With both teams relying on a number of U12’s playing up and with a 8 v 3 victory to the Bulldogs in the bag the Bradford U14’s appeared to commence the extended warm up in a complainant manner. The passing drills and speed of footwork lacked ability.
The first period performance reflected the warn up and the teams left the ice for an ice cut with Billingham quite rightly deserving the lead purely on work rate and desire to win. With an extended break and four Bradford coaches on the bench this was a game which could be turned around despite two key players missing which exposed our defence and our net minder who looked exhausted at times having just been awarded man of the match in the earlier U12’s game.
The second period continued as the first with both the Billingham players and the puck passing the Bulldogs defence which was seldom the case when Bradford had the puck. Billingham played a physical game in this period and constantly managed to turn the puck over by closing the play down. Billingham’s defence was strong and the team pulled together and always managed to get enough white shirts between the Bulldogs first line and their net minder who performed well. Frustration was creeping in as the Bulldogs were trying to walk the puck over the line and to be fair the goals did start to come in this period for the Bulldogs. Bradford Captain regularly consulted with the bench as did other players but this was a game where the Bulldogs centre simply did not troubled Billingham’s net minder as a number of the shots on target from Brown, Lutwyche, Ratcliffe and Griffin left the puck exposed and were simply chances missed. The second period ended X to Y in favour of Billingham who’s work rate simply outperformed the Bulldogs once again.
The third period was better for the Bulldogs and the home support became quite vocal as Bradford started to show their renown scoring power. This was a closely fought period and in the 11th minute Brown picked up a penalty for elbows and a power play resulted with the score at 9 to 8. The Bulldogs managed to keep the puck out of their own net but despite a number of individual attempts from Brown, Lutwyche and Ratcliffe in the last two minutes Billingham showed greater determination and as the final period ended the best team took the points with a 9 v 8 victory.
Period one two three
Shots on Goal
Accumulative Score 3v1 7v4 9v8.
Bradford’s Man of the Match – Jordan Griffin