At first glance, the scoreline looks like a whitewash, but it was far from it. The Hornets gave their all and had it not been for some unlucky bounces and tremendous goaltending, we might’ve seen a much closer scoreline.
The game started positively for the Hornets. Recent acquisition David Millner continues to score points for the Hornets. He tucked away the opening goal of the game on the power play 5’36” into the game after hooking was called on Daniel Lackey of the Devils.
For the opening half of the first period, the Hornets looked pretty comfortable with their lead, although the unbeaten Devils were always a threat on the counter. Then came 61 seconds that Hornets players, staff and fans will want to forget in a hurry.
In these 61 seconds, the Devils managed to score three, one on the power play and two at even strength. Alex Trendall, Richard Facey and Ralfs Circenis all scoring to suddenly turn the game on its head. Shellshocked, the Hornets managed to make it to the first intermission without conceding again.
If there was one thing that the Hornets would’ve wanted from the first five minutes of the second period, it would be to not fall behind any further. Sadly, it took only 38 seconds for the Devils to add their fourth of the game, Circenis grabbing his second of the game.
In what must’ve felt like deja vu for the Hornets, exactly a minute later came number five. This time it was Trendall adding his second. The Devils fifth goal sparked boss Mark Saunders to make a change in net, Matt Croyle coming in to replace Tom Annetts. A timeout was also called in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
These series of events did seem to spark a change in the Hornets, who continued to pepper Christian Cole in the Devils net, only for them to run into an in-form goalie. The Devils lead of four seemed too much to come back from, so when they made it five, it looked impossible for the Hornets to make something of this game. Yet another second of the game, this time for Facey.
Despite this, going into the second intermission, the shot count was in favour of the Hornets, who certainly had their chances to add to their goal and once the third period started it was obvious which team was in the ascendancy.
The Hornets came out flying. Another in-form forward Ben Ealey-Newman tucked away a Hornets goal early on in the third as they really started to turn up the heat. Ten minutes later, a delay of game penalty on Calumn Perella-Fox gave the Hornets another opportunity on the power play.
Matt Foord took full advantage of the power play to bring the Hornets to within three goals with just under eight minutes remaining. There was an air of confidence in the way the Hornets were playing at this point. Strong attacking zone pressure, coupled with great line changes meant the Devils were really on the back foot.
Chance after chance came and went and the Devils defensive resilience was very impressive. Then, to take advantage of that pressure, coach Saunders decided to bring Croyle to the bench for an extra attacker. Facey would go on the score the empty-netter, christening the victory for the Devils.
McTimoney Chiropractic Bracknell Hornets goals:
- 05:26 David Millner, assisted by Stve Osman & Chris Cooke
- 41:41 Ben Ealey-Newman, assisted by David Millner & Matt Foord
- 52:52 Matt Foord, assisted by David Millner
Solent Devils goals:
- 12:52 Alex Trendall, assisted by Alex Murray & Mitchell Murray
- 13:07 Richard Facey, assisted by Mark Pitts & Ralfs Circenis
- 13:53 Ralfs Cercenis, unassisted
- 20:38 Ralfs Cercenis, assisted by Alex Murray
- 21:48 Alex Trendall, assisted by Mark Pitts
- 30:04 Richard Facey, unassisted
- 59:03 Richard Facey, assisted by Alex Murray
- Tom Annetts (BRA) 13 shots – 61.54%
- Matt Croyle (BRA) 17 shots – 94.12%
- Christian Cole (SOL) 34 shots – 91.18%
Hornets v Devils Match Night Photos are available online at www.flickr.com/photos/184321696@N03/albums/72157711815295252 taken by Gary Haskins.