With the first two games of the season being played at home. Lee Valley faced their first two game weekend of the season, including their first away game to Peterborough Islanders in the NIHL 2 Cup, before hosting local rivals Haringey Racers on the Sunday.
For the trip to Peterborough, Lions were missing Robin Young, Joe Weare, Sam Awoyemi, Ollie Glover, Ben Gillingham & Jordan Turner. Returning to the line up were captain Nick Alley & James Hepburn.
Peterborough, fetured many of last year’s sqaud including Nathan & Conor Pollard, former EPIHL forward Shawn Yardley and a host of junior prospects.
1st Period: The game started at breakneck speed with both teams going back and forth, the Lions having the early dominance. Dan Lane in the Islanders net made several good saves from Alley, Fox & Duffy before Peterborough began to settle and momentum swung their way. James Andrew turned away several chances before a shot deflected off his helmet and fell to Nathan Pollard (19:50, assists C. Pollard, Yardley) with ten seconds left in the period.
2nd Period: Lee Valley again started the period brightly with two powerplays and came close on several occasions but couldn’t beat Lane. The Islanders again grew into the game before seven minutes of mayhem ensued for the Lions. First Michael White (29.09, assists Stokes, Yardley) scored, before three quick goals from Conor Pollard (PP Goal 33:15, assists Yardley, McDonald), Clint Herring (34:05, assist Worthington-Evans) & Pollard again (36:59, assists Yardley, Stokes) made it 5-0 going into the 3rd.
3rd Period: The Lions were keen to make amends for the previous period but started slowly giving Peterborough some early chances. With some messy play going on in their own zone, a scramble in front of net saw James Joseph penalised for Interference, with Simon Geldart & Islanders’ Connor Stokes both sat for Fighting after dropping the gloves. Lions then proceeded to kill two penalties, despite being down to two defencemen at one point.
Nick Alley and Chris Fox both went through on Lane again but the Islanders’ goalie stood up well, the game ending 5-0.
Period Scores: Peterborough 1-0/4-0/0-0 Lee Valley
Shots on Goal: Peterborough 43-29 Lee Valley
Penalties in Minutes: Peterborough 12-14 Lee Valley
Scoring: Peterborough – Shawn Yardley (0+4), Conor Pollard (2+1), Connor Stokes (0+2), Clint Herring, Nathan Pollard & Michael White (1+0), Robert McDonald & Callum Worthington-Evans (0+1)
Lee Valley – No Scorers.
Goaltending: Peterborough – Dan Lane 29 shots/0 goals 100%.
Lee Valley – James Andrew 43 shots/5 goals 88.37%
Man of the Match: Peterborough – Dan Lane, Lee Valley – James Andrew
In the first London derby of the 2016/17 season, fellow Londoners Haringey Racers were the guests at Lee Valley, in what was their first game of the season.
Lions were missing James Gosling, Ben Duffy, Joe Weare, Jordan Turner & Ollie Glover.
Haringey arrived in East London with former Lions Ryan Payne, Jack Ball, Alistair Band & Phillipe Mueller amongst their ranks.
1st Period: The game began at a slower pace than the previous night in Peterborough, with Lee Valley allowing the Racers a lot of space to set up in their zone. Once the pace of the game changed, Steve Nightingale in the Haringey goal was forced into a couple of good saves, as was Lions goalie James Andrew. Haringey were first to break the deadlock, Solomon Smith (PP Goal 7:09, assists Osborne, Clayton). Lions then went back on the offensive and as Alistair Band sat a penalty for holding, Lions finally broke through when Nick Alley (PP goal 14:31, assists Fox, Eggen) rung a shot in off the post to tie the game going into the break.
2nd Period: Lions started the 2nd period with a man advantage after Haringey received a penalty for ‘Too Many Men on the Ice’ but were unable to convert their chances. The period remained cagey with both teams having breakaway opportunities, both goalies were holding out though. As tensions rose, both teams started to take penalties. First James Hepburn & Henry Aiken were penalised, leaving Lions with a 5-on-3 to kill off, then the visitors’ Phillipe Mueller & Ryan Payne both sat respective penalties. Despite the opportunities, neither team was able to score and the score remained at 1-1
3rd Period: The 3rd period started badly for Lee Valley. Whilst on the Powerplay, a long pass from the Haringey zone saw Mueller (SH Goal 43:15, assist Smith) breakaway quickly to give Haringey the lead. Haringey then doubled their lead when Mueller (47:54, assists Osborne, Smith) fired a quick wrist shot across Andrew. Lions upped the tempo and a scramble in front of the net saw Nick Alley (53:38, assists Fox, Geldart) react fastest to round Nightingale. Tomas Gilheany was sent to the penalty box for ‘Slashing’, and the Lions converted the opportunity as James Hepburn (PP goal 56:02, assists Jones, Geldart) blast a slap shot past a screened goalie to tie the game again.
A slow line change got the Lions penalised for ‘Too Many Men’ as well, and the resulting Powerplay saw Jack Lee (58:28, assists Mueller, Clayton) all alone in front of the goal to give Haringey the lead again. However, 20 seconds later Lee Valley tied the game again through Chris Fox (58:48, assists Alley, Jones).
Haringey had the last say in the game though, as the Lions failed to clear their zone, Matt Brown (59:39, assists Appleby, Osborne) wasn’t put under enough pressure & scored a wrap around goal, giving Haringey the final goal in a manic finish to the game. Despite Lee Valley having one final attempt on goal, they were unable to convert and the Racers went home with both points.
Period Scores: 1-1/0-0/3-4
Shots on Goal: Lee Valley 40-25 Haringey
Penalties in Minutes: Lee Valley 12-18 Haringey
Scoring: Lee Valley – Nick Alley (2+1), Chris Fox (1+2), Simon Jones & Simon Geldart (0+2), James Hepburn (1+0), Matthew Eggen (0+1)
Haringey – Phillipe Mueller (2+1), Solomon Smith (1+2), Ben Osborne (0+3), Daniel Clayton (0+2), Matt Brown & Jack Lee (1+0), Stuart Appleby (0+1)
Goaltending: Lee Valley – James Andrew 25 shots/5 goals 80%, Haringey – Steve Nightingale 40 shots/4 goals 90%
Man of the Match: Lee Valley – Nick Alley, Haringey – Steve Nightingale
The Lions have a week off before facing champions Chelmsford Warriors at Lea Bridge Road on Saturday 1st of October, before making the short journey around the North Circular to face off with Haringey again at Alexandra Palace on Sunday 2nd of October.
You can find information about tickets and travel to our home games in the ‘Game Day’ section of the website.