MCKINNEYS HAT TRICK HELPS DRAGONS DISMANTLE SCIMITARS
The Aspray Chester Deeside Dragons entered 2023 with a bang, beating the Sheffield Scimitars (0-15-1) 9-3 on the back of Andy McKinney and Matthew Wainwright’s five-point nights to improve to 4-5-1 on the season and leapfrogging the Nottingham Lions (4-13-0) to 7th place in the league, still with 5 or more games in hand on every team above them. It was a slow starting game, as both sides spent the first period testing the other team, and there were no goals scored, though plenty of good chances.
The second period was where the Dragons came to life, as Andy McKinney scored his third goal of the season to open the scoring for the Dragons (assisted by leading scorer Ross Kennedy). McKinney has five goals on the season and all of them are at home, so we think it’s safe to say he likes being back in Deeside! Charlie Spridgeon added to the lead with his first of the season to make it 2-0 on a beautiful cross-crease pass from Wainwright before the Scimitars finally broke past goaltender Matt Croyle with a goal from Sam Parkin to make it 2-1 just after the Dragons finished a strong kill. The Dragons took three minor penalties in the second period and didn’t allow the Scimitars to score on any of them, but they did add a shorthanded tally with McKinney’s second of the night, assisted by Croyle for his first point of the season.
The third period was where the game really opened up for the Dragons, as they scored two quick goals to chase the Sheffield netminder (Kennedy from Petr Valusiak and McKinney, Wainwright from Jared Dickinson and Ethan Daintith, who was making his debut for the Dragons), before adding another two (McKinney’s hat trick goal from Alex Parry, and Dickinson from Wainwright) for a total of four unanswered goals in the opening 5:01 of the third period to make it 7-1. The Scimitars showed some fight, with Parkin scoring his second of the night with just under 9 minutes to play, but the Dragons added a power play goal from Wainwright for his second of the game (assists to McKinney and Valusiak). the Scimitars had one final push, finally capitalising on their sixth power play of the game (including an almost full two minutes of five on three) with a goal from Josh Yeardley that just rolled past Croyle, but Captain James Parsons put the final dagger in with a late goal to make it 9-3 (assists to Valusiak and Wainwright). With the biggest crowd of the season so far for the Dragons, this was a fantastic game to show new and old fans what this Dragons team is capable of, as they go into a tough weekend.
The Dragon’s next game is against the Solway Sharks (15-1-1, 1st place, undefeated at home) in Dumfries on January 14th, before coming home to play the Billingham Stars on January 15th (12-7-0, 3rd place).