Chieftains go back top of the league

ICE HOCKEY: After a riotous 14-3 drubbing of the Streatham Redskins on Saturday night in the NIHL Cup, the Chieftains were in good form heading into Sunday’s clash with the Invicta Dynamos in a game that if they won would see them go back to the top of the league thanks to Romford’s recent dip in form.

The first period was all Chelmsford with shots flying in from all over the ice, yet former Chieftain David Wride played a blinder of a period and kept the marauding forwards at bay.

Against the run of play, Nathanial Rose put the home side ahead before the first break in the game and it looked like it might not just be the Chieftains night.

Justin Noble then doubled the home side’s lead in the second period and the heads in the stands dropped as it looked like another disappointing night was on the cards.

However, the players on the bench rallied round and battled back into the game with goals coming from James Ayling and Gary Clarke to tie the game at 2-2 at the second interval.

A late surge from the Dynamos looked like they may sneak it, but a late late goal from Tibor Schneider put the Chieftains ahead and at the same the news had filtered through that the Raiders had lost at home to Bracknell Hornets so Chelmsford would now go top of the league by one point.

Saturday night was the Julius Sinkovic show as he ran in eight goals and provided another in a one-sided affair after a close first period that ended 3-2 to the home side with goals from Tom Castle and a brace from Sinkovic.

In the second Sinkovic got a hat-trick while James Ayling dispatched a penalty shot and individual markers came from Darren Brown, Clarke and Ross Brears.

Into the third and Sinkovic ran in another hat-trick while Clarke doubled his tally for the night with a solo effort. Also on Sunday night the Warriors returned to winning ways with a tight 5-4 win over the Swindon Wildcats.

The goals came from Gary Brown, Lee Hounslow, Tom Wilson with two and Perry Whitlock. Next weekend sees just the one game for the Chieftains and quite simply it doesn’t get any bigger than this.

It’s Romford Raiders at the Riverside on Sunday night at 6.30pm with both sides needing the win to keep things interesting at the top of the league.

The controversy surrounding these games on and off the ice this season means a packed house is in prospect and it will be a tense and exciting atmosphere.

Team GB Bronze medallist from London 2012, and Essex’s own, Chloe Rogers will be in attendance to do a ceremonial puck drop before the game and present the man of the match at the end of the game.

Chloe will also be on hand during the period breaks and before the game to meet the fans.

* HOME: Sunday, February 3 v Romford Raiders 6.30pm (League)

* AWAY: Sunday, February 10 , Solent and Gosport Devils (away) 6.30pm (League)

* WARRIORS HOME: Sunday, February 10 v Wightlink Tigers 6.30pm.

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