CHELMSFORD, UK – The Chieftains hosted the Cardiff Devils in an NIHL match this past weekend. The Devils were sent packing in 7-0 trouncing.
Chieftains lined up against a tough Cardiff team without Michael Ranby and new father Darren Brown. Gone are the days when the Devils travelled with a short bench and Chieftains knew they had to be on their game from the first whistle. And on their game they were as they lay siege to the Cardiff net, some great passing moves in and and around the Devil’s defensive zone, putting the opposing defence under extreme pressure.
On that form it was only a matter of time before Devil’s netminder Luke Takel was going to be removing the puck from the back of the net. But the team from the Welsh capital city held firm until 15:07 when Grant Bartlett passed to club captain Danny Wright on the blue line. ‘The Mayor’ struck a sweet slapshot which Takel managed to stop initially, but he could only watch in vain as the puck crept through and slowly made it’s way over the goal line.
The dominance was plain to see in the ‘Shots on Goal’ stats at the end of the first period with Takel facing 19 shots and Ryan Bainborough in the Chieftains net only 4 shots.
The second period began with the Chieftains short-handed as Tibor Schneider was penalised for a cross-check at 20:00. They held firm and after the Devil’s powerplay came to an end it was business as usual, the attack on the Devil’s net continued. A minute later James Ayling’s pass found Luke Brittle who deked the goalie and struck low into the net, 2-0 to Chieftains at 23:03.
At 25:14 the goal light was lit once again, Grant Bartlett again being the provider. Alex Green wound-up and hit a peach of a slapshot through the crowded opposition defence. With the help of a deflection Takel was easily beaten.
At 33:30 Devil Adam Wood was sent to the sin bin for 2 minutes, but his stay only lasted 15 seconds. Czech Daniel Volrab scoring a powerplay goal at 33:45 making it 4-0 Chieftains.
The scoring machine hadn’t finished yet and at 37:00 Volrab, Gary Clarke and Ross Brears combined, a fine move with the latter finishing well and the period ended 5-0.
The third period started with the Chieftains again pushing up on the Devils net. But they were soon reminded that defence was still required when Wright lost the puck on the blue line and a Devil found himself clear one-on-one with Bainborough. But Wright chased back and a desperate dive took out the threat and his netminder. Bainborough slowly regained his feet as Wright was directed to the sinbin for a hooking penalty, but a goal scoring attempt had been thrawted.
The game was beginning to get a little ‘chippy’ and tempers flared at 48:30 when a cross-check from Philip Manny resulted in a scuffle with Grant Bartlett, twin Cameron thought better of joining the affray with thoughts of another important game coming up against Invicta in less than 24 hours.
Grant Bartlett and Manny were sent to bin both with a 2 minute roughing penalty and Manny was awarded another 2 for the initial misdemeanor.
A late Devil’s time-out just after 53 minutes couldn’t change the visitor’s fortunes. At 55:12 the referee’s arm went up once again as he spotted another Manny cross-check. But Chieftains kept the puck and Bainborough left the ice to be replaced by an extra Chieftain’s forward. James Ayling, twice providing assists for his teammates earlier in the game was rewarded as the empty net/extra out skater paid off. A delayed penalty goal with Cameron Bartlett and John Connelly providing the assists.
6-0 with under fine minutes remaining, but the scoring was still not over and at 56:46 Volrab doubled his tally making the final score 7-0 Chieftains. The final buzzer went with Bainborough punching the air to celebrate his shut-out.
A fine result for the Chieftains and James Ayling was awarded the man of the match beers, a tough decision as there was some fine performances from both defence and attacking players. But the most important factor of the night was the team performance. And that’s exactly what’s needed with some tough games imminent.
With Chieftains game report