We relish the chance to play any US competition and it was a good time for our lads (who have been practicing together for 8 months now) to be tested.
We had a number of the Knights away on Holiday or playing in the US with Stockport Metros we still have a very strong squad.
We had prepared the night before with a walk though practice and we could tell that the lads where looking forward to the game.
The next day we had our pre team positional meetings, we wanted to focus on a few things and also discuss our offensive philosophy.
The Knights started well controlling the face off and creating offense for ourselves in the first quarter. Our ride was very effective and we made the US team think about their clearing sometimes resulting in them turning the ball over in their own half.
The game was 5-1 to the Knights at half time and could have been more if it was for some fine goalie play by of MDX,Jonathan Hulsman (remember the name) has very quick hands and his best saves where off stick side low which any goalie will confirm is that hardest shot to save, he impressed me a lot and as the Knights continued to create chances and shoot intelligently he frustrated them with save after save! Camnie Syme had a fantastic shot on man up low to high which was going to ping the top office corner but on e again the goalie cat like reactions saved them.
Jonathan Hulsman highlight tape:
Jack Burke in cage for Knights communicated and organised for us very well and also came up with some huge saves through-out the game. The Knights defenders (for the most part) forced MDX into bad shooting areas for the first three quarters and did a great job!
Oli Loveland controlled the offense and looked very comfortable behind goal.
Charlie Syme dominated the face offs and his wings Sam Harris and a mix of Dan and TJ played excellently on both sides of the field with TJ scoring the Knights first goal.
Knights played intelligently for three quarters and made MDX make adjustments in clearing and at face off!
At the third quarter break everyone was relaxed and confident and the knights coaching staff asked them not to lose focus!
Unfortunately we just didn't have enough of the ball in the last quarter (although we won over 50% of the face-off) due to bad clearing errors, turnovers and most of all penalties. MDX had a dangerous shooter on the right post and we didn't realise it it focus on him enough and he made us pay on a series of man-ups for MDX and that triggered the fight back! After not putting up enough points in the 3rd we had not stretched the lead enough and bad decisions for Knights and good play by MDX made the game level 7-7 at full
Two 4 mins extra time would be played, the first period of overtime saw MDX score first and then a spirited effort straight from the faceoff from Chas Syme brought us back to a draw. MDX then scored in the second period of OT on a fast break effort from MDX, the
Middies hadn't got back in quickly enough and the defensive slides couldn't stop MDX from Going up by 1. Knights had their chances to level the game but MDX ran out winners on the day with a great come back!
We learned a lot from this game and enjoyed the experience. We will be better because of this and will learn how to manage games in a more positive way, it will help the coaches prepare the team for our tour!
Thanks to MDX, Tomperley and Mr Loveland.
Matt Smith 2
Jack Burke 12