The first fixture of Invicta's 2018/19 Under 11 campaign saw the Invicta Stampede host Chelmsford at Planet Ice, Gillingham.
In recent years these fixtures have been competitive with the visitors arriving full of enthusiasm after an emphatic 13-2 victory against Bracknell in their opening game.
The first period was played at a high tempo with both teams looking to stamp their authority on proceedings. Chelmsford Netminder, and former Invicta player, Matthew Rose alongside Invicta counterpart Heath Prentice both made fine saves to keep the scores level at 0-0. It was Chelmsford who broke the deadlock when the impressive Harry Vant rounded Prentice to put the visitors 1-0 up. This was the spark Invicta needed and it was an almost immediate response as birthday boy, Charlie Murray drove into the offensive third before firing past Rose to tie the game 1-1.
The game remained finely poised as Prentice and Rose continued to perform exceptionally. A brace from Alan Khalizov either side of a Chelmsford goal meant the Stampede ended the first period leading 3-2. The game was livening up!
Coaches Prentice and Wilson reiterated the game plan and expected structure during the interval. The message was clearly received as Invicta came out firing in the second period and began to control the game. Stampede were moving the puck well and territorially began to edge on top. A number of key saves once again from Prentice and Rose meant both sets of supporters were given the witnessing some exciting hockey.
Stampede’s hard work and determination paid off when Harry Foreman bagged two in quick succession, the second of these a real team effort concluding with Callum Wilson selflessly fixing the Chelmsford goalie before playing in Foreman who made no mistake from close range.
Dylan Worthy was also amongst the scorers in the second period. Worthy, dominant in the centre of the ice finished clinically after great support play from Evan Chard.
Wary of Chelmsford’s dominance in their opening fixture, Stampede were given clear instructions to see the game out and ensure the points Jones, Khafizov and Wilson were on the score sheet for Stampede in the final period. Khafizov producing a fine individual effort to complete his hat-trick. A fine finish and a sure highlight of the afternoons proceedings. Chelmsford continued to battle and were rewarded with a consolation goal but Stampede proved too strong and won the game 9-3.
A very pleasing opening result for Invicta and the team will hope to build on this performance against Bracknall this weekend. Go Stampede!
Man of the Match: Callum Wilson
Spirit of the Game: Niall Khambay
Gameday Photo Gallery (Pictures courtesy of Stan Etheridge)