Aces were home to last year's Champions. Aces were at full playing strength for the first time this season with it being Nipper's last game of his ban. Warriors had lost several members of last year's team and were missing regular goalie, Anthony Markham. The Storm's demise meant a good sized crowd and the Friends of Manchester Ice Hockey generating £460 for Altrincham junior ice hockey.

At least from where I was sitting, Arran Richardson looked like he was going to put Aces ahead early on before the goalbound puck was stopped at the last minute by Stephen Hoult. We didn't have long to wait for a goal with Nick Crawley firing home from the slot from Steve Daly's pass - this on Aces' second powerplay of the night. Russ Richardson got involved in a bit of a scuffle with two Warriors (Carter and Tindale) and Aces got a second powerplay goal after Jason Hewitt skated in, had his effort stopped but Billy Price put in the loose puck at the near post. Warriors were nothing like as dangerous as last year's team with their main threat being the speed of Paul Graham. They seemed more intent on taking penalties. Aces went three up when Greg Allen won the puck and his pass put Billy through on the break. Warriors scored late on in the period, Andrew Carter netting with two Aces sat on the ice but Aces went back down the ice for Luke Stretton to score another of his narrow angle specials.

Warriors lost a player early on in the second with Andrew Carter disappearing for a butt end. Carter then got another Game Misconduct for a pointless cheap shot punch to the back of Jason's helmet as he left the ice. Billy scored his third wide out converting a Kevin Cassidy pass from the point and Greg added another powerplay goal with a close in shot. Tim Dempsey had a good chance for a trademark Goal of the Night but seemed to spend too much time thinking how he'd describe it on our message board and shot it straight at the netminder! A goalmouth scramble led to Paul Graham scoring at the near post and Danny Higgin replacing Phil in goal. Aces were on the mark thirteen seconds later, Greg Allen through on the break, took it wide and lifting it in on target for the water bottle. Warriors scored a third, Paul Graham netting a rebound after Danny had stopped a floated shot from the point. Lee Baxter then hit the bar but Aces stretched away again with Jason netting a shorthanded break, taking it wide before lifting in.

Warriors made it 8-4 early in the final period, Brian Dunn netting a rebound after Danny had saved. Aces replied a minute later when Billy turned and fired home. Warriors' frustrations were increasingly boiling over, Rob Wilson disappearing after Jason was jumped on by him and Warriors coach, Peter Winn, near the net. Brian Worrall scored on the powerplay, after being stopped but taking the rebound around the goalie. More fighting from the Warriors saw Brian Dunn sit out the rest of the night in the box and Steve Daly showed he might have learnt a few Canadian tricks a bit later. A good one two play between Kevin Bucas and Paul Graham set up Graham's hat trick goal in the last minute but Aces still had time for another as their Man of the match, Luke Stretton, put in a rebound from a Phil Keelan shot.

Nipper was unhappy we didn't score fifteen whilst Warriors blamed the referee but they should surely be used to referees being less tolerant of physical play away from the North East and that's not including the all too familiar unnecessary stuff.

1-0 07.39 Crawley from Daly and Dempsey PPG
2-0 08.26 Price from Hewitt PPG
3-0 13.02 Price from Allen and Mills
3-1 17.20 Carter from Tindale
4-1 17.51 Stretton from Michie and R Richardson
5-1 21.48 Price from Cassidy PPG
6-1 25.39 Allen from A Richardson PPG
6-2 26.24 Graham
7-2 26.37 Allen
7-3 28.19 Graham from Baxter and Tindale
8-3 34.33 Hewitt SHG
8-4 41.14 Dunn from Baxter and Tindale
9-4 42.28 Price from Allen and Hewitt
10-4 47.26 Worrall from Allen and Hewitt PPG
10-5 59.36 Graham from Bucas and Baxter
11-5 59.54 Stretton from Keelan and Crawley


Tim Dempsey 0+1, Greg Allen 2+3, Russ Richardson 0+1, Phil Keelan 0+1,
Steve Michie 0+1, Brian Worrall 1+0, Nick Crawley 1+1, Jason Hewitt 1+2,
Simon Mills 0+1, Arran Richardson 0+1, Stephen Elliott, Luke Stretton 2+0 (MoM),
Steve Daly 0+1, Kevin Cassidy 0+1, Billy Price 4+1
Phil Verstappen (26m 24s, 13s, 2g, 84.62%), Danny Higgin (33m 36s, 17s, 3g, 82.35%)

SOG 61-30 Pens 16-109