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Ice hockey: Flintshire Freeze second line cash in against Bradford Bulldogs

Bradford Bulldogs 1Flintshire Freeze 6

THE bench took centre stage on the road for the Freeze as they kept the pressure on rivals Sutton Sting for second place in EIHA North Two.

None of Karl Creamer’s starting six got on the scoresheet but the head coach was pleased, not disappointed, with a result he claimed was ‘a great team performance’.

Simon Furnival opened the scoring after eight minutes before the first of the second-string hotshots, Michael Jones, found the net on 16 minutes.

The Bulldogs hit back two minutes later but Matty Wainwright popped up with a goal four minutes into the second period.

There was a lull as both teams shut up shop for a while but in the final period the Freeze sparked into life once more.

Furnival added his second in the 42nd minute and within 42 seconds Wainwright completed his brace.

The final word went to Kenny Williams who scored with seven minutes remaining.

Other than the scoreline it was an even game, with the Bulldogs’ netminder fielding 42 shots to Freeze stopper Phil Crosby’s 41.

For head coach Creamer the result owed a lot to the Freeze’s teamwork.

“We played for 60 minutes out there,” he said. “I’ve been coming to Bradford for 40 years and it was a horrible place to come then.

“It has got no easier but we put all that to one side.

“The players took on board what we have been saying to them about playing the whole game and it paid off.

“Our first line is our best offensively but with Marc Lovell, Andy Chappell and James Parsons it can also be our best defensive line, as proved by them not conceding any goals while they were out there.

“When it mattered the second line stepped up and they got the goals we needed and that tells me a lot about where this team is headed.”

This Sunday the Freeze are on the road again as they go to Hull Stingrays, a side who have proved awkward customers this season.

“Being on the road is a strange one because sometimes you are playing without the pressure of your home fans’ expectation,” said Creamer.

“But they will be being told not to let us come to their barn and get a result and they will make it hard.

“But we did it earlier in the season and if we play like we did at Bradford, we can do it again.”