DALROD Peterborough Islanders – 5
Chelmsford Warriors – 4
In a top of the table clash, with the Islanders searching for their 7th straight win against a Chelmsford side that were unbeaten in the league with 9 wins out of 9.
A physical start to the game, with some big hits thrown in for good measure. It would be Chelmsford to start the scoring off on a 5 on 3 power play. With Callum Worthington Evans and Dale Jowett in the box, Chelmsford were able to take advantage of the extra space .Brandon Ayliffe added the finishing touch to a well worked power play goal just before the 10 minute mark. Islanders then had to kill off a long 5 on 3 chance to keep the scoreline the same, as Bradley Moore and Craig Wallis took a trip to the penalty box. With just over 4 minutes to play in the period the Islanders levelled the game, with some nice work from Craig Wallis to keep the puck in the zone, Conor Pollard passed the puck to Nathan Pollard, who caught the Chelmsford goalkeeper by surprise and let go of a well placed shot through Phillips five hole and go into the period break with the scores level at 1-1. End of period shots were 10 on Dan Lane and 15 on Sonny Phillips.
The second period began at a fast pace and the islanders were rewarded after just 32 seconds , some great fore-checking from Connor Stokes found James White on his own in front of the net. White put his one-timer into the top corner and put the islanders 2-1 up. The islanders then found themselves 3-2 behind after 2 goals in just over two minutes from Donald Campbell. The islanders could have folded their tents after the defensive lapses, but Bradley Moore had other ideas, after getting the puck at the top of the circle in the Chelmsford zone, he made no mistake in putting the puck in the top corner and tying the game at 3-3. And that was how the 2nd period would end. With the Islanders having 16 shots on Phillips, Lane at the other end faced 11.
The third period had been set up to be a cracker (it was Christmas time after all) and both teams certainly didn’t disappoint. After a fast paced 10 minutes, with chances for both teams coming thick and fast, it was the islanders who would take the lead just after the halfway mark of the period. With a great rush from Zandy Cleves, Callum Worthington-Evans received the puck on the point, and found Conor Pollard in front of the net on his own with a great pass. Pollard had no problem with wrong footing Phillips in the Warriors net before slotting the puck away for the goal of the game. This was a huge goal for the Islanders and you could see by the celebrations how much it meant to the players.
However the big talking point of the game was to follow less than 2 minutes after the goal. As Dan Lane went behind the net to pass the puck to another Islander he was hit from behind by one of the Chelmsford players and went straight into the boards very unexpectedly, Leon Groom took exception to Ross Cowan as he skated to the other end of the rink to try and avoid any punishment he joined team mate Sonny Phillips, and after a bit of scuffle between Groom, Phillips and Cowan. The penalties were handed out and Groom received 5+ Match for his actions, and Cowan a 2 minute penalty for goaltender interference. This was his last bit of ice time in the game as he made his way to the dressing room after his penalty expired. A very open couple of minutes of 4 on 4, the Islanders then had to kill off a 3 minute power play to remain in the lead.
With just 4 minutes left in the game and some hard work from Stokes and Moore, the Islanders were rewarded with a short-handed goal, as Stokes shot was saved by Phillips, Moore slotted the rebound home for his second of the night and the eventual game winning goal.
There was enough time for Chelmsford to grab a fourth and final goal through Brandon Ayliffe. But the islanders held on to end the Warriors unbeaten run, and extend their own to 7 games.
The man of the match awards went to Dan Lane for the Islanders and Donald Campbell for the Warriors.