Elite vs Sheffield 01.10.17
The Diamonds Elite look to follow the Premier team’s lead as they search for a victory to kick-start their 2017/18 campaign with a short away trip to Sheffield, to play Yorkshire rivals, the Shadows.
The 1st October saw the Diamonds Elite head to Sheffield in their first game of the new season, with a couple of changes in personnel with various players leaving/joining the Diamonds it was to be a litmus test for the changed team, as they came up against a Sheffield team who had also had some changes over the off-season.
The Diamonds were not deterred by facing some former teammates and started the game strongly, getting some good chances early on. At 12.13 the deadlock was broken as Kirsten Deighton, returning to the ice after surgery just a couple of weeks before the season opener, fired home the puck off a nice pass from behind the net by Shannon Jones.
Just 2 minutes later, the Diamonds doubled their lead on the powerplay. Hannah Worthington made a nice play down low to get a shot on goal and Carla Clark picked up the rebound shovelling it home for 0-2 at 14.15
The Kingston girls kept their foot on the gas and extended their lead again at 18.30. Sheffield were penalised for having too many players on the ice and their ill-discipline cost them again as the Diamonds converted on the powerplay. Shannon Jones entered the zone with speed and got the puck to behind the net, where Kiana Tait picked it up and banked it in off the Sheffield netminder from almost behind the goal-line! The period finished with the Diamonds leading 0-3.
Sheffield started the second period much more strongly and, with Reagan Downing in the penalty box for tripping, they cut the deficit to 1-3 at 24.32 as ex-Diamond Abbie Culshaw converted on the powerplay.
Less than a minute later an awkward bounce at the Sheffield blue-line gave Jodie Bloom a breakaway and she made no mistake, finishing low past Holly Steeples to bring the game to 2-3.
The Diamonds got into some penalty trouble and Hannah Worthington was called for interference at 27.58. This didn’t bother Shannon Jones and having been denied on one breakaway by a late whistle, she took off on her second breakaway, receiving a pass from Beth Scoon in the neutral zone she went in all alone and pulled the moves, finishing with ease at 28.31 for 2-4.
No more scoring in the second and the Diamonds lead 2-4 going into the third. Sheffield changed their netminder in the third period, giving ice time to young Maisie Gilbert.
It took just 5 minutes for the Diamonds to break through once again. After some prolonged zone time, Shannon Jones made a lovely pass to Beth Scoon who was sneaking down the wing and she sniped it top shelf to close out the scoring at 45.09.
The Shadows pressed for a way back into the game but the Diamonds defended well, including killing a late 5 on 3 penalty kill and ground out the win putting two important points on the board.
Diamonds ‘Spirit of the Game’ was Kelly Drechsler who put in a solid performance in her first game back after several years away from the game, Shannon Jones finished with 4 points (1+3) and Holly Steeples backstopped the Diamonds to a win with a 94.59% save percentage
The Elites are back in action on 14th October with a long journey down to Streatham to take on the newly promoted Storm, and the Prems play their home-opener the day after (15th October) with a visit from the Chelmsford Cobras in a game kindly sponsored ‘In memory of Ricky Barker’. We still await the release of our U16 fixtures.