SHEFFIELD SCIMITARS 8- 4 ALTRINCHAM ACES 19 JANUARY 2003
Aces travelled to Sheffield for a Northern Cup tie. Jason Hewitt returned from his one match ban but Phil Keelan was still absent.
Sheffield's intent to avenge the defeat of a week before was obvious from the start with sticks and boards being used to full effect. Aces, like their previous visit, got off to a poor start and again, conceded a goal on the second shift of the match after Richard Oliver passed from behind the net for Carl Ashton to quickly slot home. Play was fast and furious with the penalties starting in the fourth minute as the Scimitars set out to try and intimidate. In the midst of all the checks, Aces goalie Phil Verstappen decided to get a piece of the action delivering an Elliott style check holding a Sheffield attacker up against the boards. In the ninth minute, Jason Hewitt was blindsided and checked against the boards, rupturing tendons in his arm that will keep him out for a few weeks. A minute later with Nick Crawley on the ice injured, Neil Abel made use of the space and shot home despite Phil getting a piece of it but not quite completing the catch. Danny Higgin had a quick half minute in net before Phil was returned. Greg Allen forced a save with a wrist shot before Aces got on the scoreboard. Les Millie was serving the second minor of a petulant night's work as Greg's effort was saved but Billy Price sent the puck back to Russ Richardson who fired home a low shot. Sheffield then got an important goal in the last minute of the period, John Ross skating along the blue line and passing in for Millie to net.
Aces' hopes of keeping it close were quickly dashed. With a delayed penalty call, Sheffield had chance to use an extra attacker for what seemed like half a minute before James Goodman shot home from a wide angle. Danny arrived for the second time but was soon beaten when Millie skated in from the point and fired in on the powerplay. The intensity had seemed to ease a bit and Aces would get back into it. Russ delivered Aces' check of the match levelling Neil Abel behind the goal and Greg whipped out the puck for Billy to skate in and smoothly convert. Things kicked off in the goal celebrations with Dean Smith sent off with a 5 + Game for checking from behind and Millie involved too. That gave the Aces two minutes of 5 on 3 and Billy made it 3-5 putting in the rebound from Russ' shot from the point. With Aces still benefiting from the powerplay from Smith's major penalty, they were unable to get another back before the period ended.
Again, we needed to keep it tight early on in the third period but an attack broke down and Sheffield took it down the ice with Neil Hardy scoring high right. Brian Worrall had a chance in front of net but soon after a puck coughed up on the blue line let Ross in to score. Worse followed, virtually immediately, with Millie receiving the puck in space in front of the net and backhanding it in. We had another minor scuffle just after halfway with that man Millie involved yet again and Sheffield's Norin sent off, presumably for third man in. Simon hit a post on the powerplay before Aces scored their fourth powerplay goal of the night with Greg tipping in after Billy's shot. Greg had another chance go just wide late on but the game had been over from early on in the period.
Sheffield remain beatable
as long as the Aces are on top of their game. Nipper identified lapses all
the way through the team so he had no complaints about the result on the night
- we'll have more chances against them before the season is over.
1-0 01.16 C Ashton from Oliver
2-0 09.28 Abel
2-1 16.12 R Richardson from Price PPG
3-1 19.23 Millie from Ross and Smith
4-1 23.22 Goodman from Kelly
5-1 27.55 Millie from Abel PPG
5-2 35.57 Price from Allen PPG
5-3 36.48 Price PPG
6-3 41.33 Hardy from Flemming
7-3 44.03 Ross
8-3 44.17 Millie from Ross
8-4 54.43 Allen from Price PPG
Tim Dempsey, Greg Allen
1+1, Russ Richardson 1+0 (MoM), Steve Michie, Brian Worrall,
Nick Crawley, Jason Hewitt, Simon Mills, Arran Richardson, Stephen Elliott, Billy Price 2+2, Luke Stretton, Steve Daly, Kevin Cassidy,
Phil Verstappen (22m 3s, 19s, 4g, 78.95%), Danny Higgin (37m, 57s, 4g, 86.21%),
SOG 48-37 PIMS 79-16