There was quite a buzz in The Hive before this one. The second meeting of this still very young season and an opportunity for the Hornets to get their own back on the Stars. When these two teams met earlier in the season, the Hornets managed to blow a five goal lead, losing 6-5 to the Stars. This is also the game that saw Adam Bicknell seriously injured after a bad hit from Stars player David Manning.
It was the Hornets that would break the deadlock early. We’d not even reached the five minute mark before Josh Ealey-Newman scored his sixth goal of the season to make it 1-0. However, it didn’t take long for the Stars to respond. Dax Hedges scored the tying goal.
When Carl Graham delivered a check to the head, Stars captain Josh Florey stepped in to attempt to serve some of his own justice. Both would serve penalties for fighting. The little scuffle seemed to breathe some extra life into the Hornets and with 35 seconds remaining in the first period, Ben Ealey-Newman put the Hornets ahead.
2-1 at the first intermission, the second period was an out and out goaltending battle. A battle won by Tom Annetts. He kept out an incredible 16 shots in the second period, laying an amazing platform for his team to build on, which they eventually did.
A fluke power play goal with 22 seconds left of the second period gave the Hornets a two goal cushion to take into the final period of regulation. This goal would’ve stung for the Stars, who were arguably the better team in the second.
The second period also gave us our second tilt of the game. This time, goalscorer Ben Ealey-Newman was involved with Sam Shone.
The third period gave the Hornets a chance to reassert some form of control, which they did. This time, it was Stars goaltender Ross Miller’s time to step up. Miller stood on his head in the third, turning away 13 shots.
It looked like Miller’s heroics were about to be vindicated by his teammates when Mike Whillock scored on the power play to brings the stars to within one. However, you can’t stop it when you’re not there and after the Stars pulled Miller for an extra attacker, the Hornet capitalised through Steve Osman.
That’s how the game would finish. A victory over a tough opponent, who’s journey home could’ve felt a little sour. The scoreline reflected the clinical nature of the Hornets, in a game that was very even.
McTimoney Chiropractic Bracknell Hornets goals:
- 04:06 Josh Ealey-Newman, assisted by Steve Osman
- 19:25 Ben Ealey-Newman, assisted by David Millner
- 39:37 Chris Cooke, assisted by Matt Foord
- 59:58 Steve Osman, assisted by Ben Ealey-Newman & Ryan Apsley – Empty Net Goal
Oxford City Stars goals:
- 06:44 Dax Hedges, assisted by Olly Shone & Joe Edwards
- 57:09 Mike Whillock, assisted by Joshua Florey & Ryan Widmar
Shots faced: Tom Annetts (BRA) 39 shots – 94.87%, Ross Miller (OXF) 33 shots – 90.91%
Penalties: Bracknell – 30 minutes & Oxford – 16 minutes
Electronic Game Sheet is available online at https://w.fixtureslive.com/staticapi.aspx?a=statzone_match.ashx%3ffixtureID%3d2219244
For all the Match Night Photos, please visit Hannah Kirsti Photography Flickr account at https://www.flickr.com/photos/148487722@N03/albums/72157711416838061