Saturday 14th May saw the Buccaneers travel to Grimsby to take on the Stormers in the fourth game of the Summer Classic. Home and away wins over Kingston City Knights and a victory and Ice Sheffield against the Ice Tigers meant the Buccs were heading into this as unbeaten league leaders. The Stormers were unbeaten themselves after their only game – a 5-3 win over the Knights at Hull Arena.
Something had to give and once the tractor had done a couple of laps of the rink, the puck was dropped. It took only 20 seconds for Grimsby to get off the mark, a goalmouth scramble ensued after a good first save from Rob Tomlin and Lewis Fenwick was on hand to force the puck home with Kyle Quinn picking up an assist.
The Buccaneers were clearly struggling to adapt to the small ice surface and with 4.28 on the clock, the deficit was 2 as Jason Hague scored from the sideboards, a spin-o-rama fooling the Buccaneers defenceman and catching Tomlin off-guard.
The Buccs continued to weather pressure from the Stormers who were relentlessly piling forward, only a string of fine saves from Rob Tomlin keeping the scoreline close. Tomlin’s goal would be breached again on 12.08 and it was Hague on target again with Ian Clark and Steve Drew bagging the extras.
The visitors were growing in confidence as the period went on and with 33 seconds left in the first, Buccaneers captain Michael Walsh got them on the board. After the first shot from Craig Pennington was foiled, the rebound fell to Walsh who back-handed through traffic and past Wood in the Stormers goal. End of the first and it was 3-1 Stormers.
The goal at the end of the first had given the Buccaneers some confidence and they come out stronger in the second period. However, it was the Stormers who would get the next goal, Quinn scoring from Fenwick. The Buccs hit back instantly with Mark Jenkins taking advantage of a big bounce off the boards and firing in unassisted.
Then came a ruthless spell of scoring from the home side. In the space of 5 minutes, a goal from Nick Woods and Hague’s 3rd and 4th of the game put the Stormers in a commanding 7-2 lead. Towards the end of the second, the Stormers began getting into penalty trouble, facing a number of penalty kills including a 5-on-3. Unfortunately for the Buccs, they couldn’t take advantage and went into the break down 7 goals to 2. The game could have been well beyond reach for the Buccs had it not been for a stellar performance between the pipes from Tomlin.
The Buccaneers powerplay fortunes did change after the puck-drop in the third. Whilst Fenwick was serving his second minor penalty Mark Jenkins took full advantage to get his second and the Buccaneers third with Pennington getting his second assist of the game. The lead was then cut to 3 when Mark Higson got a reward for his efforts on 45.37 with Sam Towse and Darren Shaw providing the service.
Fenwick’s second of the game restored the 4 goal lead for the Stormers. The Buccs hit right back though – the link-up play between Pennington and Jenkins had been superb all night and this time it was Pennington who picked up the goal with Jenkins as provider.
Any hopes of a thrilling comeback were dashed though as Hague completed his scoring for the night with his 5th and the Stormers 9th with Steve Drew completing a trio of assists and Woods also picking up an extra. Woods then grabbed his second of the game before Fenwick completed his hat-trick, putting the result beyond doubt.
The Buccs did have one more goal in them though as Jenkins completed his hat-trick with Pennington completing notching a third assist.
The final buzzer went and it was the Stormers who were celebrating an 11-6 victory – ending the Buccaneers unbeaten run in the league and making it 2/2 for their own campaign.
We asked Buccaneers forward Sam Towse for this thoughts on the game:
It’s probably fair to say that the size of the rink was a bit too difficult to overcome. We paid the price for a slow start while we got used to the size of the pad and never fully recovered. We had a couple of chances to get back into it but then had a couple of lapses and let it slip again. Tomlin had the best game I’ve seen from a rec goalie. Hopefully it will be a different game on the bigger ice at Blackburn.
MVP for the Buccaneers was Michael McLoughlin. The assistant captain then chose to re-present the award in the changing rooms to Rob Tomlin. MVP for the Stormers was 5-goal star Jason Hague.
- Jenkins 3+1
- Pennington 1+3
- Higson 1+0
- Walsh 1+0
- Towse 0+1
- Shaw 0+1
- Hague 5+0
- Fenwick 3+1
- Woods 2+1
- Quinn 1+1
- Drew 0+3
- Clark 0+3
- Yorston 0+3
- Spencer 4mins
- Jenkins 4mins
- Fenwick 4mins
- Quinn 2mins
- Hague 2mins
- Bratley 2mins
- Yorston 2mins
The Buccaneers return to action on Sunday 22nd May taking on the Wyre Seagulls in an ‘away’ game at Blackburn Arena. Faceoff 6pm.