First game of the new year against Kilmarnock, this is always a rough game and proved to be just that with penalty minutes for both teams hitting 50 mins. Both teams were a wee bit rusty in the first period after the festive break but the Wild managed to go 3-0 up. Into the second period and the Wild were beginning to wakeup with a constant pressure on the Kilmarnock net minder, 30 shots in total although just managing to scored with 6 of them, finishing the period 9-0. The 3rd period saw the Wild coast alonghowever Kilmarnock Thunder were constantly playing with 4 men on the ice with one player taking 45 mins of penaltiesalone. Wild’s Adam Kerr got called for fighting which saw him and his opponent leave the ice. Kilmarnock then started to play good hockey and managed to score 2 goals but Wild were not giving up and also scored goals finishing the game 14-2. Man of the Match: Scott Cowan.
1st weekend back in action saw mixed results.
Saturday 4th January.
Scottish Cup Game – North Ayrshire Predators v Solway Sharks JIHC at Dumfries Ice Bowl.
Happy New Year and what better way to start it than a Scottish Cup road trip to Dumfries for our Under 16’s The Predators. Any worries that the 1st game back after the Christmas break would slow them down were dismissed with a lovely shot from Kyle Forsyth after only 3 minutes. With the Predators putting the pressure on, it was Josh Carslaw who scored twice within 40 seconds just after the 9 minute mark. The Predators entered the 2nd period with a 3 goal lead, but it was Solway who scored next to relight the game, this looked to be turning when Predators suffered a penalty for interference and played with only 4 players, but never fear, Jack Neil took the puck a wander and found the back of their net. With a strong lead and a fresh team, the Predators were able to give their younger players more ice time, with 7 players regular Stars players (U14’s) this was a good opportunity for them to put into practice what they had been learning from & with their peers in the Predators. Back to full strength, it was youngster Flynn Massie who scored his 1st goal for the Predators. This NA Star re-directed a blue line shot from Aedan Monaghan to score. There was no stopping the Predators as next up Dylan Murray slotted his 1st of the game with such skill & ease this prompting Flynn to follow his lead and press forward to score his second. With the net minders changing over, Harry Campbell gave way to Calum Simmonds. The final period started as the last had ended with Predators out shooting Solway with more goals from Jack & Kyle before Solway sneaked one into our net. Not to let this get them off their stride, it was D-Man Kerr Drummond who pulled off his trademark blue line slap shot to score his 1st this season as a 2nd year train up Star. And they didn’t stop there, Jack had a lovely breakaway goal 18 seconds later, then Dylan has a trail of Solway players chasing him down before scoring his 2nd 44 seconds later. With such an advantage for the Predators, Jacob Woods decided to take advantage of a bottleneck in the corner of the rink and when the puck re-emerged and headed his way, he slotted home his 1st Predators goal. This was followed by another from Kyle & Dylan before Antony Curlett powered home the final goal of the day making it a resounding finish for the Predators with the score finishing 16 – 2 and Man of the Match going to Liam Houston.
North Ayrshire Wild v Kilmarnock Thunder at Auchenharvie Ice Rink, Stevenston.
Next week the Wild have Aberdeen at home on the Saturday and then travel to Dundee on the Sunday.
Sunday 5th January
North Ayrshire Stars v Dundee Stars Juniors U14’s at Dundee Ice Arena
The Stars 1st game of the year saw them take to the road and travel through to Dundee to take on their U14’s. With these teams are equally matched, this was going to be a great 1st game back and any signs of easing into it were quickly banished when our Stars were on the puck as soon as it dropped and lovely team work from Liam Houston & Flynn Massie created panic from Dundee net minder as Emma Lamberton effortlessly slid the puck past him with less than a minute played. The team then dropped to 4 players but the strong defending and cycling of the puck mean Dundee couldn’t take advantage of that and when Stars returned to full strength, their push on goal was strong but in the 10th minute it was Dundee who scored their 1st goal of the game. The 2nd period was not a good one for our Stars, although they came out looking for it a few penalties saw them play with only 3 players to Dundee’s 5, but again the penalty kill defence stood strong, but this couldn’t continue and with only 12 seconds of the 4 on 5 remaining Dundee scored and our Stars looked rattled and lost their way a little, conceding another goal 3 minutes later. A pep talk from coaches during the 2 min break seemed to work with Stars rushing their net & it eventually paid off with a breakaway from Flynn Massie resulting in our 2nd goal, but with only 57 seconds left was there time to level it? Dundee felt there was and called a time out but Stars continued and Massie was denied his 2nd goal by their minder. Despite this fantastic comeback, it wasn’t to be and the game finished 3 – 2 to the Dundee Star Juniors. But it sure was an explosive return to the ice and a sign of good team play is always what we are looking for. Man of the Match went to Rhys Deeley for solid defending.
North Ayrshire Predators v Dundee Stars Juniors U16’s at Dundee Ice Arena
The Predators 2nd game in 2 days was going to be tougher than their previous one with 7 of their players having just finished playing a tiring game with the U14’s. Dundee came out strong and totally caught the Predators on the hop with 3 quick goals which broke our spirit…but just a little. Predators soon regrouped and fought for a come back with goals from Dylan Murray (2), Jack Neil & Jacob Woods but it wasn’t enough and the game ended 13 – 4 to our hosts with Jacob getting Man of the Match this time.
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