Cardiff Comets 1, Bracknell Firebees 0
Sam Zala fired a final period winning goal for Cardiff Comets in their National Women’s Ice Hockey League match against Bracknell Firebees.
Captain Emma Adams took possession in her defensive zone and rifled a pass to Zala, who was skating hard. A neat deke on the edge of the crease and a snap shot which squeezed through a small gap under the net minder’s arm earned Comets a 1-0 win.
The match was in Bracknell and promised to be a hard fought affair with the teams meeting for the first time in the league after two cup games. The previous games saw Cardiff win 4-0 on the road, drawing the home leg 3-3.
The first period of their latest clash was precisely as predicted with end-to-end skating with both netminders tested.
It became clear the match officials were trying to keep the hockey flowing, more interested in overseeing a match where the game took and both teams enjoyed a close contest.
A slick line change sprung Bryony Roberts on a breakaway for Comets, but she was denied by an impressive back check which forced her shot high and wide.
The second period saw relentless Bracknell pressure, but effective line changes helped Comets outsmart the home team line-matching and gave Cardiff a momentum boost.
Ten minutes into the third period smart line juggling by Cardiff generated a sustained forecheck which caused a Bracknell player to be penalised for hooking deep in her own end.
The resulting powerplay was shortlived with Liv Taylor called for a questionable stick check.
Comets, though, made the most of the 4-on-4 which followed and Zala skated clear to score the only goal of the game.
Cardiff closed down Bracknell’s determined offensive threat, led by ex-Cardiff stalwart Sam Phillips. A solid team effort, boxing out the forecheckers, made the job of Gemma Davies between the pipes that much easier.
Scorers, Comets: Sam Zala 1+0, Emma Adams 0+1.
Most Valuable Player: Gemma Davies