KINGSTON JETS 2-2 ALTRINCHAM ACES 22 MARCH 2003
A visit to Kingston that with the return game could well decide the Northern Playoff Group. Aces were minus Russ Richardson (banned), Nick Crawley and Steve Daly.
Aces had the best chance of the early play, Greg Allen’s quick shot saved. We had our first powerplay of the match with Kingston playing a physical game and capitalised after Billy Price passed from behind the net for Simon Mills in front to slot home. Billy was stopped in front on a 2 on 1 and then it needed some last ditch defence from Jason Hewitt to stop Andy Winn scoring on a break straight out of the penalty box. Danny stopped Bliss’ shorthanded effort late on and although we had 40 seconds of 5 on 3, we couldn’t find a way through on the powerplay to finish the period.
Holmes in the Kingston net had to stretch for a glove save on Steve Michie and then, later in the period, had to save a low shot from Brian Worrall, a deflection from Greg and a great PP chance from Jason. Both sides had to play off penalties, Danny stopped a Street breakaway but Jets were then level on the powerplay, Street’s low shot finding its way past a screened or wrongfooted Danny. Jason missed a great breakaway chance then Chamberlain somehow missed an open net and Young sent a shot just wide. 1-1 and tense.
Goals were hard to come by and vital and it was Jets who took the lead, Street beating our defence and taking it in and beating Danny low down. Aces had two minutes of 5 on 3, Tim Dempsey and Brian both having shots saved before Simon got the puck out from behind the net for Billy to score with a low shot. Tempers erupted at 52.57 – Anthony Payne had been playing his normal aggressive, intimidatory game and clearly deliberately clashed helmets with Simon. Ref Wharton then amazed us with a two minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct, ducking the head butt call that would have ejected Payne there and then. Simon then got involved in the verbals that continued in the penalty box and both he and Payne got Game penalties, Payne having jumped out of the penalty box into the crowd at one stage. Seven minutes of stress left. Greg had a shot saved, Tim’s hard shot went over, Billy’s short was blocked. With three minutes left, Greg had a shot that was stopped on the line. With a minute to go, Danny needed to make saves to keep us in it, one from Street and Billy had two late chances but no success.
A 2-2 draw was actually a good result for both teams, all but eliminating Sheffield and making it winner take all the next day in Altrincham.
0-1 05.10 Mills from Price PPG
1-1 35.33 Street from Parkin PPG
2-1 47.01 Street from Parkin PPG
2-2 51.49 Price from Mills PPG
Tim Dempsey, Greg Allen, Steve
Michie, Brian Worrall, Jason Hewitt, Simon Mills 1+1,
Arran Richardson, Stephen Elliott, Luke Stretton, Billy Price 1+1, Kevin Cassidy
Phil Verstappen, Danny Higgin (26s, 2g, 92.31%) (MoM)
SOG 26-30 PIMS 54-44