DALROD Peterborough Islanders – 14
Invicta Mustangs - 2
A 14-2 victory over the Invicta Mustangs has helped the Islanders close the gap on the Chelmsford Warriors. Both the Isles and Warriors are on 24 points, 10 points clear of any other team, however the Warriors have the advantage on goal difference.
The game started quickly and the Islanders put the pressure on early. It took just 3 minutes for Conor Pollard to find the back of the net. Nathan Pollard found James Pentecost in the corner, who threaded the puck through the eye of a needle, leaving a simple tap in for C. Pollard. This was to mark the start of a six-point night for each of them.
The rest of the period however lacked polish. The run of play remained one sided as the Isles racked up 17 shots to the Mustangs 4. Nevertheless, the Islanders could not get the puck past Invicta’s Grut who stood on his head all period. Whilst the shots were there, the Islanders were not playing great hockey and needed to boost their game.
Shaun Yardley restarted the scoring 2 minutes into the second period, followed less than 20 seconds later by a goal from N.Pollard. The Islanders upped their game started to link up as smoothly as fans have been used to seeing. The physicality of the game also increased, notably highlighted by Leon Groom sending a Mustang player spinning through the air like a fish doing a barrel roll. As impressive as this looked, no one was happy when the Mustang player came out with a shoulder injury.
Some beautiful tic-tac-toe led to 6 more goals in the period; Pentecost, Yardley, Jowett and C. Pollard all found the net, Pollard finding it twice within 3 minutes to complete a hat trick. The biggest cheer of the period however, came after Joe Wilson slotted the puck through Grut’s legs. The goal marked his second of the year and makes this his most successful senior year to date.
The third period started with a goaltending change for the Mustangs as 16-year old Kieran Wyatt stepped between the pipes. 12 seconds into the period, a shot from Cleves took a deflection and bounced slowly but awkwardly towards the net, somehow finding a gap beneath Wyatt’s arm. This was a small slip up in an otherwise impressive performance from the youngster.
The Islanders continued to rain down shots on the Mustangs goal, but left themselves open at the back more than once. Conor Pollard picked up his fourth to make the score 11-0, before the Mustangs broke the shut out. A strong powerplay in the 51st minute allowed Dan Terry space to put the puck past Dan Lane.
Nathan Pollard and Clint Herring moved the scoreboard to 13-1 before Conor Pollard finished the Islanders scoring with his 5th goal, courtesy of assists from Pentecost and Hunter.
The Mustangs battled on and managed to double their tally with just one second left on the clock, ending the game 14-2.
The Islanders picked up more penalties than they have been used to in recent bouts. The seven penalties they racked up included a bench minor due to some colourful language from assistant coach Steve Wren. A tense run of play and some missed calls led to Wren giving some suggestions to referee Nick Stephenson. It was clear Stephenson was unhappy with some of the comments that were perhaps not quite suitable before the watershed.
Regardless of this, the Islanders pulled together as a team and now hold 6 of the top 8 positions in the league for assists. Pentecost alone now has 27 assists in 12 league games.
Man of the match for the Islanders was a very deserved Conor Pollard and for the Mustangs was Kieran Wyatt, who made some highlight reel saves during his short spell in net.
Next, the Islanders face the London Racers. Face of is at 17:00 at Planet Ice Peterborough on Saturday 6th February. The Racers must win to keep their season alive, so expect them to come out fighting.