Icemen rule over Senators soar

Fylde Flyers v Lancashire Raptors'Eric Veldze celebrates his second goal
Fylde Flyers v Lancashire Raptors'Eric Veldze celebrates his second goal
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FYLDE Flyers recorded their second away win in ice hockey’s English National League in Sheffield, having had to settle for a home draw with Lancashire Raptors in Cleveleys the previous day.

Having defeated the Blackburn-based Raptors comprehensively the previous weekend, the Flyers were held 3-3 by them at the Sub-Zero Arena on Saturday.

Despite having a goal disallowed and outshooting Raptors 74-43, Flyers struggled to cope with an energetic side superbly marshalled by the giant defenceman Peter Tapp.

Fylde took a 2-0 lead after 22 minutes, with an Elvis Veldze goal, assisted by Bobby Caunce, and a Dan Fearon slapshot laid on by captain Wayne Whitby.

The Lancashire side stunned a big Cleveleys crowd by equalising with two goals in the 33rd minute, following interplay between Steven Hetherington and Chris Wareing.

A powerful long-range shot from Peter Tapp then put Lancashire in front in the 46th minute.

Fylde came back six minutes later with a trademark Veldze solo effort, but despite late pressure they could not force a winner.

Netminders Steven Gilmartin and Nick Saxton deservedly took the most valuable player awards, though Fylde coaching advisor Garry Fearon said: “We were poor and probably complacent.”

However, he got the desired response with a much-improved performance away to Sheffield Senators as the Fylde won 5-2.

The Flyers were short on the bench and young defenceman Chris Butcher had needed overnight surgery.

But with player coach Mark Gillingham back in the side, the Flyers got off to a great start as Bobby Caunce scored in the third and eighth minutes.

His first was a fine solo effort in the third minute before Veldze laid on the second.

Sheffield opened their account in the 17th minute but their second was sandwiched by two more Caunce goals in the second half.

With Fylde tiring badly and fighting a rearguard action, Veldze broke away to scored the match-clinching goal on 51 minutes.

Daniel Fearon took the mvp award after a win which lifts Flyers’ spirits ahead of Saturday’s tough visit to Bradford (4.30pm).

Delighted coach Gillingham said: “After a poor performance on Saturday, the was a great opportunity to get back on track and that’s what we did. Every player put in a massive effort and it paid off.”