team, led round the rink by Johnston and Rasmussen sticks aloft. A Play-Off Quarter Final against the in-form Solent Devils awaits the RedHawks and only a fool would bet against more emotional rollercoasters before the curtain comes down on the 2016/17 season.