25th Mar, 2019

Play-offs still in sight for Solihull Vixens

Craig Gibbons 18th Apr, 2018 Updated: 18th Apr, 2018

SOLIHULL Vixens remain on course to secure a play-off spot in the Women’s Elite League following their 6-3 victory over Sheffield Shadows.

Prior to Sunday’s game, both sides paid their respects to Canadian side Humboldt Broncos with a one-minute silence.

The Broncos were a junior team who when travelling to a game on April 6, their team coach and a truck collided, killing 16 people – ten players, two coaches, a statistician, a broadcaster, a therapist and the coach driver.

The event deeply touched the whole hockey family and Vixens manager Kerry Allen said a pin drop could be heard in the well-observed silence.

Following the moving moment, the two teams commenced their league fixture with the Vixens very keen to end their recent losing streak.

Despite still being very short benched due to injuries and work commitments, the Vixens fielded two lines which were focused and determined.

That showed through when at 3.25, Jess Urquhart slotted the puck to captain Katie Henry to ping it into the back of the net for an early lead.

A bit of defensive confusion, however, led to Sheffield drawing level on 5.40 when Jodie Bloom set up Abby Culshaw for a snipe past Solihull netminder Machelle Franklin.

Remaining positive, Henry found the net again at 5.59 having been supplied by Gemma Taylor and again at 10.10 unassisted to give her a hat trick and a 3-1 lead at the end of the first period.

Sheffield pegged a goal back from the face off of period two when Lauren Halliwell won the draw and fed Bloom to deceive Franklin with a wrist shot.

This was followed by a very open series of play where Sheffield put everything in to attempting to find an equaliser.

However, Solihull had different ideas and at 32.34, Urquhart passed to Paige Dance who slid the puck to the crease and once again Henry was ready to finish.

Nearing the end of the second period, Amy Trueman took control of the puck and, battling through the Sheffield defence, fired in for Solihull’s fifth and the period ended at 5-2 to the Vixens.

As the third period started, Sheffield once again embarrassed the home side with an early strike at 41.55.

Rachel Butcher scoring, assisted by Helen Moss.

But the game was finally put to bed when Trueman passed to assistant captain Saffron Allen who fed Urquhart for her first and Solihull’s sixth.

Victory leaves Solihull leaving in second place with five games remaining.

There is one home game left on May 12th against Streatham with face off at 16.15.

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