Hi everyone and welcome back to the Hangar for tonight’s game. In my closing last weekend on Jets TV I said the challenges didn’t get any easier this weekend and I stand by that as we welcome the Manchester Phoenix.
It’s fair to say pre season Guildford, Manchester and ourselves were talked about as the “fancied teams” for success this season and I guess following the win at Coventry last season and the strengthening over the summer to our squad that’s fair enough. Guildford have also improved last season, in fact last Saturday’s was one of the strongest looking Flames’ squads I’ve seen for a long time. They did everything well from netminding out and were able to pounce at the right time to give themselves a strong two goal lead at the right time of the game. I haven’t seen Manchester play yet this season but two weekends ago they shut us out at their place but last weekend lost in penalties at Swindon. That proves no matter how much a fancied team you are sometimes the results just don’t go your way.
Last Saturday’s was a great game of hockey I thought. Fantastic to see the Jets light the goal light twice in the opening 10 minutes but Guildford levelled that up soon enough and just at the back end of the third period edged ahead. The first half of the third period was neck and neck and the result still could have gone either way but then Guildford made it 2-4. That meant we had to open up to chase the game and Guildford capitalised on that to bang home two goals that didn’t really reflect the game. Guildford were good for their win, they played well at even strength and executed hard on the powerplay contributing three of the six goals in their tally.
We may not have got the result last weekend but the atmosphere in the Hangar was awesome. Maybe it was the dougnot giveaway, certainly the mention of doughnuts in either the first or second period resulted in a huge cheer each time!! Seriously though, the atmosphere was fantastic last weekend and that’s what we need. We need a real carnival buzz around the rink on game nights, it makes the whole package more attractive to new supporters when they decide whether they return or not but most importantly it gives the players a real lift.
Next weekend we have our first Sunday game of the season. I know Sunday crowds are usually down on Saturday crowds but consider it’s our local derby against another team who could easily end up with silverware at the end of the season, the Basingstoke Bison. Add to that the chance to catch up with some familiar faces and it suddenly becomes a night not to miss.
Enjoy tonight’s game, let’s make some noise!!
My team, your team, OUR TEAM!