A trip to the Telewest Arena in Newcastle for a lunchtime face off meant an early start for the Aces and a relatively large number of fans. Aces were missing Phil Keelan and Jason Hewitt (one match ban), Simon Mills having a rare outing up front in Jason's place.

Aces started not quite as quickly as against Sheffield but Nick Crawley's reliable slap shot found the net after 0.28 after Tim Dempsey's pass along the blue line. Russ Richardson had taken Aces' only penalty of the game, a double minor and Aces then got their own powerplay, converting the chance when Billy Price took the puck over the blue line and in to score. A passing move set up Billy in front to score and Greg Allen brought the puck in from the left to lift a shot in. Aces led 4-0 at the break and had been largely untroubled apart from a Shaun Black breakaway chance that hit the post.

Aces got another powerplay goal to start off the second period, Brian Worrall stickhandling through the defence from the side and beating the goalie on the glove side with a low shot. Aces then gave away a goal as first the puck was coughed up and then not cleared, finally allowing John Heslop to score after Danny Higgin had made the first save. Aces restored their five goal lead when Billy latched onto a long pass from Greg, took the puck into the corner and sent a pass out for Greg score high into the net. Aces' seventh came after a Stephen Elliott effort was saved and the puck fell to Kevin Cassidy to slot home his second of the season. The match was a fairly routine affair and despite the number of Aces fans there, they were rattling round the 6000 capacity arena and there was little or no atmosphere. Aces went to sleep and let Sunderland back in the game. With the defence nowhere, Danny had to come out to get the puck but a fraction's hesitation meant that his dive for the puck left him stranded in mid ice as Michael Allinson took the puck away and scored into an empty net. A 3 on 1 saw Danny make the first save but the rebound fell to Allinson who scored from an angle and in the last minute, Sunderland got it back to 4-7 as veteran Kevin Musther, who must have been playing when Nipper was young, sent in a shot from mid ice.

Mr Bayliss had the odd word or two at the interval and Aces came out more focussed and the goals came quickly to take the game out of Sunderland's reach. Simon took the puck in and passed wide to Greg who lifted it over the keeper. Arran took the puck in to score for our ninth and Greg turned and shot in after a receiving a pass from behind the net. Eleven saw Billy slotting in a pass from the corner and twelve was Greg getting to a rebound from a save first. It had been looking like Simon wouldn't manage to score as a forward despite his efforts but appropriately, goal 13 was his as he converted a pass across the crease outside the far post. And with our coach more interested in news of United's late winner on his mobile phone, a contender for the dreariest game of the season ended.

It was great to see the enthusiasm of the Altrincham Spitfires U12s as they took to the ice after our game - a good reminder of what may be lost at end of March.

0-1 00.28 Crawley from Dempsey
0-2 08.49 Price from Dempsey and Higgin PPG
0-3 11.58 Price from Allen and Cassidy
0-4 15.25 Allen from Price and Dempsey
0-5 21.31 Worrall from A Richardson PPG
1-5 22.38 Heslop from Brown
1-6 24.23 Allen from Price and Dempsey
1-7 30.53 Cassidy from Elliott
2-7 33.52 Allinson
3-7 38.15 Allinson from Black
4-7 39.26 Musther
4-8 43.30 Allen from Mills PPG
4-9 45.24 A Richardson from R Richardson
4-10 46.39 Allen from Price and Mills
4-11 51.35 Price from Allen and Mills
4-12 52.56 Allen
4-13 55.12 Mills from Price and Allen


Tim Dempsey 0+4, Greg Allen 5+3, Russ Richardson 0+1, Steve Michie,
Brian Worrall 1+0, Nick Crawley 1+0, Simon Mills 1+3, Arran Richardson 1+1,
Stephen Elliott 0+1, Billy Price 3+4, Luke Stretton (MoM), Steve Daly, Kevin Cassidy 1+1,
Danny Higgin (19s, 4g, 78.95%, 0+1), Phil Verstappen,

SOG 19-70 PIMS 6-4