Double blow for Devils

Richard Brown. Picture: Reece Gough
Richard Brown. Picture: Reece Gough
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Solent Devils suffered a brace of defeats last weekend as their struggles continued.

The Gosport Ice Arena side lost 5-2 to Streatham Redskins in group A of the National League south division one cup on Saturday.

And 24 hours later they went down 6-2 at Invicta Dynamos in the league.

Alex Murray’s outfit have now won just once since November – despite a run of three draws and a win last month.

The Devils are eighth in the table – with five wins from their 23 fixtures – but have games in hand on everyone else.

Saturday’s clash with the Redskins was poised at 0-0 after the first period, despite a smattering of penalties.

But within seconds of the restart, Streatham took the lead as Joe Allen squeezed the puck between netminder Sam Calder and the post.

The Redskins added a second on the counter-attack.

Calder blocked a shot from skipper Joseph Johnston, only for Allen to net the rebound.

With Mitch Murray in the sin-bin for hooking, David Savage fired home from just inside the blue line for 3-0.

The Solent side took advantage of a power-play of their own to open their account as Canadian import Richard Brown found Ralfs Circenis, who in turn fed George Norcliffe.

Norcliffe then spotted a gap under Will Sanderson’s left arm and fired the puck into the net.

Despite Monty Gailer being sent to the penalty box for slashing, Norcliffe and Circenis combined again – with the latter shooting home for 3-2.

The final period started poorly for the Devils, though.

With Calder down following a save, Adam Wood found Johnston and he teed up Allen to complete his treble.

Callum Best then settled the tie with a fifth from Kamil Kinkor’s pass.

Devils netminder Christian Cole returned to the ice for Sunday’s trip to Gillingham to face second-placed Invicta Dynamos.

But after another goalless opening period, he was powerless to stop Steven Osman putting the hosts ahead with his 64th goal of the season.

Solent were soon level, though, as Richard Facey and Ben Lock combined to tee-up Andrew Magee.

But parity did not last long as Jacob Ranson made it 2-1 two minutes later.

The floodgates then opened in the third period.

With the Devils’ Steve Gosset in the bin for tripping, Osman made it 3-1.

Eriks Ozollapa then struck as the Dynamos threatened to run riot.

Monty Gailer and Mitch Murray linked up to put Magee in to reduce arrears and offer the Devils hope.

But Callum Fowler and Ozollapa hit further goals before the buzzer.

The Devils travel to London Raiders on Saturday (5.30pm).

They then host Bracknell Hornets in Gosport on Sunday (7pm).