The first instalment was every bit as exciting as the last time the two teams faced each other . The Solent Hawks got the game’s first goal as player/assistant coach Chris Randall scored of a rebound at 2:20 in the first period from a Dale Corney shot. A second followed as Chris Randall set up Player/coach James Eklund to take a commanding 2-0 lead. Not to be outdone, however, as the Solent Vikings came storming back as Niall Magee scored at 16:20 to keep it close.
Into second period and it was all the Vikings as Magee with his second of the night was followed by Pete Shepard adding his name to the scorers. Both goals coming at 23:12 and 28:20 respectively. To close the period the Vikings’ Magee scored with his hatrick marker at 33:52 giving the Vikings at 4-2 lead.
The third period saw the Hawks’ Seb Clark score at 41:39 and it was game on. Just a few minutes later, Paul Hart got on the board for the Viking’s at 43:46. In the closing stages of the match Hawks piled on the pressure keeping the Vikings hemmed in their own end for the last few minutes as Chris Randall set Defence man Luke Bontoft free and he duly scored on the backhand to set up a grandstand finish. However Vikings hung on for a well deserved 5-4 win and first blood in the series.
Man of match for the Vikings was Nial Magee and for the Hawks was Chris Marsh.
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