A Solemn Prelude: Honouring a Fallen Hero
Before any sticks clashed or goals were scored, a hushed silence enveloped the Deeside Ice Arena. Players and fans of both the Deeside Dragons and Solihull Barons united in a poignant moment of silence to pay respects to Adam Johnson of the Nottingham Panthers, who tragically passed away in an on-ice accident. This was followed by a heartfelt period of appreciation for the late player, creating an atmosphere of solemn reflection.
First Period: Facing Early Adversity with Resilience
The Deeside Dragons were under immediate pressure, giving away an early icing call that put them on the back foot. Seizing the opportunity, the Barons executed swift, intricate passes that culminated in Niklas Ottosson scoring past Dragons’ goalie Matt Croyle just 26 seconds into the game.
Unperturbed by this early setback, the Dragons showcased exemplary offensive play. Their efforts bore fruit in the 9th minute when Jared Dickinson (#61) capitalised on a defensive blunder by the Barons to equalise. The Dragons then ramped up their offensive game. Petr Valusiak (#79) netted a second, aided by an ingenious assist from Brodie Jesson (#78). Michael Clancy (#33) further extended the lead with an awe-inspiring one-on-one finish.
The Dragons ended the first period on a high note, boasting 10 shots on goal compared to the Barons’ 7.
#33 MJ Makes it 3 – 1 to the Dragons.
Second Period: A Roller-coaster of Emotions
Continuing their momentum, the Dragons widened the gap to 4-1 just two minutes into the second period. Ross Kennedy (#55) initiated a perfect break from defence, assisting Andy McKinney (#29) who made no mistake in slotting the puck past the Barons’ netminder.
However, a rejuvenated Barons side clawed back into the game. A power-play goal from Philip Mulcahy was shortly followed by Ottosson completing his hat-trick, leveling the score at 4-4. The Dragons quickly recovered their lead, thanks to another goal from Valusiak, assisted by Jesson. Both teams ended the period with 13 shots on goal, leaving spectators on the edge of their seats.
Third Period: A Nail-Biting Finale
The final period was an epitome of high-octane action. Jesson found the net once again, this time assisted by Dylan Webb (#89), to provide the Dragons with a much-needed cushion. However, the Barons were far from done. A short-handed goal from Mulcahy and an equaliser from Sam Chandler brought the score to a tense 6-6 tie.
it was fitting that this goal was scored in the 47th minute of the game. 2 teams going toe to toe and giving it their everything for the sport they love and on the 47th Minuet of this intense game the 2 teams drew level. Everyone in the Deeside Ice Arena were on the edge of their seats here, the game really could go either way.
As fans held their breath, Jesson, once again aided by Kennedy, scored a long-range screamer to make it 7-6 for the Dragons. The Barons responded with another short-handed goal from Ottosson, but ultimately, it was McKinney who had the last word. Assisted by Matt Wainwright (#13), he scored the match-winning goal, making it 8-7 for the Dragons.
The Dragons controlled the puck well in the dying moments, ensuring a well-deserved victory and maintaining their perfect record for October with five wins in five games. They find themselves in a respectable 5th place in the standings, affirming their status as a force to be reckoned with in the league.