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Devils hit for a dozen as Chieftains go top
11:30am Wednesday 20th February 2013 in Sport
ICE HOCKEY: A convincing 12-0 win for the Chelmsford Chieftains on Sunday night saw them return to the top of the NIHL division 1 as fierce rivals Romford Raiders slipped to a 7-5 home defeat to fifth-placed Invicta Dynamos.
Julius Sinkovic got the ball rolling early on and Tibor Schneider scored a peach of a goal before the period ended to leave the home side 2-0 up going into the break.
Only three goals came in the second period courtesy of a Gary Clarke brace and Danny Hammond strike.
This game was Hammond’s 300th in Chieftains colours and makes him the tenth highest appearance maker in the club’s history. He has some way to go to overtake leaders Danny Wright (531 games) and Richard Whiting with 526 games but with youth on his side and at least two more seasons at the Riverside, he should comfortably rise up the listings.
In his time he has scored 266 goals and notched over 210 assists, which puts him seventh overall in points scored just a few points behind Duane Ward in sixth.
Clarke also broke a milestone against Solent in that he broke the 100 goals in Chieftains colours mark in what was only his 93rd game.
Into the final session and it was one-way traffic as a procession of goals went in, but it was a fair spread of goals as Michael Ranby scored the first of the period followed up by single markers from Ross Brears and Cameron Bartlett.
Twin brother Grant Bartlett was next to score a goal and then it was the defence’s turn to become the strikeforce as Sean Easton netted before Schneider got his second of the night late on to round out the scoring.
Ben Clements had a quiet, but excellent, night in goal for the home side. Hammond though took home the man of the match award.
Next weekend sees strugglers MK Thunder come to the Riverside with a team containing former Chieftains coach Simon Howard and defence legend Dwayne “Dog” Newman in what should be an entertaining and tricky encounter.
With every game mattering now, the Chieftains will be looking to put one over the Thunder and establish themselves as the team to beat when it comes to lifting the league title.
Any one of three teams can win the league now with Wightlink Raiders a point behind the Chieftains and Romford a point further back but having played a game more.
The Chieftains have eight games to go, but it’s still anyone’s to win.