SWINDON Panthers secured their biggest victory over perenial title contenders Chelmsford Nighthawks in seven years recently.
The first period got underway at a high pace but the deadlock was not broken until 4.20 when a well taken effort from Ian Richards found the net with an assist from Scott Gough. Though Nighthawks cancelled that score only two minutes later.
Panthers were able to close out the first period with an advantage after some good work from Paul Wojciak set up Dean Baker to rip it past the Nighthawks’ goalie.
Swindon started the period brightly and in the second minute another well placed shot from Richards assisted by Gough and Rob Jones saw them stretch their lead further.
Soon after they had a fourth, Johan Persson making the pass to Robin Davison who was in the slot and ripped a slapshot past the Chelmsford goalie.
Panthers then seemed to take their foot of the gas and the Nighthawks came back, scoring two goals to take the score to 4-3.
Richards’ evening then ended in dramatic fashion. After a check both players hit the ice and the Swindon-man took a skate blade to the ribs, resulting in a three inch gash that required paramedic treatment.
The next goal in the third period would change the game and fortunately it was in Swindon’s favour. Johan Persson scoring with a low shot assisted by Kenny Redmond with only 22 seconds gone.
Less than two minutes later Persson scored a second at 41.19, again assisted by Gough and Jones.
The game was then all Panthers as the Nighthawks could not match their three-line hockey and skill.
Chelmsford started to try and rough things up but this backfired with a number of penalties allowing the Panthers the time to run the clock down.
The eighth goal came at 58.16, rifled high into net by Gough after great team work from Jones and Wojciak.
The ninth and final strike was the goal of the night and came at 59.18. Gareth Endicott took a long pass from Robin Davison and spun round the defenceman on the blue line, leaving a one-on-one with the goalie he finished expertly in the top corner.