Ice hockey: Streatham a step closer to promotion

BY DAVID CARR

Streatham captain Michael Farn believes the narrow win over Chelmsford Chieftains last weekend was the toughest challenge the team have faced so far, as the table toppers continue to show their class in the National League South.

A 3-2 win in Essex was all the more impressive given the team fell two goals behind in the first period thanks to goals from Adam Jakopin and Grant Bartlett.

A solo Ryan Watt goal gave the large travelling contingent of Streatham fans a glimmer of hope, before star man Vanya Antonov stepped up to silence the home fans with two goals and take the points.

“We left ourselves with a real test early on,” said Farn, who has been a key part of a defence that is the meanest in the league.

“Watty’s goal was a lovely effort and then Vanny showed us the speed and skill we’ve become accustomed to this season.

“To win with a shorthanded goal was just reward for the penalty kill units, who didn’t concede all night.”

This weekend the team face Invicta Dynamos who have turned their form around  thanks to new signing Tomas Banovsky, who has inspired them to six wins in a row.

The fourth-placed Kent side will also be the opposition in the NIHL South Cup Final a fortnight later so the game provides both sides with an opportunity to lay down a marker.

“Invicta will be keen to cause an upset,” said Farn. “It’s vital we start the game strongly and don’t end up in the situation we had against Chelmsford. We’ve got plenty of speed and skill and need to take the direct approach we have all season.

“The last home game the stands were packed and we want to keep that going as the atmosphere has been great.”

Streatham follow up the Dynamos game with two trips on the road at Oxford City Stars and Milton Keynes Thunder. RedHawks coach Adam Carr is 50-50 on whether any new signings will be through the door before the January 30 deadline.

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