16 Sep OHA UK make it two wins from two!
OHA UK matched up versus local rivals Swindon for their second game of the season. Coming off the back of a promising opening weekend win, the academy were looking to build and this game would prove another strong early test for the 2019-20 team. Swindon pushed OHA all the way in the league title run last year and will be amongst the top teams once again.
OHA UK got off to a strong start in the early stages, moving the puck around well and generating early offence. Swindon Netminder Amelia Mcginlay was called into action several times, making several key stops to keep the game scoreless. Okanagan were finding plenty of shots to net, but unable to get the final touch on rebounds and pucks bouncing around the slot when there seemed a goal coming. At the other end OHA had new recruit Mil Moons making his first start in the net and looking comfortable and composed when called into action. It took OHA till 18.11 to break the deadlock. Strong battling behind the net from Jack Goodchild and Cain Russell, saw Goodchild find time to slot the puck out into the slot, with defenseman Bow Neely crashing down and finding a first-time finish to register his opening goal as an OHA player.
The second period saw Okanagan come out firing again and waste no time in doubling their lead. After excellent work in the D zone from Levente Pakozdi to strip the puck from Swindon, Leandro Pennisi broke wide on a 2v1 and found the killer pass to Josh Shaw who finished neatly into the top corner at 22.18. At 28.38 OHA made the lead 3-0. After extended spell of pressure Cain Russell slipped a pass out into the slot from under the goal line to Oli Endicott, who saw his initial effort saved, but kept with it to put his own rebound home passed the sprawling Mcginlay. Swindon didn’t stop pushing however and had their best spell of the match in the second half of the middle period. They came back hard, with Max Chamberlain and Jasper Foster both forcing good saves from Mil Moons. And late in the period they pulled the game back to 3-1. Off a quick rush Jayden Harris being on the spot to tuck home a rebound calmly and take the game into the break with a two-goal difference.
In the third period OHA were again quick to get onto the scoreboard. Off a faceoff win in the attack zone whilst on the Power-Play, Jack Goodchild found Bow Neely on the point who fired in an intelligent low shot for Oli Endicott to redirect high into the near top corner. Less than a minute later Joe Llewellyn sealed the win, notching the Academy’s fifth, with a strong point shot, that rifled straight into the top corner. Final score 5-1 to OHA UK. Player of the game going to new recruit Bowdyn Neely on his second game and marking an impressive performance for the defenseman.
OHA UK Assistant Coach Jamie Elson said “For only the second week together the team is already starting to come together well, and we saw lot’s of positive once again today. The boys have taken a lot on board already, and we can start to see what type of team we are going to be. We are young but have great speed which is exciting. We have to continue to build and get better each week as the league looks to be a lot more balanced this year, and there will be far more tough games which is better for everyone.”