After the disappointment of the first game this morning England’ 15’s needed a win to be certain of a semi-final place in Fussen.
It was a tense build-up to the game and the supporters were reluctant to talk confidently although they need not have worried.
With the drop of the puck England were sharp out of the blocks and set about their game against pre-game favourites the Swiss. Within a minute England put their best foot forward and grabbed the opener with Sam Talbot following solid fore-checking effort to turnover behind the net.
Less than twenty seconds later Aaron Jepson (Sheffield) grabbed England’s second quickly followed by James Shaw (Sutton) who neatly netted a rebound to put England three up inside two minutes.
Any nerves were quickly settled and England’s game plan was too much for the Swiss to deal with. The next eight minutes saw England dominate although ‘Lakers big d-man was their main threat but Pete Winn’s team simply stopped his game from developing. Goals followed from Ryan Apsley (Sutton) and Joe Hazeldine (Nottingham) who craftily scored a neat tap-in off the goalies pads while behind the net prompting Coach Winn to claim an assist for suggesting the attempt from the bench.
With just ten minutes played the ‘Lakers pulled their goalie and ultimately inviting England to take the game.
Despite the success in offense, England were still unable to control their game discipline taking minor penalties seemingly awarded without cause.
The Swiss ‘Lakers numerous powerplay opportunities were eventually to cause England some annoyance and the period ended 5-1.
The second period was a much tighter affair and the ‘Lakers worked harder to implement their usual game plan. But England remained in control. Even though the Swiss managed two powerplay goals England never really looked fragile and further goals for Apsley, Hazeldine and Tyler Nixon (Sheffield) to round-off a marvellous recovery and fantastic victory against a team of very accomplished players.
Head Coach Pete Winn said. “We knew we had to disrupt their game plan having watched them earlier. Stopping their drive through the neutral zone was important and our boys needed to skate hard and back check without giving up. And we did that.” Winn added. “Our net drive was excellent and quick release shots presented good scoring chances which we took. At the other end our D was solid and resolute.”
Assistant Coaches were pleased too although concerns about soft penalties and decision making from the players especially in weak areas is a worry.
England can now rest before a semi-final in the final day. England Expects!