Sheffield Ice Tigers 5-4 (penalty shots) Riverside Raiders
An warm summer evening game in the excellent Widnes facillity, unbeaten in 15 NRHC games - Things boded well for the Tigers heading into this match vs the newly formed Riverside outfit. A late arrival of the Sheffield netminder, was merely a side note of the expectations to win this game. a strong first shift by Sheffield showed a few of the home sides weaknesses, it would just be a matter of capitalising later. An innocent looking dump from the neutral zone to relieve the pressure against the run of play led to the puck somehow floating its way through traffic an into the net. This was just the beginning of a slippery slope. By the 12th minute, it was a 3-0 deficit. The period break did nothing to slow the bleeding either as another goal found its way in - Shorthanded. A quick mix up of the lines to desperately try and spark some chemistry instantly brought results as Serafinski tapped home from the feed by Kelly. The period break and ice cut brought reflection time and a new found focus of the task at hand led to a goal in the first minute of the period. Sam cooper driving the net, his nose covering his visor and the ice in blood from venturing past the blue line. The pressure was all one way from there with Madgwick finding his rythm and suring up his end. Another breakthrough as the Captain battled hard to slot one into the net, to draw the deficit to just one goal. That line clicked again on its next shift with Armitage scoring the equaliser and flipping the momentum flow completely on its head. Pressure came and despite last minute crease digging to try to snatch the victory, it was not to be in regulation. Penalty shots to follow. Madgwick outwaits the first shooter..Save. Renshaw offering his services, swaggers around waiting for the whistle in true mighty duck style. Desperate to be the hero on the night he focuses on the target. In he skates, like a young Ray Charles, following the faint sound of the bell of his guide dog. He gets within scoring range, surely sniping this, top shelf on the advice of his mentor and sensei Tom Forster...and in true Forster style, he pulls the fake so convingly, he fooled even himself - he steps into the grimescene, leaves the puck, turns around and falls to the floor. Pressure back on Madgwick, - Again solid. Kelly steams in at a speedy 0.3 mph, and he megs the netminder to give Sheffield the lead. If madgwick saves this, its a road win for the Tigers....theres a slight delay as the referee clears the toys Gareth threw out of his pram as a result of the traffic....and he makes the save! Floods of orange storm onto the ice to congratulate the netminders heroism. A late drive home seemed all the more worthwhile after this victory.
MOM - Ryan Kelly