Bristol Street Motors Solihull Barons 7 Deeside Dragons 5
After the previous weekend’s scare away at Deeside the Bristol Street Motors Solihull Barons stepped on to the ice keen to avoid a repeat in the return fixture at the Solihull rink.
The Barons would, however, have a tough game against a determined and fast-charging Dragons side.
Things got off to a tricky start for the Barons when a soft Tomas Janak penalty put the Dragons on the powerplay within the first minute.
It would, however, be the Barons who made the most of the extra space on the ice with the shorthanded forward line of Rich Slater and Joe Henry working to give the latter the Barons’ opening goal.
The Barons remained on the offensive for much of the first period but a rapid attack by the Dragons after just ten minutes saw the Welsh side draw level and marked a brief spell of Deeside offensive play.
The Barons worked to pin them back with this effort bearing fruit with five minutes of the period to go, Niklas Ottosson from the goal-line finding a charging Ed Eaton racing up centre ice to give the Barons goal No.2. The score would remain 2-1 in favour of the Barons, however, the period ended with an altercation as the Barons’ Ryan Selwood and Deeside’s Tomas Mitrik shared differences.
The Barons extended their lead to a margin of two, five minutes into the second period, Joe Henry having all the time of the day to pick his spot above a sprawling Matty Compton. Two minutes later, however, and a rapid Deeside breakaway cut through the Barons’ defence, Mick Jones getting the goal.
By 33 minutes the Barons had restored their two-goal lead, Rich Slater with a tap-in from a few feet. A minute later and the Barons pulled out a three-goal buffer for the first time in the evening.
Niklas Ottosson’s dramatic waltz up the ice ended in a blocked shot but catching the rebound the Swede found Daniel Harrison in space and the defenceman made no mistake for Barons’ goal No.5.
By period end the Barons’ scoring was in free flow with Dave Rogers and Joe Henry taking the tally to 7-2 by the 40-minute mark.
The final period began with a goal for the Dragons, Andrew Chappell finding the net, the Welsh side making the most of the period break to recharge their short bench. The play would continue in the Barons’ end and Deeside would be rewarded with a fourth goal within the first five minutes of the restart, Tomas Mitrik this time.
By eight minutes the Dragons had pulled to within two goals of the Barons’ previously-solid lead, Chris Jones putting the puck through the ironwork.
The remainder of the period would see the Dragons throw all their efforts into salvaging what points they could from the tie, however the Barons would hang on for the 7-5 win.
The Barons have a busy weekend coming up with a six-point away double-header. Solihull, alongside a large travelling support, take the short hop along the A45 on Saturday to take on the Coventry Blaze, a game which will see them clinch the league title with a draw or better, while on Sunday they travel to Hull for a double-points game against the Jets.
The Barons are back on home ice on Sunday March 22 when they welcome second-placed side and local rivals,the Telford Tigers, to Hobs Moat, the Tigers having hosted the Barons the previous evening.