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Ice hockey: Flintshire Freeze look strong for the forthcoming season after beating Trafford Metros

FLINTSHIRE Freeze are looking strong for the new season after they beat Trafford Metros 4-3 on Sunday at Deeside Ice Rink – but boss Karl Creamer still has some creases to iron out before the campaign begins.

The friendly clash saw English National League North Two side Freeze impress against North One side Trafford and gave Creamer’s men a good test before the new campaign starts at Hull a week on Saturday – and then at home against Solway the following day.

Freeze raced into a 3-0 lead in the first period but they took their foot off the gas in the second and were pegged back to 3-3.

But Chris Jones bagged a fantastic winner with seconds remaining in the final session.

“Everyone played really well, the first period was fantastic but in the second period we sat back and I suppose it was typical for when a team is 3-0 up,” said Creamer.

“However it was a fantastic team performance, and it’s great to win against a team from a higher division.”

Creamer doesn’t put the second period performance down to fitness however.

“Having gone 3-0 up we needed to save it, we have to learn. It’s a psychological thing, nothing to do with fitness. We took our foot off the gas and lost momentum.

“We need to adjust mentally but at least it wasn’t in the league.”

He lost Alex Parry to a broken wrist in practice last week but has been boosted by the return of Paul Swanson.

The Scot will join up with the side after playing last season. Creamer added: “It’s great to have Swanny back with us and its timely due to Alex’s injury.

“But he won’t walk straight into the team. He’ll have to work as he hasn’t been here over the summer.”

Although he’s always on the lookout for improvements, Creamer said there were no new signings on the horizon, although once the season starts there is bound to be some players unsettled which may throw up an opportunity or two.

However, the boss thinks his side is in good shape.

“We’ve been skating since July and the Trafford match was a good indication of how we’re doing.

“We’ve got just over a week until the season starts and practice will show us where we need to improve.

“Team morale is good and the squad will take confidence from the victory.”

Flintshire’s ENL N2 season starts at Hull on September 10 (5pm) with a home meeting against Solway the following day (6.40pm).