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Ice hockey: Flintshire Freeze lose out in batle for second to Sutton Sting

Flintshire Freeze 3Sutton Sting 4

SUNDAY night at Deeside Ice Rink was a straight shootout for second place in EIHL Division Two North.

Whoever won the match would virtually guarantee second spot was theirs with one game remaining.

And in a highly charged, close scoring affair in which both sides had full 22-man squads available – a rarity – it was the Sting who delivered the killer blow to their hosts.

Within six seconds the Sting had the lead in what was a nightmare opening for the home side.

The Freeze pulled themselves together but it wasn’t until the last three minutes of the period that Simon Furnival’s wide shot allowed top-scorer Chris Jones to slot home an equaliser.

Michael Jones then passed to Alex Parry for the Freeze’s second goal and the Freeze fans were still celebrating when, 25 seconds later, Dave Chappell nicked a third to strengthen their lead.

In the second period the penalties racked up as the visitors got frustrated. Sting’s Benjamin Wilson dealt a blow to Chris Jones’ throat that took the Freeze hotshot a considerable time to recover from.

Sutton were gifted a second goal when a high rebound off the safety net landed sweetly for Arran Strawson to score.

The final period saw more penalties and Sting took full advantage when Freeze netminder Phil Crosby got entangled with his defenders to equalise and minutes later they snatched a fourth to nick the win, the Freeze proving unable to restore parity before the end.

On Sunday, the Freeze tie-up their season with a home game against Lancashire Raptors (6.30pm)