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Ice hockey: Flintshire Freeze crush Sheffield Senators despite netminder’s heroics

Flintshire Freeze 10 Sheffield Senators 1

AN early goal for the Senators briefly rocked the Freeze at Deeside, but the host soon showed them who was in charge as Marc Lovell and Phil Kennedy’s side claimed a solid win in English National League Division Two North.

Chris Jones levelled for the Freeze with a sweet solo shot that slammed into the back of the net, quickly followed by a goal from Gary Dixon as the Deesiders took the lead.

Jones then had to sit out the last few minutes of the first period and half of the second for misconduct while the Freeze peppered the Senators’ net with shots.

The second period saw some excellent work from the Sheffield netminder Andy Ellis to keep his side in touch with the hosts, even taking two shots to his head.

But he couldn’t prevent Flintshire-born Kenny Williams making a power play goal to the deserved applause of his team-mates.

Two more unanswered goals from in-form Simon Furnival left the Freeze 5-1 up at the end of the second.

The Senators started the final period with a group team-talk but the Freeze were in cruise control and once the game restarted a Furnival shot trickled over the line to complete his hat trick.

He soon followed this with an assist to Chris Jones to take the score to 7-1.

The Freeze continued to throw everything at the Sheffield net, with their own James Parsons catching one shot with his face as he hung around the goal.

A pin point slap shot fired straight to the back of the net saw Dixon make the score 8-1.

Dixon was soon sin-binned after retaliating when a Senator fouled Freeze netminder Phil Crosby.

The Senators’ Ellis meanwhile was having a much more hellish time as he stood, seemingly alone, attempting to hold back the waves of attack from the Freeze.

He made two good reflex stops only to see Chris Jones take the rebound for a neat goal to make it 9-1 and a cheeky tap in at the post off a pass from the returning Dixon behind the net was a welcome goal for James Parsons as he rounded things off for the hosts.

The Senators found themselves down to four men for the last minutes of the game after losing some discipline but heroic Ellis ensured the Freeze were done for the day as he kept their late final efforts at bay.

He finished the game having faced a total of 52 shots on goal compared to the 14 faced by Crosby between the Flintshire posts.

Furnival was named MVP with three goals and three assists.

Freeze go to Bradford on Saturday and host Lancashire Raptors at Deeside Ice Rink on Sunday (6pm).