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Oxford Shooting Stars shine bright in Basingstoke - 11/02/2017

The Oxford Shooting Stars travelled to Basingstoke eager to kick off their KEEN Cup campaign with a strong ruthless performance. The Team travelled strong with Ben Robinson between the pipes, a powerhouse packed team boasting finish hot shot Roope Tuskala Czech dynamo Jakub Braunstein and the not so energetic club captain James Schall. The game also handed a debut to the Shooting Stars first ever Hungarian player Tamas Marosvari.

Both teams started strong but it was Oxford that found the net first with Roopes shot got deflected in off the knee of a Barracudas defender 30 seconds in, to give Roope his first of many and first for the Shooting Stars. Shortly afterwards Roope found the net again skating into the slot and firing, with the assist from Jarred Taylor. Basingstoke manage to sustain the shooting stars’ pressure for 7 minutes whilst generating a few solid chances themselves. It was the Oxford Shooting Stars that struck again though when Roope completed a natural hat trick skating through unassisted. Straight off the next face off Roope once again scores with a snipe from the faceoff circle. Jakub Braunstein came close with a near post shot, shortly afterward Latvian superstar Ivo Tormi received a soft penalty for Holding. Martin Sponar came close with a shorthanded effort, but the Oxford penalty kill, killed the penalty with ease. With 8 minutes to go, finally the score sheet was braced with a different name when our compact Canadian found the twine with a shot from the slot, assist went to Jakub Braunstein. Basingstoke encountered penalty trouble when Jay Whitehead received 2 for tripping. The inflowing power play didn’t generate many chances for Oxford, however Mitch Liddell managed to spring Jakub to score with seconds left on the power play. Basingstoke found more penalty trouble when Liam Concannon got sent to the box for a Body check on Jakub Braunstein. once again, the Oxford power play generated very little until late in the penalty when Roope Tuskala found the net again. Although the period ended with a 7-0 lead, Coach Peter Smith was left frustrated and felt that the rest of the team had a lot more to offer, and by god didn’t the team show it in the next two periods!

The period started with chances either end, however Matty Davies decided he needed a rest and got a 2-minute penalty for Hooking. Jarred Taylor soon followed Matty to the box with a penalty for what can only be described as the worlds slowest hip check. With both Matty and Jarred siting in the box this proved to be a good test of Oxford penalty killing skill. With Mattys penalty expiring Martin Sponar picks up a loose puck and fires it over the goalie’s shoulder for a shorthanded goal. Following on Jack Shrimpton does what he does best (and what James Bird can’t do) with a nice goal worked from a rebound off the shot of Roope. straight off the face off Roope picked up 2 for tripping from trying to win the faceoff. The Shooting Stars penalty kill worked its magic and was soon up to full strength. Basingstoke swapped goalies halfway through the period and she was welcomed with a barrage of shots from Oxford, Eventually Jarred Taylor found his way past her with an assist to Captain James Schall. Swiss superstar James Schall found the net after picking up a back post rebound from a Mitch Liddell shot. Goals carried on raining down for The Shooting Stars when Martin Sponar completed his hat trick with a shot from the slot assisted by Jarred Taylor. Roope carried on his party by pouncing on a rebound from Pavel Zebraks shot. Basingstoke had another solid spell of pressure and was being backed up well by some spectacular saves from netminder Kat Robinson. however, the Oxford firepower was just to strong when the Edmonton native Mitch Liddell pounced on a rebound from Braunstein shot the period ended with a commanding lead of 14-0.

Pre-period chat consisted of a very upbeat team talk minus Hungarian debutant Tamas who was feeling the strain from a full game of hockey and was suffering. Suffering so bad his face was the same colour as his jersey! there was also a lot of talk about the dreaded S Word and Ben Robinson was eager to stop anyone from saying it. Sadly, the word shutout was mentioned and if superstitious goalies are correct then Bens chances of getting one was dashed for ever. The period started with a Shooting Stars power play when Barracudas Jay Whitehead received 2 for tripping. Oxford capitalised 30 seconds when Roope Tuskala found Jakub Braunstein completely open in the slot. More Chances soon followed but the Barracudas goalie was equal to them. Often with her head. Basingstoke received more bad news when ex Oxford University player Ioana Gagea got caught for Hooking. Oxford power play looking again dangerous when Roope found the net with a saucer pass from Pavel Zebrak. 6 minutes into the period The Barracudas hard work finally payed off when Shooting Stars goalie Ben Robinson spewed an array of rebounds Gary Mercer placed the puck calmly into the net on the rebound of Grant Mercers original shot. Sadly, that meant for Ben Robinson his dreams of a shutout were destroyed. The Goal Rallied on the Barracudas and gave them a boost to not only stem the scoring barrage from Oxford but also gave them the confidence to generate some strong attacks. Jakub got the goal scoring machine up and going to complete his Hat Trick when James Schall played him into the slot for Jakub to shoot cleanly through the five hole. Basingstoke cut wood to the penalty box again when Liam Concannon was given a 2 for Body Checking. The Shootings Stars power play duly delivered again when Mitch Liddell found the net. The scoring was concluded when Shooting Stars Alternate gave a rainbow shot from the Blue line that slipped through the five hole. Basingstoke tried alternative tactics to score another when they tried to sneak a 6th skater on, but the ref was having none of it and they received a too many men penalty. For the first time that night the Shooting Stars had been unsuccessful in converting the power play chance.


That’s was the game over and the Shooting Stars picking up the opening win of the tournament. A special mention also goes to the Barracudas. A classy side that play good structured hockey and have fun doing it. Give them a couple of years to get some experience under their belts and they will definitely be a strong force to play against.

That’s where the game ended.

MOM Roope Tuskala 
Roope Tuskala 7+2 2 PIMS
Mitch Liddell 3+2
Jakub Braunstein 3+3
Jack Shrimpton 1+2
Jarred Taylor 1+3 2 PIMS
James Schall 2+2
Martin Sponar 3+0
Lee Merrill 1+0
Pavel Zebrak 0+2
Martin Bureau 0+1 
Tamas Marosvari 0+1
Matty Davies 2 Pins
Ivo Tormi 2 PIMS

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