Sutton Sting U18 crush Blackburn to extend winning run

Ice hockey
Ice hockey

Top-of-the-table Sutton Sting U18’s extended their unbeaten run to eight gameas after crushing Blackburn 13-2.

The game started with an early opportunity for the visitors, but Sting’s netminder Dom Walsham easily dealt with the close range effort.

Within a few minutes the goals started to came for Sutton and, with some superb skill from line 1, Joe Cross received a pass from Harry Bridges which he neatly put away on 04.13.

A quick succession of offensive play had Blackburn defending for long periods and, at 06.00 on the clock U18 rookie Jake Apsley raced through the middle of the defensive line to beat netmnder William Outram from close range.

Sutton’s third and fourth goal came within a minute of the second when Brady Doxey and Joe Cross scored two great goals, times 6.42 and 7.46 respectively. Sutton hadn’t done there either and, at 14.48, Joe Cross scored his hat-trick goal which was the goal of the game, assisted Charlie Saunders and Harry Bridges.

It was six on 18.06 when captain Charlie Saunders netted goal number six following assists from Harry Bridges and Joe Cross.

Saunders then returned the favour less than a minute later when he assisted Joe Cross’s fourth goal to bring the home team a 7-0 advantage at the period break.

The second period started as the first had ended and, with only three minutes of the second period played, U16 rookie Brady Doxey hit goal number eight, which gave Blackburn Net Minder Outram no chance.

Blackburn faced off and immediately found some legs to cut inside the Sting’s defence and take their first opportunity with a quality goal from Casey Holland.

But the Sting didn’t take long to cancel out the Blackburn Goal when Brady Doxey netted a solo unassisted effort at 27.38 soon to be followed by another U16 player, Oliver Mitchell who eventually found the back of the net following a lovely pass/assist from Rosie Deakin to make it 10-1.

Charlie Saunders brought the second period to a close with a great finish for 11-1.

With the 3rd period under way, it would be easy to think that Blackburn would have given in, but when Sutton Sting lost the in form Joe Cross for a 10 minute misconduct penalty, their spirits were clearly lifted.

That was until Dalton Mullin was called for a roughing penalty against Sting’s captain JK Smith.

The home team were on the Power Play, and within less than a minute, JK Smith returned the favour and punishment with a Blue Line Point shot which hit the back of the net before NM outram could react.

It was then Sutton’s turn to sit a Penalty, as centerman Bailey Templar was judged and penalised for holding, Blackburn took the advantage on the Power Play with a great goal from Dalton Mullon.

Charlie Saunders then completed his hat-trick to seal a super win for Sutton.

Coach Ian Johnson said: “I am really pleased with our performance. We were calm, professional and played the best hockey I have seen all season.

“It’s not before time either, but I knew it was only a matter of time until all three lines worked and delivered the goods.

“Every single player made a contribution today and the youngsters who played up from our U16’s team did themselves, their coach and their club proud.

“It’s never easy to keep focused in a game like we have played today,but we showed a level of maturity which I have been looking for, and didn’t get dragged away from our game plan.

“We only have five games left this season and if we are to achieve the unthinkable and gain promotion we will need to continuously improve and reduce our mistakes.”