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Barons douse local rivals Blaze to become champs

Solihull Barons clinched the 2013-14 Laidler Conference title.

Keith Davies Solihull Barons clinched the 2013-14 Laidler Conference title.
Solihull Barons clinched the 2013-14 Laidler Conference title.

Solihull Barons made the short trip along the A45 to Coventry to take on the National League Blaze knowing that a point, regardless of results elsewhere, would secure the 2013-14 Laidler Conference title.

A large travelling support gathered in the Skydome to watch the final clash of the two West Midlands sides this season.

The first period saw the Barons exert most of the pressure, restricting the Blaze to attacks on the counter.

In the eighth minute Dave Rogers broke into the Blaze end and, while his shot was parried over, the Barons forward was able to recover the puck and flick it to Joe Henry who made no mistake.

The remainder of the period saw the Barons continue to press but to no avail as the sides went into the dressing rooms at the end of the first period separated only by the single goal.

Murmurs in the first period break confirmed that title rivals the Deeside Dragons had just dropped two points and the title was now the Barons’, whatever the result.

Regardless of the news, the second period continued in much the same way, with the Barons holding the offensive balance.

They capitalised in the 25th minute when Josh Bruce picked up a pass from Ryan Selwood before taking a couple of bites to put the puck past Adam Goss in the Blaze net.

The remainder of the period was fairly scruffy with both sides failing to convert power play opportunities.

The final couple of minutes, however, saw a spell of Blaze pressure and frantic defence from the Barons before Josh Nicklin found a way through.

With the Barons’ lead back down to a single goal it was left to Bruce to restore the two-goal buffer and mid-period power play gave the perfect opportunity.

Perry Doyle found Bruce in acres of space in neutral ice giving the Solihull forward a clean run on goal before slotting the puck through the legs of Goss in the Blaze net for Barons third and final goal of the night.

This was by no means a classic game, the Barons lacking some of the fluidity seen on home ice.

However, winning ugly, as the cliche goes, is all part of the skill set of champions.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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