Defending division champions Chelmsford Warriors earned a comfortable win against the Racers on Saturday night at the Riverside. A pair of goals each from Brandon Ayliffe and Ross Brears settled the first match of this weekend’s double header between the two teams.
After a cagey opening, the Racers got a powerplay in the 7th minute with Brears in the bin for roughing. However it was Chelmsford who took the lead with a short-handed goal; Ayliffe picked up the puck in centre ice, skated up the right and produced a nice finish high into the net. On the same powerplay, Warriors added a second short-handed goal when Donald Campbell’s speculative shot rebounded off the plexi back out in front of the goal and Ayliffe was first to pounce.
Racers found themselves under the cosh for much of the second session with Aaron Mallet kept busy and Haringey’s short-benched defensive corps tiring from the excessive minutes. Warriors extended their lead in the 35th minute with Bailey Chittock taking control of a stray puck in centre-ice and skating up the middle to score with a top-left finish. Dan Clayton gave the visitors a lift with a goal late in the period, firing high into the net after winning his face-off.
Chelmsford were able to put the game into bed with a brace from Brears. In the 50th minute, he collected the puck from netminder Sonny Phillips and skated up the right before finishing with an accurate shot high into the net. Within forty seconds he had added another – again skating in from the right to scoop the puck over Mallet. Nick Minhinnick added a late consolation goal for Haringey, slotting home from close range after good interplay between Josh Abbott and Sam Park.
Tonight (Sunday 5th), Alexandra Palace is the venue as the Racers host the Warriors for the final meeting between the two sides this season. Face-off is at 5.30pm. Doors open at 5pm.
Warriors scoring: Brandon Ayliffe 2+0, Ross Brears 2+0, Bailey Chittock 1+0, Donald Campbell 0+1, Sonny Phillips 0+1, Elliot Dervish 0+1
Racers scoring: Dan Clayton 1+0, Nick Minhinnick 1+0, Josh Abbott 0+1, Sam Park 0+1
Netminders: Sonny Phillips (Warriors) 26 shots/24 saves; Aaron Mallet (Racers) 47 shots/42 saves
Man-of-the-Match: Ross Brears (Warriors); Solomon Smith (Racers)
Match Report by Tim Stuart