SATURDAY: Sutton Sting 2 Chelmsford Chieftains 4;
SUNDAY: Chieftains 9 Sutton Sting 3
ICE HOCKEY: Gary Clarke’s men were in a bouyant mood on Sunday night after two convincing wins over the Northern sections Sutton Sting this past weekend.
Saturday night saw a tight game at the impressive Ice Sheffield arena, although for both sides it was their first run out of the season, so “summer legs” were clearly visible in some players.
The Chieftains went into the game with the intention of winning and it showed, as they went into a 2-0 lead in the first period with the goals coming from new signing Matt Turner and returnee Tibor Schneider, before Sutton hit a brace before the first interval to tie it up at 2-2.
Man of the match James Ayling and Grant Bartlett each scored in the second session to complete the night’s scoring and the long coach journey back from South Yorkshire a much more pleasant affair than if the Essex side had been beaten.
Netminder Ben Clements had a fairly quiet night in goal only facing 26 shots, while Dmitri Zimizodra at the other end faced 53 shots in a difficult night.
It was a different story on Sunday, as the Chieftains took a commanding lead early on and never looked back.
New signing Daniel Volrab got his Chieftains account off to a solid start by scoring a hat-trick while Darren Brown netted a brace and single markers came from Turner, Bartlett, Clarke and Luke Brittle, who also scored his first in a Chieftains jersey.
Three late goals from the visitors made the scoreline slightly more respectable, as it was 8-0 at one stage, but all in all it was a convincing performance from the defending double-winners and sent a clear message to the rest of the league.
Next Sunday will be a nother tough test, as the MK Lightning head to the Riverside for their first game here since the Chieftains dropped out the Premier League in 2008.
Nick Poole’s team are hotly tipped to be in the running for the EPL title this coming season, so it will be a tough encounter for former Lightning star Clarke's team.
Face off will be at 6.30pm and tickets cost from £5.50.