Ice-hockey: Streatham new boy Roberts has mixed weekend

BY DAVID CARR

Streatham’s new Canadian forward Alex Roberts enjoyed a mixed opening weekend in South London as the RedHawks beat Milton Keynes Thunder at home, before losing to the Everyone Active Raiders in Romford the following evening.

The 24-year-old scored two on his home debut before Michael Farn sealed a 3-2 sudden-death overtime win with a slapshot from close range.

Streatham had twice lost the lead in an end-to-end game that saw them outshoot the visitors but succumb on the counter attack to efforts from Tomas Rubes and Rio Grinell-Parke.

One plus was the exciting three-on-three overtime that ensued as a result.

Farn’s winning goal in front of the jubilant home support made the evening a real dramatic occasion rather than a cakewalk.

“It felt pretty good but we should have won the game by more,” admitted Roberts, who hails from British Columbia.

“We let them hang around and it was closer than it should have been, but we got the winner and it was an exciting finish.”

Twenty-four hours later it was the RedHawks turn to lose a close game as they went down 3-2 in Romford to the highly-fancied Raiders.

Streatham failed to make early chances pay, and allowed the hosts a 3-0 lead, before goals from Adam Carr and Tom Soar led to an exciting finish.

“You can’t spot a team three goals,” said Roberts. “The effort was there all game but it was all too late.

“Overall the weekend felt pretty good and we will get better as we figure each other out.”

Roberts is one of a number of new signings this year for Streatham, although the only one from overseas.

The 6ft 3ins-tall winger was put on the first line by coach Jeremy Cornish and also on the powerplay, racking up solid minutes on the ice in both games.

The RedHawks travel to Bracknell Bees this weekend as their light fixture schedule continues.

The Bees are one of the pre-season favourites for the NIHLS1 title after luring championship-winning coach Doug Shepphard from the Basingstoke Bison in the summer.

Defenseman Jordan Gregory missed both games last weekend and faces a late fitness test.

As a new arrival in the capital, Roberts will be preparing off the ice as well as on it.

“I’ve had to dodge traffic a few times already” he admitted, on the perils of SW16.

“I just need to get used to the cars on the wrong side of the road and get used to London life.

The guys have been great in the room and the owners and coach have been supportive so it’s a good start here.”

Streatham are not back on home ice until Sunday September 30 when they will face the Bees for the second time in seven days.

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