13 Mar Okanagan UK Close Gap At Top of Table
OHA UK took on league leaders Swindon at the Link Centre in the final league meeting between the teams this season. With the series between the two teams tied, both were looking to take the upper hand in the battle for the league top spot.
The first period was an even affair with both teams playing well defensively and both netminders looking in top form. The OHA line of Reed Sayers, Jack Goodchild and Oli Endicott were looking dangerous, and Jack Goodchild came closest to opening the score line, beating the Swindon netminder only to see the effort hit the Swindon pipe. The game remained scoreless going into the first break, but Okanagan looked more dangerous of the teams as the period went into the final minutes.
The second period saw Swindon take the lead early on, within the opening 2 minutes. OHA giving up a two on one rush, with Swindon moving the puck to the back post before finishing to take the first lead of the match. Okanagan were level though on the very next shift however. Good work low from Aaron Moody and Jess Sprules worked the puck to Joe Llewellyn at the blueline who fired in a hard shot from the point, Jess Sprules getting the redirect to level the score at 1-1 and notch up her first goal for OHA UK. OHA were looking strong defensively and up from Goodchild hit the post again as the team went looking for the go ahead goal. Swindon however put OHA on the back foot again, after a strong Penalty Kill returned to full strength before forcing a turnover in the OHA zone and finding a pass in front that deflected in to take a 2-1 lead. Again, OHA battled back into the game. Strong work from Lucas Arto on the forecheck, allowed Aaron Moody to move the puck to the point, and Sam Taci fired in a shot that Jess Sprules again was on hand in front to apply an intelligent redirect into the back post and tie the score 2-2.
The third period saw OHA UK get onto the front foot and start really forcing the game as they went looking for the win. Reed Sayers, Jack Goodchild and Oli Endicott had been looking strong all match and finally found the breakthrough at 46.55, breaking down the left wing, before Endicott found Goodchild in the slot who applied the finish to give OHA their first lead of the match. And the same line doubled Okanagan’s lead four minutes later as, Reed Sayers cut across the Swindon Blueline before finding Jack Goodchild in the slot who finished well across the Swindon Netminder. OHA defended well to limit Swindon’s chance’s as they looked to battled back into the game. Max Licht was looking strong in net, and OHA played out the final minutes, controlling the puck well to take the win 4-2 and take two vital points as they close the gap on Swindon in first place to 5 points, with 3 games in hand. Jess Sprules taking player of the match with her two goal performance.
OHA UK will be back in action at the Link Centre next Saturday, March 16th vs Basingstoke. Face Off 1pm.