Dogs show their bite, but the Cats Take the Milk.
Posted on Mon 17th March, 2008
To set the scene this was the first ever outing for the recently formed Edinburgh 'B'eagles and for many of the Newcastle Wildcats D3 players it was their first ever game, so nobody at Stirling Ice Rink knew what to expect in this tilt. Those viewing in the from the bar or those dotted round the rink were in for a treat.
The game started fericiously with both teams trading chances, but the keepers stood strong. Baker, who is normally a sniper himself, made some solid (perhaps unorthodox) stick saves to keep Newcastle, whilst Shah in the Newcastle net kept the eager 'B'eagles at bay particularly after some great work left Matt Milne with a wide open, but Shah shut up shop with a heroic Hasek type save.
The deadlock was eventually broken at 18:00 by JT Burgoine of the Wildcats with 'B'eagles assistant captain Kenney Collins doing time for tripping. The score at the end of the first was Wildcats 1 - 'B'eagles 0.
The second started with a lot venom from both teams. 'B'eagles skipper Niall Balloch found himself feeling shame after picking up a minor for a slash to the stick. However a well organised, aggressive penalty kill led to two or three chances on the trot. With winger Iain Arthur rattling Shah's cage on the breakaway as the penalty ran out.
The pressure would eventually lead to the equaliser. A great face off win by Jillian Mitchell was picked by 'B'eagles captain Balloch who let loose a wrister from the point forcing a sprawling save Matt Milne made the rebound his own and slid the puck home for his first goal and more importantly the first goal in 'B'eagles history.
However the stalemate was short lived as the Wildcats capitalised when the 'B'eagles failed to clear the zone with the finish coming from Wildcats Man of the Match Lucini. Edinburgh then tried to force the play a bit too early and this led the first of three goals for Wildcats' O'Neill. The second finished with the score 'B'eagles 1 - Wildcats 3.
The third was as hotly contested as the first two periods had been. Both teams created some chances as the play went from end to end. However Edinburgh really had to push up and this led to Newcastle's O'Neill completing his natural hat trick. This may have killed the game, but it by no means killed the effort of either team. The final highlight of the evening would be provided by the 'B'eagles courageous leader who powered his way from his own zone passed the Wildcats' defence and almost scored what would have been the goal of the game had the Wildcats' Shah not produced another terrific save.
Both teams continued to battle hard until the hooter with the game finishing 'B'eagles 1 Wildcats 5. Both teams should be proud as they produced a thoroughly entertaining game that kept all the spectators hooked. The manager of the rink even commented on how entertained he was. If a challenge match can produce this much effort the championships will be a riot.
Written by Richard 'Rambo' Gray