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Ice Hockey: Flintshire Freeze see play-off hopes dashed

HOPES the Flintshire Freeze could secure a EIHA North Two play-off place were effectively dashed on Sunday after they once more found Sutton Sting had their number.

Having beaten hosts Sheffield Senators 6-3 24-hours earlier thanks to goals from James Parsons (2), Gary Dixon, Andrew Chappell, Martin Wainwright and Simon Furnival, it was game on on Sunday at Deeside Ice Rink as the Freeze faced their bogey team of this campaign and their main rivals for second-place, Sutton.

If ever there was a time for the Freeze to find a way to beat the Sting it was now, but they went down 8-2.

When Ainsley Keeler was penalised for holding in the first period, the Sting wasted no time in scoring.

The home side had their chances, Furnival’s slap shot almost squirming past Sting netminder Alex Birch, but Sting soon got their second.

The Freeze didn’t panic and Peter Norgate halved the deficit with a lovely shot. But before the break the Sting had added a third.

In the second period the Sting took control. Despite some heroics from Compton a short-handed Sting increased their lead to 4-1 and once back to full strength they scored again to lead 5-1.

Flintshire had some nice attacks but they did not end in scores as the Sting struck again before the hooter.

In the third the Sting scored twice inside 53 seconds to put the game beyond their hosts.

Even a sneaky Gary Dixon shot to make it 8-2 was not enough to spark a comeback.

Flintshire face Hull on Saturday with four games to go, trailing by seven points with only six realistically up for grabs, leaving Karl Creamer to plan next season’s promotion bid.