Gamebirds will keep flapping

Local roller hockey has had a quiet but intriguing start to its 2012 fall campaign.

Week three of Cayman’s senior roller hockey league saw bragging rights on the line as two squads vied to secure the top spot. The Burger King Gamebirds played against the High Rollers at Kings Sports Centre last Tuesday with both sides sporting two wins each.

Brendan Rainonen’s first appearance since the league started proved a strong one for the High Rollers with an assist and seven shots on goal, giving good reason to ensure he’s a regular on the roster. The game was a tight one, with goals being exchanged evenly right up until the last few seconds of the game.

Eric Mildenberger, together with Curtis Appleyard, unleashed a flurry of 21 shots between them towards Rollers goalie Andrew Finlason, who stood strong. First season goals from Daryll Hather (Rollers) and Ken Ritchie (Gamebirds) brought each team back and then ahead in a game with few unforced errors.

With under two minutes remaining, the Rollers’ Mark Missal took a bad penalty and left the Gamebirds an opportunity to win. With five seconds left, Appleyard scored in tight off of his own rebound to put the Gamebirds atop of the table via a 7-6 victory. The three stars for the game were Appleyard, Hather and Mildenberger.

Game two between the Deloitte Sharks and the Flames was going to be decisive with who would end up holding the wooden spoon. The Flames got off to a sketchy start having trouble getting shots on goal. The side found a new lease of life last week, with 30 shots directed at Sharks goalie Scott Hughes.

The Flames were more together as a team, initiated through Mike Bowden’s creativity, but seemed to be still having trouble keeping their plays together and offering good scoring chances. The Flames’ Rob Seward was in the right place at the right time on a few occasions but was frustratingly denied.

Whilst Deloittes’s strong defensive play from Joe Jewitt and Tim Courtis hampered the Flames, they also created offensive chances themselves with Courtis nabbing a goal and assist and Jewitt earning two of each.

Jewitt currently sits second in the goal-scoring table, which is remarkable considering his defensive positioning. Deloitte’s Rob Rintoul, after a slow league start, is beginning to come alive as he had three goals, two assists and 12 shots on net for the night. The Sharks emerged 6-2 winners over the Flames. The three stars were Rintoul, Jewitt and Hughes.

League games continue at Kings on Tuesday, 2 October, from 8pm.

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