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Chieftains silence the Thunder
11:28am Thursday 28th February 2013 in Sport
ICE HOCKEY: Chelmsford Chieftains cemented their place at the top of the league with a routine 8-2 defeat of struggling Milton Keynes Thunder on Sunday night at the Riverside.
Michael Ranby was the star with four goals to his name, the first time in his career he has hit a hat-trick and the first time he has hit four goals in a game.
Player-coach Gary Clarke opened the scoring early with just over 100 seconds on the clock with his linemates of Ranby and Julius Sinkovic providing the assists.
Less than a minute later it was 2-0 as Ranby got his first of the night with the assists going to Cameron Bartlett and Michael McKay.
MK went on a 5on3 powerplay five minutes later and were rewarded when Matt Roberts slotted past Ryan Bainborough to make it 2-1.
Just over the halfway point in the period Ranby struck again with Sinkovic and Clarke providing the support.
Seconds later it was 4-1 when Clarke got his second of the night with Sinkovic and Alex Green setting up Clarke to break through the middle of the ice and slot the puck past Mark Woolf in the Thunder net.
That was that for scoring in the first period and it was set up for a comfortable second period.
Clarke chose to mix the lines up and youngster Sean Barry got some decent ice-time and even provided a pass for Grant Bartlett to set up Ranby for his hat-trick goal at 24:43.
Later in the period Tibor Schneider took a harsh 2+10 call for checking from behind which was the most physical the game got as neither side seemed willing to play a tough game.
Bainborough had a quiet period facing just four shots making it up to 12 for the game at this point having only faced eight in the first period.
Two goals in five minutes either side of the 50-minute mark from Sinkovic, both assisted by Clarke, saw the Chieftains run up to 7-1 before Maxims Petruks scored a consolation goal for the Thunder against the run of play.
The six-goal advantage was restored moments later when Ranby notched his fourth with the assists this time going to Grant Bartlett and captain Danny Wright.
Ranby took home the man of the match award for the Chieftains while Matt Roberts took the honours for the visitors.
Sinkovic was awarded the Karen Bloomfield Memorial Trophy for Player of the Month for January.