Elves win the Winter Blast!
‘Team Elf’ found themselves the winners of the Sheffield Steelkings Para Ice Hockey Club’s first ever Winter Blast game with a late goal securing a 2-1 victory over ‘Team Santa’
The teams were made up of players from the Steelkings who decided to put on a free Christmas exhibition game as a thank you to the public for their support over the last year.
The Sheffield Steelkings won a National Lottery Award in September thanks to public support and to say thank you, put on this exhibition game.
The Steelkings were also joined by a very special guest on the evening, Sheffield strongman, Phil ‘Titanium’ Roberts who was on hand for the ceremonial puck drop before the game started and to award the Player of the Game awards at the end too.
A dominant first period by Team Elf saw many chances saved but the team, couldn’t find their way past Bryan Hackworth in the Team Santa’s goal. Both teams had chances but it was Team Elf who came the closest.
The tough and physical contest saw both sides battling hard, much to the crowds excitement.
The first period came and went and would end scoreless.
The game remained tied for over half of the second period too and saw Team Santa pushing harder to try and take back some control of the game.
Goalie changes half way through the game saw Warren Hewett replace Bryan in the Santa goal and sledge hockey newbie, Tom Wilton replace Gary Whiteley in the Elf goal.
Shortly after the goalie changes the game really started to heat up. The hits became bigger as both teams desire to win started to become obvious.
A long clearance by defenceman John Oakley caught Warren by surprise and he allowed the puck to hit his goalie pads and bounce out to a surging Barry Grayson who slotted it into the back of the net to give Team Elf the lead.
This was a blow that would take the wind out of the sails of Team Santa.
The score would remain 1-0 going into the third period. Following a team talk in the period break Team Santa came out strong and continued to push back in an attempt to tie the game.
Their pressure was rewarded when Wayne Plummer passed the puck to Matthew Franklin who was racing down the left wing and fired a shot straight past Tom Wilton in the Elf goal.
The game was now tied and would see the crowd getting closer to the edge of their seats.
The score would stay tied at 1-1 until just a couple of minutes from the end. With under two minutes left on the clock Jake Oakley raced through the Santa team to pounce on a loose puck.
The shot went hard and high on the Santa goal but was spectacularly saved by Warren Hewitt to make up for his earlier blunder.
With a flash of the glove Warren scooped the puck to the corner for the game to remain tied.
Unfortunately for Team Santa, Rachel Paget was following the play down the left wing and played the puck back across to Jake Oakley who had circled to be front of the goal once again.
Hewett wasn’t able to save the second shot by Oakley who released another hard and high shot for goal number two.
This goal would prove to be the game winner and would see Team Elf win the first ever Winter Blast game 2-1.