Solent Amazons 1, Cardiff Comets 3
Ella Nesic, Sam Zala and Olivia Taylor scored for Cardiff Comets in their 3-1 English Women’s Ice Hockey League win at Solent Amazons.
Comets goalie Gemma Davies saved 19 of the 20 shots she faces, while Cardiff netted three times from 19 efforts.
This looked a difficult test for Comets against League leaders Amazons, but they were able to take a full three lines to the south coast on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
The visitors gave their lines equal ice time and there were no goals in the opening stages.
A drive by Solent generated a strong scoring chance for former Comets player Rebecca Enerstrom, who is playing for Amazons while she is away at university.
Her shot was neatly trapped by netminder Davies which prompted a face-off to the right of Cardiff’s net.
Ella Nesic, playing centre for only the second time, won the draw and sent Liv Taylor skating away at the top of the circle.
Taylor split the defence and launched an assault from her own end deep and wide on the Solent goalie. A hard shot from the right circle, initially half stopped by netminder Phoebe Shavelar eventually went in beneath her right elbow.
That unassisted goal was scored after nine minutes 28 seconds.
Comets led 1-0 after the first period and when they started again both teams generated lots of chances. Most shots, though, were either blocked or narrowly off target.
Cardiff earned a big opportunity on the powerplay which they may have converted if not for a dislodged net, but they made up for it at the start of the third period.
With only 32 seconds gone sustained forechecking by Zala and Bryony Roberts made a clearance impossible for Solent.
Anna Marsh, making a rare appearance, kept the puck low and set up Roberts, who was able to one time a shot in the slot. The rebound fell within reach of Zala, who fired home to make it 2-0 (30-32).
Solent replied three minutes later, getting the better of Cardiff’s defence in a goalmouth scramble, when they eventually prodded a loose puck under Davies’ left pad.
Just over a minute later Nesic restored the two-goal margin unassisted again and Cardiff led 3-1.
Comets kept their discipline in the face of intimidation by Solent and teenager Olivia Taylor led the way in that respect when she was hit by several blows, held her temper and did not retaliate.
Amazons finished the game having been given 31 minutes in penalties, while Comets had 14.
The next match for Comets is against Streatham away this Sunday.
Comets: Ella Marika Nesic, Bryony Rose Roberts, Kimberley Evans, Kira Simpson, Megan Lawrence, Olivia Taylor, Anna Marsh, Amy Hill, Molly Parker, Sally Williams, Jordan Phipps, Sam Zala, Emma Adams, Emma Gordon, Kirstie Davies, Gemma Bryony Davies.