Tom Pink reports:
The road back started on Saturday night.
But it’s a long, long road still to travel with no guarantee of what’s at the end of it.
Those in black and white took one step further along, as well as taking the two points with them. That was back to the Haringey we know and love.
A flurry of goals in the first period pretty much ended this one as a contest. We gave Chelmsford absolutely nothing and they struggled to create much in the way of quality chances.
If there’s any mitigating circumstances, it’s that Chelmsford probably had several players missing through suspension and iced a lot of youngsters. But you can only beat what’s in front of you.
There’s two remaining games this year for Haringey; Invicta and Basingstoke. Both away. You feel we’ve got to get something from both of those games to keep this going, as those around us continue to win.
That’s eminently doable though. But they’ve got to go out and do it.
With Matt France out, Joe Willingham stepped in as defensive cover and did an admirable job for the whole game. Marton Szasz also returned to that first line. As joint top scorer last season, getting Marton firing on all cylinders is a good idea and keeping him alongside Stuart Appleby and Stephen Woodford helps that.
We’ve been tinkering with our lines over recent weeks. Conner Smith has had a brilliant start to the season, but he strikes me for all the world as a player that can make something out of nothing. That could thrive wherever he’s asked to play.
He had a very nice partnership with Sam Roberts on Saturday, their link-up play and passing was noticeable. I like Joe Tearall in that line too, but I would imagine that Ryan Gadeke will come back in when he returns.
It took a while for this one to warm up. It’s scrappy and loose early on with not a great deal of meaningful opportunities for either side.
After 10 minutes Haringey get the breakthrough. Tom Avery slides it across the slot for the onrushing Stephen Woodford to poke home at the backdoor. This signals the opening of the flood gates and Haringey net four goals in six-and-a-half minutes.
Marton Szasz tries a kind of scoop shot from the slot but can’t find a way through. Soon after, from behind the net, Stu picks out Marton who tries again and shoots high for the second Haringey goal of the evening.
There’s some lovely interplay between Conner and Sam Roberts down the right wing. Overlapping, dropping the puck off, they make it look easy.
Tom Avery does brilliantly to shield the puck in the defensive zone and find a pass at the end of it. Woody gets his second and the Huskies’ third. He moves in from the right, ghosts past a couple of Chelmsford players and scores backhanded from close range.
The fourth Haringey goal comes courtesy of Seb Downing who gets on the end of a Tom Avery pass from the right D, the Chelmsford keeper having no clue what just happened. Brilliant, brilliant stuff.
No change in the second, as Haringey continue to dominate.
Cass McCormack gambles in the o-zone with the puck hitting him and he’s nearly onto it but not before the emerging Warriors’ goalie.
It’s all Haringey.
Marton hits the iron and Joe Tearall’s far too strong and muscles one of the Chelmsford players easily off the puck.
Luke Clark is called into a rare bit of action; Chelmsford carry the puck across the slot from left to right but Luke follows it and is there when the shot comes to make the pad save.
Ben Beldecos and Tom have a couple of chances which the goalie does well to keep out with a double save.
After seven minutes, Woody gains possession right on the goal line. He waits and waits and waits for the opening to present itself, waits for Marton to be in position and puts it on the tape for him to tap home at the crease. 5-0 and no looking back.
Leo de Souza has a couple of shots from the left wing. Luke Martin gives it the eyes, and his disguised shot from the left is covered. Jaden Boolkah sends a slapshot through traffic, but it’s gloved.
Joe Tearall plays Péter Tóth through 1-on-1, but his 5-hole attempt is saved. Sam sees his shot saved and Cass can’t get to the spilled puck in time. Ben brings it across both blue lines, but his eventual shot is blocked.
The third sees plenty more of the same, and the Huskies could probably have scored one or two more but for the Chelmsford netminder.
Seb Downing walks into the slot, head up and sends a backhander wide of the post. He shows his speed with some great tracking back to help out in defence.
Corey Taylor has a look from the point, but it’s gloved. Jaden then tries the same thing from the same spot with the same result.
Chelmsford have a couple of half chances, the best coming from a loose Haringey pass which bobbles in the slot but the forward shoots way wide of the goal. It wasn’t their night.
Not content with getting all the plaudits last week, Woody puts in a player of the match performance. His work rate, composure and timing were second to none. The way he waits for play to happen around him for the right moment is fantastic. His first goal and his assist for Marton were prime examples.
Haringey travel to Invicta next Saturday, for what will be a great game of ice hockey. Invicta is always a hard game. Always. Sitting firmly mid-table they’ve had an up and down season so far; wins against Streatham and Cardiff, but losses to Peterborough and Chelmsford, with a narrow OT loss to Guildford for good measure.
The Huskies’ nine wins from 11 games is nothing to be sniffed at, let’s be clear.
At the halfway point of the season, they have definitely made a good start. But they’ll know that it could have been even better. It sounds crazy to say it, but that’s what’s required in South 2. Those are the standards that are set by the teams at the top; near perfection.
The road keeps on rolling on, and just over the hill lies an unforgiving January and February 2024; the possibility of cup semis and finals, a Basingstoke/Streatham weekender, Peterborough at the Palace. There’s so much to come. So much to be excited for.
One step at a time though. Mustangs first. One foot in front of the other.
Let’s Go Huskies.