Racers endured a nightmare evening on their first visit to Slough’s temporary rink. An injury to netminder Aaron Mallet with no back-up available – along with some terrible defending – saw the improving Jets run up a huge score in their quest to avoid the wooden spoon.
Haringey started well and tested Jet’s netminder Chris Douglas in the early minutes before Slough took the lead with two quick goals from Matt Webb and Luke Martin-Digby. Ben Osborne pulled a goal back for the Racers before Charlie Dobbins notched a third for Slough on the powerplay. At this stage, the game was fairly even despite the 3-1 score line, but Mallet was struggling with a groin injury.
Early in the second period, Racers got within a goal with Josh Abbott bursting through to score. However, by now Mallet’s movement was visibly restricted and with Haringey’s defending going to pieces, Slough were able to score at will. They notched up six quick goals between the 23rd and 33rd minutes, with a single goal in reply from Tom Gilheany amongst the carnage. Mallet had to be withdrawn and with no backup netminder, the period ended early to allow an out-skater to put on the goalie kit.
When the players re-emerged to continue the period, it was Lee Mercer who had gamely strapped on the kit ready to play the role of stand in netminder. In fairness, he gave it a serious go, but was not helped out by a string of careless defensive mistakes that gave Slough easy goals. By the end of the period, Jets had a comfortable 12-3 lead.
With the result no longer in doubt, the teams played out a relatively routine third period with Martin-Digby notching a fourth goal, Nathan Darmanin completing a hat-trick and Nick Minhinnick adding a consolation for Haringey.
All credit to Mercer for a great effort, but the team may reflect on just how badly they exposed an injured goalie in the first place – and how they then offered no better protection for his emergency stand-in.
Racers play their last home game of the season on Saturday 25th March when Lee Valley Lions visit Alexandra Palace. Face off 5.30pm
Jets scoring: Luke Martin-Digby 4+2, Nathan Darmanin 3+3, Charlie Dobbins 2+3, Timo Lindgren 2+3, Jamie Joyce 1+4, Kirkland Evans 1+2, Matt Webb 1+0, Christopher Hocquigny 0+1
Racers scoring: Ben Osborne 1+1, Nick Minhinnick 1+1, Josh Abbott 1+0, Tom Gilheany 1+0, Robin Martinsson 0+1, Dan Clayton 0+1.
Thanks to Tim Stuart for the Match Report
Man of the Match: Timo Lindgren (Jets); Lee Mercer (Racers)