As highlighted on last week's show, the Cardiff Comets Women's Ice Hockey team hosted their first game of the season with last season's runners up, the Chelmsford Cobras, as opponents. Chelmsford have been setting the pace this season and would be looking to extend their winning run to 5, whilst Cardiff knew this game was a must win to stay in the title hunt. Games between the teams last season were settled by single goals and a larger than normal crowd were on hand to see what promised to be a very competitive game.
A nervy start from both sides led to a tense first period with Chelmsford's forwards looking dangerous, but there was little support from defence and Cardiff were easily soaking up the attacks. As time went on the Comets increasingly began to counter attack in numbers and received their reward late in the period with Kamara Bristow slotting home from broken play. 1-0 to the home side at the end of the first.
The second period saw two quick fire goals from Fran Frappell before Chelmsford hit back with their opening goal near the midway point of the game. Their relief at scoring was to be short lived however, as Bristow added her second followed soon after by Nikki Rust-Lombard chipping the netminder for the Comets' fifth goal. Defender Suzi Grieve completed a dominant second period for the Comets with a scrappy shot that Chelmsford failed to react to. 6-1 to Cardiff at the end of the second.
Chelmsford hadn't given up though and opened the third by reminding their hosts how dangerous they could be. An inch perfect pass split the defence and Emma Hayman in the Cardiff goal stood little chance against an excellent shot. The Comets were determined not to let this one slip away and again replied immediately when Beth Williams skated past the entire Chelmsford team for a solo goal, restoring the advantage. Arguably, the best goal of the game was to be the final one, as Williams added her second with a powerful shot from the blue line that rose and dipped before passing the netminder. The final score 8-2 to the Comets with Suzi Grieve picking up the player of the game award.
It was a well deserved win for the Comets, who looked a completely changed side from the team defeated by Swindon earlier in the season, and lays down a marker for the rest of the league to try and match. Chelmsford are better side than they showed during this game and will surely still have much to say in how the league plays out. Cardiff travel to Invicta this Saturday, with their next home game being the return match against the Swindon Topcats on the 19th February, 6.30pm with free entry for spectators.
For more information on the Cardiff Comets, please check out their website www.cardiffcomets.com