05 Mar OHA UK Four Point Weekend
Okanagan Hockey Academy UK ice hockey team continued their chase on first place Swindon with a four-point weekend, helping them close the gap further on the league leaders.
First up Saturday was a visit from Chelmsford, as they visited the Link Centre for the second time this season. Travelling short benched the Chelmsford team battled hard early on, making OHA UK work hard for chances in the opening shifts. And it took 9 minutes of the opening period before OHA got onto the scoreboard. A great solo effort from Defenseman Sam Taci, on what turned out to be a man of the match display for Taci. The line of Oli Endicott doubled the lead four minutes later, starting a spell of 4 goals in under two minutes, to take OHA to a first period lead of 5-0. Chelmsford’s small bench began to show as the game went on, and the Academy continued to apply pressure and move the puck well with the whole team contributing as they began to run up the scoreboard late on. OHA eventually running out 17-0 winners. David Jilek picking up the shut-out in net.
Sunday the team were back in action as they hit the road to Basingstoke looking to avenge the loss that Basingstoke inflicted on OHA last time the two teams met. And OHA really put in a battling road display, coming out hard from the first face-off and really taking hold of the game in the early stages. Lucas Arto gave OHA the lead on the second shift of the game, cutting in from wide before releasing a strong shot back across the netminder. And at 15.15 the Academy doubled their lead. Whilst killing a penalty, hard work from Reed Sayers released Jack Goodchild to break down the left wing, who finished well, picking a bottom corner. And OHA were really on the front foot at this point and extended to a 3-0 lead when Reed Sayers picked up a loose puck and cut in to score giving a first period 3-0 lead to the visitors.
Basingstoke came out refreshed and battling hard in the 2nd and 3rd periods and really took the game to Okanagan as they looked to battle their way back into the match. And two early strikes in the second brought the game right back to a one goal game at 3-2. But a Reed Sayers marker at the 27-minute mark settled OHA back down and stopped the momentum Basingstoke had been building. Max Licht was in stand out form in the Okanagan net, and really produced a couple of high end saves to keep OHA’s lead at two as Basingstoke’s forwards produced some opportunities. Some great play by Jack Goodchild and Reed Sayers under the goal line set up Oli Endicott in the high slot who finished top corner, for OHA’s fifth goal early in the third and rounded off the scoring and meant a four-point weekend for OHA UK. Max Licht picking up man of the match for OHA.
With these points, OHA continues to close the gap on Swindon in first place and both teams now meet this Sunday 10th March at the Link Centre, face-off 1pm for a 1st vs 2nd match-up.