Flames defeat league leaders in 11 goal fest. 3rd February 2020
Guildford Flames made it a maximum four-point weekend, with victories against the Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers.
On Saturday Flames travelled up to the East Midlands and came away with a 2-1 overtime victory. Sunday, the league leaders Sheffield Steelers came to town, with Guildford claiming a narrow 6-5 victory.
84 seconds into the contest with Calle Ackered serving a minor penalty for hooking, Steelers took advantage with Marek Troncinsky getting the first goal of the game on the powerplay. Flames hit back to level after 4:02 when youngster Joshua Waller netted. Jesse Craige’s slapshot on the powerplay after 6:01 nudged Guildford back into the lead.
Steelers chances were hampered when Ben O’Connor received a 5 plus game for cross checking allowed the extra man advantage which Flames capitalised on when Ian Watters scored at 18:51 to give the home side a 3-1 lead at the end of the opening period.
Just over five minutes after the restart Braylon Shmyr’s goal made it 4-1, but Sheffield hit back with two quick goals through Nikolai Lemtyugov and John Armstrong reduced the deficit to just a single goal. Forty seconds from the buzzer John Dunbar restored Flames two goal cushion to send the home side leading 5-3 at the end of the second period.
In the 49th minute Sheffield got back to within a single goal thanks to Marc Oliveier Vallarand’s marker. Steelers drew level when Michael Davies scored on the powerplay at 52:35, before Watters grabbed his second of the evening- and the game winner- at 56:22 to ensure Flames defeated the league leaders by the narrowest of margins.
A relived Head Coach Paul Dixon said after the game “I am not sure there is a better time to get six goals than when you are facing the league leaders and a team with such ability across the board. “They are so skilled and such a high-quality team that you are just not sure how many goals it will take to beat them.”
Photo of Flames Ian Watters Credit: John Uwins