For the second time in less than two months, the Buccaneers headed to Flintshire to take on the Phantoms at Deeside. After suffering a 9-3 loss in the previous outing, the Buccs were hoping for a better result this time out.
The game started at a frantic pace with Flintshire taking control of the play straight away. Early pressure in the Buccaneers zone paid off as after four minutes, Dallavalle opened the scoring for the home side from Liebelt and Chalmers. Dallavalle then doubled the advantage just 5 minutes later. Another couple of quick-fire goals on the 14 and 16 minute marks from Meadows and Perrett meant the Welsh side went into the first intermission with a 4-goal cushion.
Whilst the Buccaneers weren’t necessarily poor, the speed at which Flintshire moved the puck around the zone often created time and space in front of the Buccs’ goal for good scoring opportunities.
The second period started much brighter for the Buccs. A rush into the Flintshire zone resulted in a face-off. Michael McLoughlin won the draw back to Michael Walsh on the point who fired a slapshot into the top corner to cut the lead to 3. Any momentum gained from that goal was soon cooled though as Liebelt went back up the other end for his first of the night, Dallavalle getting the assist.
Despite some chances at either end and a period of sustained pressure on the Buccaneers goal, Glen Rattray made sure that there was no further scoring with some fine saves.
Into the third period and the Buccaneers found themselves on a powerplay. However it would be Flintshire who would see the benefit as a combination of defensive confusion and a fortunate bounce left Wilson all alone in front of the Buccs net to make it 6-1. The visitors weren’t for giving up though and would get their second of the night when Sam Towse fired in from the point. The shot was stopped by Michael McLoughlin who back-handed in from a narrow angle. In the closing stages, Flintshire began to take control of the game again and a lovely snipe from Perrett was followed up by Liebelt’s second of the evening to wrap up the scoring. Final score Flintshire Phantoms 8-2 Blackburn Buccaneers.
I think the effort was there on the night but unfortunately yet another poor start in Deeside has cost us.
MVP for the Phantoms was James Ashbrook who caused havoc in the Buccaneers zone from start to finish. For the Buccaneers, it was Glen Rattray who was stellar between the pipes. A special mention goes to Wes Evans and Ricky Palmer who made their debuts for the club.
Dallavalle – 4 minutes
Steeves – 2 minutes
Bench – 2 minutes