Lions’ Weekend Ends in Double Disappointment

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.

SATURDAY

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.

Game Stats
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

SUNDAY

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.

Game Stats
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.

You can also keep with, and follow the Lions on Facebook & Twitter with #LeeValleyLions

League Campaign Begins with Jets Draw

With the wind and rain howling outside, Lee Valley were looking like the odds were against them for their first game of the NIHL 2 South East season. 

The Lions were missing captain Nick Alley, James Hepburn, Jordan Turner, Joe Weare, Robin Young & Ben Gillingham. Matt Hepburn took over the captaincy for the game.

Visitors Slough were playing their first game of the 16/17 season, and brought a young team featuring EPIHL and London Raiders goalie Chris Douglas.

1st Period: Slough started strongly, controlling the puck well and kept the Lions pinned back in their own zone. After soaking up the Jets pressure, Lee Valley were undone when the puck was chipped in, caught a nick in the boards and popped out in front of a gaping net, falling to Christopher Hocquingy (05:44, assist Sanderson) after James Andrew and the defence lost track of it. The Jets continued to control the pace and possession, Harry Hatfield (09:35, assist Evans) scoring shortly after Slough set up camp in Lee Valley’s zone.
The Lions needed to respond quickly and began to put Slough’s defence under pressure with a succession of chip and chase plays, and the pressure paid off as Craig Cowell was penalised for interferance. Whilst Lee Valley weren’t able to score on the power-play, they were camped in the zone when Cowell returned to the ice. As he did, a shot from the blue line across Slough’s goal found Matt Hepburn (12:51, assists Gosling and Fox) and the captain chipped in to reduce Slough’s lead to one. Lee Valley’s woes continued as they received a penalty for two many men on the ice, meaning they would begin the 2nd period short-handed.

2nd Period: The Lions’ killed the penalty and having being out-shot 20-6 in the first period, started the 2nd period more brightly and kept Chris Douglas busy early on. It wasn’t long before Lee Valley were level and a quick break from a turnover in their own end saw Simon Geldart (21:54, assist Fox) break down the boards and score on a 3-on-1.
Lee Valley continued their resurgence and were controlling the puck much better in both ends of the ice, and with Flynn Cunningham sitting two minutes for slashing, the Lions broke insto Slough’s zone again and took the lead when Chris Fox sent a back hand pass to Ben Duffy (29:58, assists Fox, Aiken) who one timed a snap shot into the net, giving the Lions the lead.
It wasn’t long before Slough equalised though as a long range shot by James Sanderson (30:16, assist Cunningham) was initally caught, the dropped by James Andrew in Lee Valley’s goal.
As Lee Valley tried to regain the lead, a skirmish in front of the Slough goal saw Sam Awoyemi & Simon Geldart binned for roughing along with Slough’s Cowell and Chris Beal. Then, Ross Sin-Hidge was brought down for a penalty shot, but was unable to convert it.
The Lions continued to maintain control for the remainder of the period as it ended at 3-3.

3rd Period: This was a much tighter affair with both teams doing well to cancel each other out, with a lot of big hits in neutral ice. Slough started the period the stronger but couldn’t find a way past Andrew and the Lions’ defence. Lee Valley in turn found themselves frustrated but a couple of athletic saves from Chris Douglas.
Half way through the period, Matthew Eggen was was called for high sticks but the Lions successfully killed the penalty. Later on James Joseph took exception to a hit and was also penalised for roughing.
With Slough beginning to gain momentum, they called a time-out with just over two minutes left in the game. Despite this, it was Lee Valley who came closest to scoring a winner, Matt Hepburn being stifled at the death by Douglas with the game finishing 3-3.

Game Stats
Final Score:
Lee Valley 3-3 Slough Jets
Period Scores: 1-2/2-1/0-0
Shots on Goal: Lee Valley 27-36 Slough
Penalties in Minutes: Lee Valley 16-24 Swindon
Scoring: Lee Valley: Chris Fox (0+3), Matt Hepburn, Simon Geldart & Ben Duffy (1+0), James Gosling & Henry Aiken (0+1)
Slough: James Sanderson (1+1), Harry James Hatfield & Christopher Hocquigny (1+0), Flynn Sitch-Cunningham & Kirkland Rhys Evans (0+1)
Goaltending Stats: James Andrew (Lions) 36 shots/3 goals 91.67%,
Chris Douglas (Slough) 27 shots/3 goals 88.89%

Peterbourough’s win over Chelmsford Warriors sees the Lions start the season in 2nd place, and this Saturday (17/09/2016) sees us travel to face the Islanders in Peterborough.
Then on Sunday (18/09/2016) we welcome Haringey Racers for the first London derby of the season.

Face off is at 5:30pm and you can get information about tickets & travel to Lee Valley Ice Centre on the Game Day section of our website.

You can follow the Lions on Facebook & Twitter with #LeeValleyLions

Lions Drop First Game to Wildcats

The wet weather outside signalled that summer was over, and that ice hockey was well and truly back.

Lee Valley Lions begun their season, with a visit from Division 2 South West side Swindon in the NIHL 2 Cup.

The Lions featured many of last season’s side, but also a debut for new goalie James Andrew and returns for James Hepburn & Jordan Turner after a year out.

Swindon arrived in East London short benched, but boasting the experienced Graeme Bird and Loris Taylor amongst their ranks.

Also making his 200th appearance for the Lions was long serving defenceman James Joseph.

1st Period: The Lions started the game quickly, but Simon Geldart was penalised for holding. Lee Valley killed the penalty, and followed up by getting a couple of shots in on Graeme Bird in the Swindon net, but the shots were infrequent and Lee Valley were unable to follow up on the rebounds.

Meanwhile Swindon slowed the pace of the game well and controlled the puck when they did get into the Lions’ zone. Eventually Swindon capitalised on a poor face off from the Lions and Adam Coakley knocked in fom brother Andrew Coakley’s rebound (06:26, assist Andrew Coakley).
Little under three minutes later, another poor face off in their own zone saw Stuart Widdows unmarked (09:03, assist Taylor).

Lee Valley upped the work rate again and after being frustrated by Bird, Nick Alley (17:45, unassisted) finally broke through the reduce the score the 2-1, which is how the period ended.

2nd Period: Lee Valley needed a strong response and started the period at a faster pace, with both teams raising the physicality. Sam Awoyemi and James Hepburn both made big hits in defensive positions, and the Lions started to reduce the shots on Andrew’s goal. Lee Valley still couldn’t make any clear cut chances though and with that the period ended scoreless, with the score still at 2-1 to Swindon.

3rd Period: The third period continued with the pace of the 2nd, but Lee Valley started to give away more turnovers in neutral ice and Swindon started to gain more control and settle in the Lions’ own zone. James Andrew continued to make big saves until a turnover on Lee Valley’s blue line allowed Jordan Smith (48:50, unassisted) to skate in 1-on-0 against Andrew, roofing the puck to double Swindon’s lead.

Lions continued to struggle to get out of their own zone and as they tried to get back into the game, Nick Alley mis-timed a hit at neutral ice, receiving a tripping penalty. Swindon were quick to capitalise through Jordan Smith (58:34, assist Taylor), making it 4-1 before Matt Hepburn (58:34, assist Ben Gillingham) quickly fired back to pull it back to 4-2.

George Alley decided to gamble in an effort to salvage a draw and pulled James Andrew for the extra skater, but the Lions couldn’t maintain control of the puck and a scrappy turnover allowed Adam Coakley (59:46 empty net goal, unassisted) to chip into the empty net, sealing the game at 5-2.

Game Stats
Final Score:
Lee Valley 2-5 Swindon
Period Scores: 1-2/0-0/1-3
Shots on Goal: Lee Valley 21-47 Swindon
Penalties in Minutes: Lee Valley 6-8 Swindon
Scoring: Lee Valley: Nick Alley & Matt Hepburn (1+0), Ben Gillingham (0+1)
Swindon: Adam Coakley & Jordan Smith (2+0), Loris Taylor (0+2), Stuart Widdows (1+0), Andrew Coakley (0+1)
Goaltending Stats: James Andrew (Lions) 46 shots/4 goals 91.3%, Empty Net 1 shot/1 goal
Graeme Bird (Swindon) 21 shots/2 goals 90.48%

Lee Valley Lions return to league action next Saturday (10/09) at home to Slough Jets, for information about tickets and travel to to Lee Valley Ice Centre, go to the Game Day section of our website.

You can follow the Lions on Facebook & Twitter with #LeeValleyLions

Glover, Awoyemi & Hidge Sign On

Our final group of signings before our first game of season are three more returnees.

Coming back for their second seasons in Lions jerseys are ultility player Oliver Glover, former Lee Valley junior Samuel Awoyemi and forward Ross Sin-Hidge.

Oliver returns after joining late last season from local rivals Haringey Racers. Before then he came through the Nottingham junior system, and then played for Nottingham Mavericks in the British University League. Oliver

For Lee Valley junior Samuel is another former player of coach George Alley, where they worked together in the club’s under 18’s. Samuel was the team’s captain before stepping up to the Lions.

Ross Sin-Hidge also joined from Haringey at the same time as Oliver Glover. Former Haringey junior Ross, spent two seasons with the North London outfit before moving down the River Lea. Unfortunately Ross was only able to play 5 games in green before suffering a season ending knee injury.

Coach George Alley had this to say about the new signings.

“Ollie came to us as a forward last year but when I covered the team in January, he offered to play D when we were short of players and did great job. He is very reliable and knowing I can utilise him as a forward and as a defenceman is very reassuring.”

“Samuel had a tough time breaking into the team last season, but will get more opportunities this year. He’s a quick learner and his work rate is infectious. Everyone on the team enjoys playing with Sam and will go out of their way to help him develop this season.”

“Ross’ season got cut short because of injury but he keeps himself in very good shape so he’s come back quickly. His roller skills are showcased in that he has very quick hands, he’s got a great shot on him as well. If Ross gets through a full season I’m confident he’ll be very effective for us.”

“We’ve now got more than three lines of players available to play. So competition for places is going to be strong, particularly in the coming weeks. I’m looking to add a couple more players before September finishes as well, so we’ve got plenty of depth in the team”

You can view Oliver, Samuel & Ross’ stats in the links below.

Oliver Glover Stats
Samuel Awoyemi Stats
Ross Sin-Hidge Stats

The Lions begin their season with the visit of Swindon NIHL Wildcats this Saturday (03/09/2016). Face off for the game is at 5:30pm and you can find more information on our  Tickets & Location section.

Remember, you can follow the Lions on Facebook & Twitter with #LeeValleyLions

Lions Sign Goalie James Andrew

The Lee Valley Lions are pleased to announce the signing of Goalie James Andrew.

James has made the step up from the University of London Dragons, with whom he won the BUIHA South Division in 2014-15.

A former Peterborough junior, James took time away from the game before taking up the sport again whilst studying in London, where head coach George Alley first saw him play.

“The Dragons were usually on the ice after juniors finished training, and James asked me to stick around to do some goalie work with him. At the time he was a bit rough around the edges”

“Since then I hadn’t seen him play until he starting skating with us over the summer, and the improvements he’s made since I first met him have been remarkable.”

“He’s very agile and his puck tracking is very good, especially given that he’d taken a lot of time away from the sport.”

“I really think James will do well for us this year and I’m looking forward to having him on board.”

You can view James’ stats in the link below.

James Andrew Stats

Remember, you can follow the Lions on Facebook & Twitter with #LeeValleyLions