ICE HOCKEY: VIXENS coach Lee Trueman expressed his delight after his side came from two-goals down to defeat Streatham Storm in London.
The girls fought off a tough challenge against their southern rivals, who signalled their physical intentions from the start.
Vixens closed out two powerplay opportunities for the home side in the opening minutes when skipper Katie Henry and Cloe Keijzer were boxed for charging and tripping respectively.
Keijzer was in the box again at 14.16 for a ten minute penalty – and at 14.29 Gemma Taylor joined her, being called for hooking.
Despite penalty calls going against them, Martina Krupkova slotted a pass to Jess Urquhart who fired home the game’s opening goal as Vixens led 1-0.
This lead was held until 19.34 when Streatham’s Sarah Barton, defending a penalty kill, took the puck past the Solihull defence and levelled the game.
The hosts stepped up their game in the second period as Barton scored her second before Chelsea Meaney doubled the home side’s lead at 31.14, opening up a 3-1 lead.
Streatham’s two-goal lead didn’t last long though. Saffront Allen found Urquhart in the Storm zone before some strong individual play brought the game within a goal.
Vixens were then presented with a powerplay opportunity at 48.15 – but Storm held on and scored a market of their own at 48.57 as Jamie Endrizzi hit the home side’s fourth.
Trailing by two-goals with ten minutes left, Vixens had a mountain to climb.
An unassisted goal from Henry at 49.02 reduced the deficit to one before Keijzer levelled the game at 50.16.
The comeback was completed at 53.09 when Urquhart passed to Allen who slid the puck to Henry for goal number five.
It got better for Vixens when Henry scored her hat-trick – and Solihull’s sixth – at 57.17.
Vixens coach Lee Trueman said: “It’s never easy coming to a rink like this and performing from the start, then after falling 1-3 down its so easy to drop your heads and underperform.
“But we are all very proud of the girls today because they showed a true winning team spirit – refusing to be beaten and turning in an awesome result.”
Vixens are next in action on Sunday, December 10, against Bracknell at 7.25pm.
Entry for this contest, which will decide who will top the Elite League at Christmas, is free.