A Northern Cup match which wouldn’t affect the placings, Aces are confirmed in second.

The game started end to end but with the Warriors not showing their normal home ice intensity (if that’s the right word). Warriors were first on the mark, a puck out from behind the net and Lee Baxter slotted it straight back in. Warriors were now on top and Tindale was just wide on the powerplay. Their second goal came at 11.00, Dunn shooting wide but Baxter collected the rebound off the boards in space and shot in. Thirty seconds later and Referee Wardell repeated our first trip to Whitley by awarding a ‘goal’ that nobody else would later confirm they’d seen. Danny Higgin had appeared to make the save from Paul Graham and did his nut in the aftermath collecting a ten minute misconduct penalty. A Jason Hewitt shot brought a pad save before Baxter was released on a shorthanded break and lifted it over Danny’s legs for 4-0.

Aces hadn’t been in it but the second period started well. Billy Price had our best chance so far with a screened shot. Danny made good saves to deny Graham and Tindale and then the Aces were on the board. Brian Worrall had the first chance saved but Tim Dempsey collected the puck, skated in and fired home. That became 2-4 after twenty seconds, Stephen Elliott working hard behind the net and getting the puck out for Steve Michie to lift in. We couldn’t keep the momentum going though and Warriors quickly extended their lead, Graham netting after a pass across the face of the goal. We then coughed the puck up on the blue line and Good skated in and beat Danny. Arran Richardson forced a stretching glove save out of Markham before bad luck struck and a Howey shot took a big deflection off Kevin Cassidy and went in for 7-2. Aces got one back when Simon Mills’ pass found Billy whose pass back to Jason was shot in. Winn took a typical Whitley penalty in the aftermath and Aces grabbed their opening back into the match with a powerplay goal, Greg’s shot hitting the bar but Billy putting the rebound straight back in from the far side. A minute later, Greg’s pass out of defence set Billy up on a break to beat Markham. Another Aces powerplay and four goals in just over four minutes for the second week running as the puck went from Jason to Billy to Greg and in under the keeper. Greg took a harsh hooking minor and after Jason almost put in a shorthanded equalizer, Baxter was allowed to skate in and score easily.

We needed an early goal and got two. Billy took the puck in and it got to Greg who squeezed it into the net. Then the same combination, a backhand from Greg, latched onto by Billy and shot in for the equalizer. Both sides were in it until the referee intervened – with Steve M serving a minor, Mr Wardell was a bit thin skinned at comments coming from the Aces fans behind the team bench (nothing rude, personal or out of the ordinary) and turned round and gave the Aces a bench minor (shades of Basingstoke away last year). That left the Warriors 5 on 3 and that was duly converted, Baxter tipping in from a pass by Graham. Both sides were forcing good saves out of the two keepers but Warriors were getting more chances and finished the game when Baxter got down the wing and passed for Winn to score the insurance. Aces didn’t get chance to pull Danny off and despite one last chance from Jason, it ended in a 10-8 defeat.

Whitley probably deserved their win overall but it would be nice to go there and not have the handicap of disputed goals.

1-0 06.45 Baxter from Winn and Howey
2-0 11.06 Baxter from Dunn
3-0 11.51 Graham from Tindale
4-0 17.00 Baxter from Robinson SHG
4-1 24.44 Dempsey from Worrall and Mills
4-2 25.06 Michie from Elliott and Daly
5-2 25.46 Graham from Good
6-2 26.37 Good from Tindale and Dowd
7-2 31.56 Howey
7-3 33.17 Hewitt from Price and Mills
7-4 34.44 Price from Allen PPG
7-5 35.43 Price from Higgin
7-6 37.32 Allen from Hewitt and Price PPG
8-6 38.47 Baxter from Winn and Matthews
8-7 42.53 Allen from Price and Cassidy
8-8 44.19 Price from Mills and Allen PPG
9-8 49.40 Baxter from Graham and Matthews PPG
10-8 56.40 Winn from Baxter


Tim Dempsey 1+0, Greg Allen 2+2, Steve Michie 1+0, Brian Worrall 0+1,
Jason Hewitt 1+1, Simon Mills 0+3, Arran Richardson, Stephen Elliott 0+1,
Billy Price 3+3 (MoM), Luke Stretton, Steve Daly 0+1,
Phil Verstappen , Danny Higgin 0+1 (49s, 10g, 79.59%)

SOG 49-49 PIMS 14-18