Haringey Huskies 10, Chelmsford Warriors 0
National Ice Hockey League – South 2
By Tom Pink
We didn’t put out a report from the Lee Valley Lions game in light of what happened that weekend. No one needed me ranting on about the Huskies. It didn’t feel appropriate, and there were much more important things to say and people much better placed than me to do justice to Adam.
But after all the conversations about player safety, after all the soul searching, what played out after the 50th minute on Saturday was the antithesis of all that good will.
There were shades of Cardiff at home last year where things threatened to boil over, but this was worse. The stick thrown over the plexiglass is weapons grade stupidity rather than malice. It could have been far worse but let’s be thankful it wasn’t. Expect a ban but I don’t think this is Juraj Húska territory. I could be wrong.
The postponed reverse fixture has now been rescheduled for December 2nd and it’ll be fascinating to see how that plays out. I imagine it will be much milder, considering the number of suspensions there might be.
On the ice though it’s another foot down, emphatic win for the Huskies. Ten goals scored and a brick wall shutout. I said this team were only getting started, only going to get better and better and they ramped it up another notch on Saturday. This theory will be roundly tested away at Peterborough on the 18th however. Roundly tested and more.
But Chelmsford got exactly what they deserved, which was nothing.
It’s unsurprising that Conner Smith gets moved to the first line. It’s 10 goals now in seven games, and seven points from his last three. That’s form. In truth points are starting to come from all corners of the roster though and that was true on Saturday night.
For the seventh game of the season, the Huskies get us underway at another sell out at the Palace.
Sam puts it in front of the net for Joe Willingham but his shot is saved low down, a good chance gone begging. There’s a lengthy stoppage after Luke Martin takes a puck to the face and is out for the rest of the game.
When we return, Sebastian Downing is played through but even his electric pace can’t keep up with the puck.
Chelmsford should score early on; a Luke Clark save spills to the back post but it’s a swing and an air shot that keeps the score at 0-0.
Tom Avery pulls a nifty couple of toe drags across the offensive zone but his shot from the slot is saved.
I love Joe Tearall’s needle. Several times there’s a stick to the back of the legs or a dig while the ref’s not looking. I’m absolutely here for that kind of thing. We want to be the team that everyone hates playing against and there’s more than one way to achieve that.
It’s very physical.
Chelmsford probably edge the first 10 minutes, but as has happened recently at the Palace, Haringey score first. Captain Fantastic, Stuart Appleby finds twine from the slot halfway through the first period.
Joe Willingham skates all the way across the offensive zone and has his shot blocked from the slot.
Conner sends a slapper from the point ringing off the iron, with no one able to follow-up. He then sends a Chelmsford player clattering into the boards and the referee has a word with both captains. It was always building.
Conner doubles the lead with a slapper from the point into the bottom corner with five minutes left on the clock.
Luke Clark’s on hand again with a couple left in the period; he makes the save but has no idea where the puck is, just able to keep it out of the net in the ensuing bundle.
In the second, Edward Bonn almost sees his deflected shot loop in, but is flies over the net. Jaden Boolkah hits the post from the left, and Matt Hepburn finds Joe Tearall in a 2-on-1 play but the net’s knocked off it’s posts.
It’s end to end and a bit scrappy at times.
Ryan McFarlane’s at the backdoor but can only find the side netting. Stu can’t find Woody on a breakaway. Alex Benson shows good stick handling to turn defence into attack.
Matt Hepburn shoots over the bar from the left wing. Haringey are creating but can’t find that coolness in front of goal.
The breakthrough comes eventually. Corey Taylor makes it three for Haringey, a shot straight from the face-off in the Chelmsford zone catches the netminder cold and flies in. 3-0.
Haringey finish the period strongly with chances from Jaden, Conner, and Marton Szasz going close.
They kick on in the third.
Conner goes top shelf from the right to make it 4-0, and Jaden sends a laser from the blue line past the Chelmsford goalie for number five.
Luke Clarke is almost caught out with a poor pass out of his crease, but the Warrior’s player can’t reach it. With 10 minutes left, Joe Willingham makes it 6-0 from close. It’s all Huskies and the Warriors have very little to offer in response.
It’s a check from behind by Chelmsford goon Nick Green on Sebastian Downing that lights the touch paper. Sheer chaos on the ice. Green and Matt Hepburn drop the gloves, Luke Clark skates all the way over from the other side of the rink. Matt France is glorious.
I loved his celly in front of the bench against Lee Valley and I loved the fact that he’s made to sit for it too. I’d happily take that every day of the week. He’s at it again on Saturday backing his teammates no matter what.
But the spectacle shifts from the ice and into the stands with the throwing of a stick, and suddenly it’s all a bit ugly and all out of control.
It takes an age to pick the bones out of it. I got a great snap of about eight Haringey players squeezed into the box.
Once play finally resumes, it’s a strange, deflated atmosphere. The heart’s gone from the game, and Chelmsford have all but given up.
Back on the ice after a bizarre 10-minute penalty for misconduct, Woody scores number seven, carrying the puck from centre ice and sending a wrister beyond the Chelmsford replacement goalie.
Moments later Joe Tearall gets number eight from a very similar position. Great for him to get up and running in white and black too.
Marton Szasz bags from the right wing at the second time of asking. Sam Roberts gets the crowd going and chants of “Huskies, Huskies” and “We want 10” ring out.
Haringey push for it and do get it. Joe Willingham with the final touch with a minute and a half to go.
A weird one that. Utterly enthralling, dominant, but febrile and ugly too.
This year we’ll get the game we didn’t get last season; Peterborough away.
Seven from eight meets seven from seven.
15 goals in the last two games, against 20.
The 5-4 OT win last year was an incredible game, and it may take a performance of that ilk to get the job done again.
I’ve said they all feel like must-win games, but this one does more than most. Someone’s winning run is going to come to an end on the 18th. Points need to be taken off Peterborough, who are flying at the moment. But who better for the job than the Haringey Huskies? Your Haringey Huskies. The rampant Huskies, the never-back-down Huskies.
Let’s make it eight from eight.
See you in Peterborough.
Let’s Go Huskies.