It was a hard fought game by a short-benched Sheffield team, but the Apsray Chester Deeside Dragons were victorious over the Scimitars this weekend with a 4-2 win to keep pace with the top of the league.
The Dragons were without Matt Wainwright and Andy McKinney this weekend, going into the game tied with Blackburn for 4th place in the league. The Dragons are only 4 points behind 2nd place Solihull, and 8 points behind 1st place Billingham. They also have a game in hand on both teams.
The last time the Scimitars were in the Den, it was a 6-0 shutout for the Dragons. The most recent time these two teams faced off was earlier this month, a 5-2 victory also for the Dragons. The last game for the Scimitars was an 8-1 loss to the Solihull Barons. Sheffield was fighting an uphill battle this weekend, as they only had 10 skaters and a goalie available vs the Dragons’ almost full bench.
It started off strong for the Dragons, as Alex Parry scored only 5 minutes in to make it 1-0 on a pass from Brodie Jesson. He added a second goal later in the first period to make it 2-0 on a pass from Jared Dickinson. Cade King would have the secondary assists on both goals, continuing a strong season for the newcomer.
The Dragons penalty kill has been strong, but at the halfway point of the second period, Sheffield cut the deficit to one as they made it 2-1 on a power play goal with Dickinson in the box. It made for a tense second period, and the Dragons finally restored their 2 goal lead with 1:38 left in the period to make it 3-1 on a goal from Jesson (assists to Parry and Dickinson).
It got even tenser in the third period, as Sheffield scored only 24 seconds in to make it 3-2. The Scimitars pushed hard, getting 10 shots on goalie Matt Croyle, who had another excellent performance for the Dragons, but Ross Kennedy got an empty net goal from 200ft away to make it 4-2 and put the victory on ice.
Credit has to go to the Scimitars, who skated hard all game despite only having 2 lines, and to the goalie, Nick Winters, who made 40 of 43 saves.
The Dragons are on the road this Saturday as they head to Hull to face the Jets. They will be back in the Den for a final game before Christmas on Sunday as they take on the Nottingham Lions! Doors open at 4:30, puck drops at 5:15, and you can get your tickets now!