Determined Devils seen off by Chieftains

Devils were without George Norcliffe, left, at the end of the first period. Picture: Dave Chapman
Devils were without George Norcliffe, left, at the end of the first period. Picture: Dave Chapman
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Solent Devils were beaten 3-0 at league-leaders Chelmsford on Sunday.

It was a close contest throughout with both sides giving as good as they got until the Chieftains eventually pulled clear to seal the points.

The first period saw the Devils fighting hard to stop the powerful Chelmsford unit.

Just over halfway through the first, the Devils were given an advantage, as Alexander Staples was given a two minute interference penalty.

Unfortunately, this didn’t help and despite the Devils having 12 shots on the Chieftains goal, Ben Clements managed to stop anything heading into the net.

Devils netminder Christian Cole also managed to keep a clean sheet in the first period.

He was helped by excellent teamwork and only had to face nine shots on goal in the early part of the contest.

Even losing George Norcliffe for two minutes on a delay-of-game penalty, with just under a minute and a half left of the period, did not knock the Devils back.

The Devils started the second with Norcliffe still having 35 seconds left on his penalty.

However, once again they put in a solid effort and controlled the game well.

Chieftains then received an interference call, this time a little before halfway through the period, with Lithuanian Andrius Kaminskas being sent for a sit down.

Devils again managed to outshoot the Chieftains during this period – getting 14 on target to the Chieftains 10.

But both netminders remained solid and prevented either team from getting the advantage.

Just three and a half minutes into the third period, Chelmsford finally managed to break through.

Grant Bartlett and Matt France provided assists to Kaminskas as he got the scoring under way.

Chieftains had built up some momentum by now.

Short-handed, and just 47 seconds into another penalty, Juraj Huska got his 23rd goal of the season.

In the closing minutes of the contest, the Devils picked up a two-minute bench penalty for having too many men on the ice.

And Cole left his place in the Devils net to get an extra skater on, obviously not wanting to go home without scoring.

Unfortunately the plan didn’t quite work out.

Not only did the Devils fail to net, they also conceded at the other end.

Huska picked up yet another goal, this time straight into the empty net, with just 16 seconds left on the clock.

Devils will look to bounce back when they travel to Bracknell to take on the Hornets on Saturday (6pm).

They are then back at home in Gosport as the London Raiders arrive on the south coast on Sunday (7pm).