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Solihull Barons 17 Bradford Bulldogs 1: Nik and Tom help Barons to muzzle spirited Bulldogs

The Barons having yet to drop a point in the league and the Bulldogs yet to win one

Keith Davies Niklas Ottosson on his return to the Barons
Niklas Ottosson on his return to the Barons

For what was billed by most to be a walkover – the Barons having yet to drop a point in the league and the Bulldogs yet to win one – the first half of the first period was tighter than many might have expected.

Tight Bradford defences and a Barons offence struggling to find the final touch ensured the first ten minutes of the game remained scoreless.

The deadlock was broken shortly after the middle of the period, the Barons Jake Larkin firing in the opener as he raced down the right hand side of the ice.

The lead was doubled shortly thereafter, Tom Soar firing a rocket of a slapshot from the left hand half boards for goal number two.

A spell of five on three powerplay gave the Bulldogs a bit of hope of staying in the game, however the Yorkshire side failed to capitalise and it was Soar who rounded of the first period’s scoring with his second and the Barons third goal just before the period end.

The second period continued in a similar manner, with the Barons in the ascendancy and play almost entirely in the Bradford end but the Bulldogs put up a solid defensive performance belying their lowly league position.

Goals would come and by the end of the second 20 minutes the Barons were eight goals to the good, Ed Eaton, Erik Bakalar, Rich Slater, Joe Henry and Niklas Ottosson on his return to the Solihull squad following a spell in the Elite league, all found the net for the Barons.

The final period saw the two lines of Bradford players tire while the Barons would get into full scoring flow. Of particular note was the Ottosson, Eaton, Soar forward line, responsible for four goals in the final period and which became visibly stronger as the game went on and they became reacquainted following the return of Ottosson.

In addition to this line the Bradford net was also found by Erik Bakalar, Andy Whitehouse, Josh Bruce, Simon Harrison and Rob Eley with a cheeky backhand tap in from just outside the Bradford goal crease.

Bradford managed a consolation goal courtesy of Corey Stones to leave the score 17 to 1.

n On Saturday Barons take on Telford Tigers in what is likely to be the trickiest tie of the season so far. Sunday will see the Barons back on home ice for a big A45 derby, as the squad welcome rivals Coventry NL Blaze Face-off 6pm.

 

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