KINGSTON JETS 7- 9 ALTRINCHAM ACES 15 FEBRUARY 2003
An away League trip to Kingston, Kingston looking for the points to clinch a playoff spot and at full strength with no Hull Thunder fixture.
Jason Hewitt and Greg Allen had early chances before Lewis Day was allowed to waltz in unchallenged for Kingston’s first goal. Aces had their first powerplay but immediately the puck came over to Andy Winn from the left for him to score high shorthanded. I can’t remember the Aces giving up two shorthanded goals on the same powerplay but they did tonight, Ryan Johnson taking the puck in and passing in to Steve Winn in space to slot home. Kingston then won a face off in our end, Matt Street got the puck and clipped it straight inside the far post. Jason, Steve Michie, Greg and Billy Price all had chances but defensive chaos gave Simon Wedd and Street free shots, Phil Verstappen made a first save but Andy Winn put the loose puck into an empty net. Fortunately for the Aces, Day had a slash at Billy, and on the delayed penalty call, Jason scored from the angle. Straight from the face off, Day had another slash at Billy under Referee Litchfield’s nose and Aces went on the powerplay. With the team pushing up too much, Andy Winn was released on a breakaway, chased the puck down and threaded between Phil and the top angle of the net for another shorthanded goal. Aces were still on the powerplay though and Billy took the puck down the wing and fired inside the far post. Jets’ brief indiscipline saw Street take a delayed hooking penalty again on Billy and Greg passed in from the side for Billy to slot home with only a second left in the period. A 6-1 deficit had been made much easier.
Danny Higgin replaced Phil in the net for the second period but Danny was soon beaten as a long pass out of defence on a Jets powerplay found Street to take it around Danny and score. Soon after, we coughed the puck up on defence and Danny made a pressure save to keep us in the game. Aces were creating chances, Brian Worrall hit a post on a breakaway and the puck just evaded Billy’s stick with an open net looming. A diving save from Danny denied Rob Chamberlain. The Aces got a goal at last as Billy got through the Jets defence and slid it home and a couple of minutes later, Jason laid the puck back for Greg to put it in the top corner.
7-5 didn’t seem ungettable but the next goal would be crucial. Danny denied Glenn Young with a sliding save but play was sloppy and Aces weren’t making quality chances. It seemed that, all of a sudden, there were only five minutes left. A shot from Billy was stopped on the line by Karl Holmes but we got the first goal we needed when Jason sent the puck in for Billy to slot home at 55.58. 56.42 and Jason turns and shoots just inside the far post for the equalizer. Game on. Jason has a shot saved, but then he’s shooting again and the puck bobbles in/over the goalie (who cares, its in!!) and Aces are in front. Jets pull their goalie for the extra attacker at 59.12 but with no great alarms the puck gets to Mr Reliable Crawley in our end and you know the puck’s going in the empty net this time.
9-7 to the Aces – The Great Escape Part 2 - would have been interesting to find out what was said in the Jets dressing room. Danny seemed to make a lot more saves than the sixteen officially credited.
1-0 06.05 Day PPG
2-0 07.16 A Winn from Street and Wedd SHG
3-0 08.15 S Winn from R Johnson SHG
4-0 10.26 Street from A Winn
5-0 18.25 A Winn from Butler
5-1 18.49 Hewitt from R Richardson
6-1 19.22 A Winn from Street
6-2 19.30 Price from Mills and Hewitt PPG
6-3 19.59 Price from Allen
7-3 23.35 Wedd from A Winn PPG
7-4 33.39 Price from Allen and Worrall
7-5 35.41 Allen from Hewitt and Price
7-6 55.58 Price from Hewitt and Allen
7-7 56.42 Hewitt from Price
7-8 58.17 Hewitt from Price and Allen
7-9 59.42 Crawley ENG
Greg Allen 1+4, Russ Richardson
0+1, Steve Michie, Brian Worrall 0+1, Nick Crawley 1+0, Jason Hewitt 3+3 (MoM),
Simon Mills 0+1, Arran Richardson, Stephen Elliott, Billy Price 4+3, Luke
Stretton, Steve Daly,
Phil Verstappen (20m, 15s, 6g, 60%), Danny Higgin (40m, 17s, 1g, 94.12%),
SOG 32-43 PIMS 32-30