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Ice hockey: Freeze win double-header as Chris Jones hits scoring form

A DOUBLE header produced a double victory for the Flintshire Freeze as they saw off Bradford Bulldogs and Lancaster Raptors inside 24 hours.

First up was a trip to the Bulldogs in a game that would count towards both their EIHL Division B North standings and the Northern League table.

The game afforded the coaching team of Marc Lovell and Phil Kennedy the chance to blood some of their under 18s and new boy Gavin Austin as they eased to victory.

Things were tougher on Sunday at Deeside as the Lancaster Raptors descended on Queensferry but the Freeze ran out 9-3 victors.

Netminder Graeme Bird stood up to 70 shots on his goal and conceded just three.

Both teams netted early goals in the first 10 minutes with James Parsons opening his tally first. The Freeze began to look a little shaky when Parsons was forced off the ice after Bird was harshly penalised for stick-holding during a goal-mouth scramble.

But they soon rallied with a shot hitting the post and a goal tweaked from under the Raptor’s flailing goalie for the returning Parsons to make it 2-1.

Two minutes from the end of the first period the Freeze were down to four men when Bryn Jones was given two minutes for charging.

But Bird made some spectacular saves to keep the Raptors at bay.

The second period saw the Freeze extend their lead, despite being again reduced to four men, Chris Jones sin-binned for charging.

Parson’s sealed his hat-trick following a great pass from behind his own blue line by Gary Dixon.

The Freeze were now on a charge and Jones took advantage on his return to take the score to 4-1.

Jones doubled his tally at the second attempt for goal number five and 13 seconds later he lifted a shot into the top corner for his hat-trick.

A penalty handed Jones his fourth but the Raptors pulled a goal back in the third after Andy Chappell served two minutes for an illegal substitution penalty but Lovell scored goal number eight and Jones completed the win before the Raptors snatched a late goal at the death.

Next up for the Freeze is a trip to Sheffield Senators before they welcome Bradford Bulldogs to the Deeside Ice Rink on Sunday (face-off 6.30pm)