Big Tasty Report
Dragons Vs Islanders 18/05/2019
The Dragons took on the Whitley Islanders on Saturday in a reverse of the fixture from 2 weeks ago which so the sides take an equal share of the spoils in a hard fought 4-4 draw. The Dragons iced a line up that was missing several key players as well as having a few “walking wounded” in the line up to fill out their 2 lines. The Islanders too were missing a few of their usual line up most noticeably British Ice Hockey legend Simon Leach but were able to welcome netminder Anthony Markham and Captain Bobby Bradley back into their line up.
The first period started at a good pace with both sides testing the Markham and Davies in the each net. The Dragons were handed an early powerplay when Bobby Bradley was assessed a high sticking minor however were unable to really get any offence going. The Islanders took first blood on the 11 minute mark when Ben Buckley tipped a cross crease pass from Liam Brown. Craig Davies made the initial save but could do nothing about the rebound which Buckley hammered home from close range. The Dragons pushed back but Markham was equal to the efforts denying James Udell and Ian Greenwood’s long range attempts. The Dragons then found themselves back on the man advantage as Steven Stocks was called for cross checking followed shortly afterwards by Kevin Bucas who joined him for Interference handing the Dragons a brief 5 on 3 opportunity. The Islanders killed Stock’s penalty but with Bucas still in the box winger James Udell was able to find some room and fire a show low past a screened Markham in the Islanders net to tie the game going into the period break.
Sadly that was as good as it got for the Dragons as, with legs beginning to tire, the depth and class of the Islanders began to show through in the second period. Steven Brown got the lead after firing a shot on net which Davies would want back followed a few minute later by 2 goals in quick succession to take a strangle hold on the game. Liam Telfer broke in on Davies and stuffed a shot under the net minders pads to make it 3-1 and seconds later the impressive Ross Traill managed to produce a back hand shot from the side of the net which picked the top corner of Davies net to make it a 4-1 Islanders lead. The Dragons continued to skate and drew several penalties from the Islanders but found the Islanders defence and particularly Markham in net almost impenetrable. With the Dragons then in penalty trouble of their own with Ian Spraggon sitting for holding, Ross Tomlinson broke in alone on the Dragons net only to be hauled down by Brad Armitage. With several Dragons hovering round the puck Tomlinson was able to take advantage of their moment of hesitation and almost Ovechkin like, swept the puck into the net from being flat on the ice to make it 5-1.
The third period saw the Dragons tiring more and at time were only able to ice the puck rather than mount any sustained offensive pressure whilst the Islanders continued to attack in waves forcing Davies into action time and time again including a highlight real sprawling save to deny Wafer and Bradley in close. The Dragons netminders luck would run out again at the 44 minute mark when Craig Thompson won a clean face off to the right of the Dragons net and found Liam Brown who fired an unstoppable slap shot past a screened Davies. As with the second the goal was then followed up minutes later with 2 more in quick succession. Richie Crowe was able to deflect a David Cowey shot from close range to make it 7-1 before Ross Traill found himself all alone in the Dragons slot following an excellent feed from Telfer and made no mistake in grabbing his second of the game. The final 10 minutes of the game passed with both sides visibly tiring and unable to add any more to the score board. Man of the Match honours went to Liam Telfer of the Islanders and Ian Spraggon of the Dragons whilst Craig Davies picked up the Grinder of the game award for his effort in the loss.