NIHL 1 South champions Streatham ended their regular season with a 22-0 home win over Milton Keynes Thunder last weekend, writes Christopher Beal.
The pair – first and eighth in the final standings – meet again this weekend in the play-offs. Streatham are at home on Saturday before the away leg the following day.
Streatham had a 4-0 lead going into the first intermission – Danny Ingoldsby, Tomasz Skokan, Vanya Antonov and Ben Paynter scoring in the opening 17 minutes.
Streatham netminder Danny Milton saved a penalty shot.
The Thunder made a change in net to begin the second period, Vincent Graziano replaced Craig Bradfield.
Ingoldsby scored 47 seconds into the period- the first of 13 goals Streatham scored in that period to lead 17-0. Ziggy Beesley, Scott Bailey, Ryan Watt, Brandon Miles, and Jared Lane opened their accounts. Ingoldsby and Antonov added additional goals to their tallies.
Graziano started the third period with some string saves. Miles struck to make it 18-0. Paynter added his second of the night in a carbon copy of his opener.
Josh Ealey Newman score twice in the closing stages before Skokan wrapped up a emphatic result.
Paynter said: “It was a bit slow at times, it’s always difficult to get into games like that. But we knew we have them in the play-offs in the quarter finals. We knew we had to get up for it and send a message. It’s not going to be easy for them when we’re turning up to play to get to the final four.”
Asked about playing a utility role with the team short on bodies, he added: “I’ve done it in the past. I’ve always tried to be a defensive centreman. The defensive mindset is always there. We were short on defence, so I stepped back to help out.”
Antonov said: “It was a game of mixed feelings. It’s never nice to beat a team 22-0 but we have to do what we do and not get into bad habits. If that means putting 22 goals past another team we have to do that. We just wanted to play our game, not let the foot off the gas, but still save ourselves as we have a big few weeks ahead.”
It will be a first taste of British hockey’s play-off format for Skokan. He said: “It’s going to be a new game next week and so we have to respect them and play a good game.
“Hopefully we can win again. All play-offs are different games, but we have to be prepared as it’s basically a new league. We have to be ready”
Josh Ealey Newman said: “It’s nice to get a win 22-0 going in to play-offs. It’s a nice confidence booster for the boys, hopefully we keep rolling and keep the goals coming.
“It was nice after three weeks out with injury to get back on the ice and get a couple of goals.”
PICTURES: MEL O’BRIEN/FUSIONAL
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