Norcliffe ensures Solent Devils finish on a high
SOLENT DEVILS finished the regular season on a high with a 1-0 victory against Cardiff Devils in Gosport on Sunday.
George Norcliffe got the only goal of the game in National League south one.
Ralfs Circenis picked up the puck in centre ice, and took it towards the Cardiff goal, supported by Norcliffe.
A quick pass, followed by a quicker shot, gave the Solent Devils the goal.
It was a great boost for the Devils after they lost 10-2 to the Wightlink Raiders on the Isle of Wight on Saturday, having also been beaten 7-3 on Thursday by the same opposition.
On Saturday Alex Cole missed out due to an ankle injury and Raiders were 4-0 up by the end of the first period, goals coming from Damon Larter, Nick Compton, and a pair from Craig Tribe.
The second started, and within three minutes, Jaroslav Cesky and Jeremy Cornish made it 6-0.
Norcliffe clawed one back just before the half way mark, assisted by Richard Brown and Mitch Murray.
Unfortunately for the Devils, Ryan Webb followed by Corey Watkins put two more in the back of the Devils’ net, taking it to the second break 9-1.
The third period started, and Matthew Colclough had surrendered the Raiders’ goal to Aaron Craft.
Another goal, in under 90 seconds from the puck drop – Webb’s second of the night, saw Christian Cole hand over the Devils’ goal to Sam Calder.
And 11 seconds later, Steve Gosset put Mason Wild through for another late goal for the Devils, but as the final buzzer went the score board read 10-2.
It was an unusual end to the season, with the Devils having also taken the Thursday night trip to the Isle of Wight to play a postponed fixture following the troubles with the Ryde ice rink roof.
Wightlink took an early lead.
Devils managed to tie things up with Richard Brown giving the helper to Norcliffe.
The hosts regained their advantage but in the second period Trendall and Andrew Magee fired the puck through to Richard Facey, who levelled the score again.
Less than a minute later, however, Raiders took control with another goal.
They managed to double their lead a few minutes later to take complete command of the fixture.
Raiders hit four more goals to underline their superiority in the contest.
Devils then had the last word as Facey and Murray managed to find Mason Wild and he netted a consolation.
The Solent side are sixth in the table after completing their fixtures so must wait on the results of other matches.
Milton Keynes Thunder are seventh in the table, two points behind Devils, and finish their league season at home to Oxford on Sunday.
– STEVE BREEN