This was the return game of the playoffs after Aces 8-7 win the previous week, another Aces win was needed. Aces were missing Nick Crawley who warmed up but didn’t feel his ankle was ready, Steve Daly (work commitments) and Tim Dempsey. Sheffield were missing Les Millie.

Danny Higgin made an early save from Hardy and then the start of things to come. Hardy won a face off in our end and Carl Ashton shot home. Worryingly Sheffield seemed to be largely in control of the game and although Jason Hewitt had a quick shot saved, Sheffield extended their lead with Farrand firing home from the point. Danny stopped Leyland on a break before Aces got on the board. With the referee signalling a delayed penalty, a one two between Billy Price and Kevin Cassidy opened up the Sheffield defence and Billy netted into an open net. The goal got Aces back into the game but there was no further scoring in the period.

We had the worst possible start to the second period, Oliver taking the puck in on the left and scoring high past Danny. Six minutes later, Scimitars won the puck behind the net, it was reversed and Hardy threaded it into the top left corner. Phil Verstappen replaced Danny in net and quickly needed to make a good save to deny Ross. Steve Michie was denied in front before Luke Stretton had two attempts at forcing the puck home and then a good shot from the blue line. A goal came at last, Greg Allen slotting home after Jason had got the puck out from behind the net but that was wasted within a minute, Sheffield restoring their lead after Smith worked hard and got the puck from a scramble in front of the net and backhanded in. Sheffield keeper Darlow just managed to keep a shot from Billy out with a trailing leg and then stopped Greg in front to leave the score at 2-5.

It was looking difficult for the Aces but we got one back in the first minute, Greg netting from a pass from behind the net but again, that was soon undone, Ross being allowed to skate in and score to the left. Greg put one off the post from the side and then Jason hit the post on a powerplay. Brian Worrall forced a good save from a shot and just failed to get on the end of the follow up. Phil stopped Oliver on a break but Flemming was free to put the rebound inside the post and finish Aces’ chances. Aces couldn’t find a way through on the powerplay and Ross then took the puck in, passing to Oliver on the left who netted. Phil made a good poke check save to deny Hardy before Greg got a late consolation goal as a floating shot found its way past Maynard, now in the Sheffield net.

Aces seemed flat tonight and absences and resultant line changes seemed to affect us. Sheffield used their greater numbers well and played a disciplined game. Aces were well beaten and this result had put Sheffield back in pole position for the playoffs.

0-1 03.42 C Ashton from Hardy
0-2 10.55 Farrand from S Ashton
1-2 14.55 Price from Cassidy
1-3 20.31 Oliver from Ross and Abel
1-4 26.13 Hardy from C Ashton and Abel
2-4 34.46 Allen from Hewitt and Price
2-5 35.59 Smith from Oliver
3-5 40.39 Allen from Hewitt
3-6 41.44 Ross from Farrand
3-7 49.22 Flemming from Oliver
3-8 52.58 Oliver from Ross
4-8 57.38 Allen from Mills PPG


Greg Allen 3+0, Russ Richardson, Steve Michie, Brian Worrall, Jason Hewitt 0+2,
Simon Mills 0+1, Arran Richardson, Stephen Elliott, Billy Price 1+1, Luke Stretton,
Kevin Cassidy 0+1
Phil Verstappen (33m 47s, 27s, 4g, 85.19%, Danny Higgin (26m 13s, 18s, 4g, 77.78%)

SOG 40-45 PIMS 14-18