Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ice Hockey: Double Success; Fletcher on Form as Bombers Secure Wins

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Ice Hockey: Double Success; Fletcher on Form as Bombers Secure Wins

Article excerpt

Byline: By ANDY BAXTER

BILLINGHAM Bombers secured maximum points with back-to-back victories in their latest round of fixtures.

First up, the Teessiders thrashed league new boys Lancashire Raptors 12-4, a result on the road which was followed by a 5-1 victory over Welsh visitors Flintshire Freeze.

At the Blackburn Arena, Bombers traded goals with Lancashire before a Stuart Gibbon effort edged Billingham to a 3-2 lead at the close of the first session.

In form Andy Fletcher hit his second at the halfway mark, before the Raptors pegged the visitors back a minute later.

The Lancashire side's defence had no answer to the Bombers as they moved up a gear and blasted four goals in three minutes, securing hat tricks for Andy Fletcher and Andy Thornton.

The third period started with Bombers in control, and the hosts swapped goalies in an attempt to thwart their opponents.

It was to no avail as Fletcher took his haul to five goals and two assists, with Ricky Box adding his name to the score sheet.

With 30 seconds to play captain Paul Windridge added his second goal to a performance that saw him hit two goals with six assists, taking the Bombers' tally to 12.

On home ice 24 hours later, Bombers were looking to reverse a 4-3 defeat inflicted by Flintshire Freeze last month.

The first period played out with neither side gaining the advantage.

Eight minutes into the second session a pass from Stephen Pritchard hit Scott Ward's skates as he returned to the bench in a line change.

Bombers were fortunate that referee Dave Emmerson did not call the Billingham side for having too many men on the ice.

Stuart Gibbon then seized the initiative, crossed the blue line and blasted home the opener.

Flintshire's objections to the goal were waived off and the Bombers' lead stood.

Flintshire opened their account after a rapid fire barrage of four shots at keeper James Flavell, who stopped three before a rebound spilled to Sean Day who blasted home unassisted from the slot. …

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