The UEA Avalanche Ice Hockey team have done it again, winning their second game of the season against the Nottingham Mavericks, 7 – 3. This game was considered by some to be a long overdue rematch, after the formidable Nottingham team thrashed the Avalanche in a resounding defeat for UEA last season. With that in mind, it only fuelled the drive for victory this time around.
Throughout the game the Avs showed clear dominance over the struggling Mavs, starting the first period off with good possession of the puck. Although Nottingham kicked off the scoring, it took fewer than two minutes for UEA to slide one past Nottingham goaltender Thornton, thanks to Dom Rodwell’s smooth finish. From then on it was all UEA, scoring again within two minutes as captain Paul McDermott chalked up his first goal of the year. Just for good measure Rodwell scored once more in the first period, bringing the Avalanche up to a two goal lead going into the second.
UEA were most certainly not content to rest on their laurels. They had a point to prove and were hungry for the win. Within five minutes of the commencement of the second period Chris Dobson scored what would come to be the game-winning goal, whilst the Avs were on the penalty kill. A few seconds earlier McDermott had been sent off with a somewhat dubious call for holding (“holding” being where an opposing player is grabbed to impede play) but that didn’t stop Dobson lighting it up, even shorthanded. A pattern seemed to be emerging here, as UEA’s James White managed to net two minutes later, once again with a shorthanded team. At 5-1 up to UEA, Nottingham’s fate was sealed. They couldn’t leave such a productive period there though; Laura Goold rallied to raise the score once more, closely followed by alternate captain Phil Carter, rounding out the second 7 – 1. The Avs couldn’t have hoped for a better rematch.
Although during the last period UEA conceded two goals, it wasn’t enough to stop the Avalanche flattening Nottingham. Ultimately, these two victories in a row bode well for the UEA team, especially with the road to the British University Ice Hockey Association Nationals this semester. The standard of play was much better in this game compared to their last challenge against Birmingham, even if the scoreboard was in fact the same (7 – 3 to UEA Avalanche). This, and the fact that even some of the newest members of the roster are being credited with assists, surely indicates a bright future for UEA Avalanche and the development of the team.