Update on Tom Hurley

Last night Lions’ debutante Tom Hurley was injured in the 3rd period of our game with Cardiff Fire.

After a delay of about 10 minutes, Tom was stretchered off the ice and was taken by ambulance to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Tom was discharged at approximately 2am with suspected concussion, muscle sprain in his neck and a broken first metacarpal bone in his left hand.

We’d like to thank those who’ve sent messages of support on Twitter and we wish Tom a speedy recovery.

Invicta & Bristol Match Reports

Lions Take First Point After Spirited Fightback

Following on from defeat at home to Haringey two weekends before, the Lee Valley Lions returned to action on Saturday as they travelled to Kent to face the Invicta Mustangs. The Lions were hoping to finally break their duck and take their first win of the season.

The Lions were without Ben Duffy, James Joseph, Jordan Turner, Lee Hounslow, Michael Crosse, Robin Young and Robyn Maby, but welcomed two debutants: defencemen Ashley Earll, formerly of the Invicta Mustangs, and Arran Hartley joined the team to give Lee Valley 14 skaters as well as netminding duo James Andrew and Brett Shepherd.

1st Period: The first period was an entertaining one with chances at both ends. James Andrew in the Lions net was the busier of the two netminders, facing 24 shots in the period, while the Lions managed to get nine shots on the Mustangs net. Neither side was able to break the deadlock however, with the period ending goalless despite all the Mustangs pressure. The Lions had Andrew to thank for that, as he made several impressive saves to keep the score down.

2nd Period: The second period was also a tight affair, with both sides unable to create too many clear-cut chances. This was perhaps not surprising considering that both teams have struggled for goals in a lot of games this season. Once again Andrew in the Lions net made some noteworthy saves, but he was unable to stop 18-year-old Jake Stedman making it 1-0 to the home side. That proved to be the only goal in the second period, as the Mustangs went into period three with a slender 1-0 advantage.

3rd Period: The third period has sometimes been a weak point for the Lions this season, but they started the period well this time as they equalised early on through Chris Fox to level the scores at one apiece. However the Mustangs did not let them rest on their laurels as they scored twice in quick succession, with first James Laming making it 2-1 with 13 minutes left in the game and then Stedman scoring his second of the game to put the home side 3-1 ahead.

Instead of letting their heads go down, the Lions launched a spirit comeback and with seven minutes left to play, got the score back to 3-2 as Matthew Hepburn netted on the powerplay. As the period wore on, the Lions threw everything they had at the Mustangs net to try and get an equaliser. And, with just seven seconds to go in the third period, the Lions scored to tie the game. Nick Alley scored a 6-on-4 goal – the Lions were on the powerplay with netminder Andrew pulled for an extra skater -levelling the game up at 3-3. This secured a first point of the season for the Lions as the game headed to overtime.

Overtime: This was the first 3-on-3 overtime of the season for the Lions, while the Mustangs had lost to Slough in their only previous experience of the format. On this occasion, it would be the Mustangs who would score and take the extra point for the victory, Stedman (assisted Laming) completing his hat-trick.

Despite the loss, the Lions could celebrate a fantastic comeback from 3-1 down to 3-3, which allowed them to score their first point of the season and also showed that the spirit within the team is high despite a very difficult season to date. James Andrew was deservedly named the Lions’ Man of the Match after another strong performance in net, while hat-trick hero Jake Stedman took home the award for the Mustangs.

GAME STATS*
*No game sheet available at time of writing.

Final Score: Invicta Mustangs 4-3 Lee Valley Lions (OT)

Period Scores: 0-0/1-0/2-3/1-0

Shots: n/a

Penalty Minutes: n/a

Scorers: Invicta – Jake Stedman (three goals), James Laming (one goal)

Lee Valley – Chris Fox, Matthew Hepburn, Nick Alley (one goal each)

Goaltenders: Invicta – n/a

Lee Valley – n/a

Man of the Match – James Andrew (Lee Valley), Jake Stedman (Invicta)

Lions Outmanoeuvred by Well-Drilled Pitbulls

After taking their first point of the season in an overtime loss to the Invicta Mustangs the night before, the Lee Valley Lions returned home on Sunday to face the Bristol Pitbulls. With the Pitbulls coming into the game in 11th place, the Lions hoped to be in with a chance of points in this encounter.

Lee Valley were missing Ben Duffy,  Jordan Turner, Lee Hounslow, Michael Crosse, Robin Young, Robyn Maby and Samuel Awoyemi, but welcomed back James Joseph as they iced 14 skaters as well as netminders Brett Shepherd, who started this game, and James Andrew who was voted Man of the Match the previous night against Invicta. Bristol brought 18 skaters and netminders Andrew Leckie and Ross Miller.

1st Period: The first period started horribly for the Lions, as Bristol player-coach Richard Hargreaves (1:04, assisted Ryan McFarlane) caught both the Lee Valley defence and Lions netminder Shepherd cold and put his side 1-0 up early. The next ten minutes saw the Lions competing well, preventing Bristol from creating too many chances. And when they did, Shepherd was there to make the save.

However in the 11th minute, the visitors doubled their lead as Olly Shone (11:41, assisted Adrian Smith and R. Hargreaves) was left unchecked at the back post on the powerplay – Matthew Hamilton was in the box for tripping – and slotted the puck past Shepherd for 2-0. And with just over two minutes left until the first break, Logan Prince (17:41, unassisted) backhanded the puck past Shepherd to put the Pitbulls 3-0 up, a lead they would hold until the break. The Pitbulls put 16 shots on Shepherd in the period while Andrew Leckie in the Bristol net stopped all eight attempts that he faced.

2nd Period: It took just 21 seconds of period 2 for the Pitbulls to go 4-0 up as the Lions once again started slowly; this time it was Josh Dolphin (20:21, assisted Grant Richardson and Jamie Newton) getting the final touch. Bristol then got into penalty trouble; although they killed a charging penalty against Sam Shone, they were unable to do the same when Adrian Smith sat for interference as Simon Geldart (29:54, assisted Matthew Hamilton and Matthew Hepburn) got the game back to 4-1, scoring Lee Valley’s first goal of the evening.

However this was the kick that Bristol needed to get their heads back in the game, and just past the halfway stage of the game they scored two goals in quick succession to go 6-1 up as first Olly Shone (31:23, assisted Giovanni Raffaelli) and then Janne Virtanen (31:38, assisted O. Shone and R. Hargreaves) hit a quickfire double. This saw the end of Shepherd’s night between the posts, as he was relieved by James Andrew. Things did not get any better for the Lions though as Bristol scored twice within the last 1:02 of the period, Olly Shone (38:58, assisted R. Hargreaves and Virtanen) getting his hat-trick and Giacomo Raffaelli (39:58, assisted Smith and Prince) making the score 8-1 after two periods.

3rd Period: The third period started badly for the Lions, just as the other two periods had; as James Joseph sat two minutes for kneeing, Macauley Coppock (42:13, assisted R. Hargreaves and O. Shone) scored  a powerplay marker to extend Bristol’s lead to 9-1. The next 15 minutes saw the Lions try desperately to get some consolation goals, but the well-drilled Pitbulls backline prevented them from doing so, as did Leckie in the Bristol net.

The Pitbulls then put further gloss on the scoreline in the late stages of the game, with Prince (57:11, assisted McFarlane and Richardson) scoring his second and Olly Shone (59:39, assisted Coppock and R. Hargreaves) his fourth of the game. As the final buzzer sounded, the Pitbulls skated off with a deserved win and, although the scoreline may have flattered them slightly, they were good value for the win after a well-drilled and disciplined performance. Olly Shone was awarded Man of the Match for the Pitbulls after scoring four goals, while Lions forward Ben Gillingham took home the award for his side after a hard-working performance.

For the Lions, this game was another reminder of the tough league they find themselves in this season. Luckily for the East London side, the next chance of points comes in just six days as Cardiff visit the Den on Saturday. After their 7-1 loss in the Welsh capital earlier in the season, the Lions will be out for revenge.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 1-11 Bristol Pitbulls

Period Scores: 0-3/1-5/0-3

Shots: Lee Valley 33-59 Bristol (8-16/14-23/11-20)

Penalty Minutes: Lee Valley 10-8 Bristol

Scorers: Lee Valley – Simon Geldart (1+0), Matthew Hamilton (0+1), Matthew Hepburn (0+1)

Bristol – Olly Shone (4+2), Richard Hargreaves (1+5), Logan Prince (2+1), Macauley Coppock (1+1), Janne Virtanen (1+1), Grant Richardson (0+2), Ryan McFarlane (0+2), Adrian Smith (0+2), Giacomo Raffaelli (1+0), Josh Dolphin (1+0), Jamie Newton (0+1), Giovanni Raffaelli (0+1)

Goaltenders: Lee Valley – Brett Shepherd (31:38 played, 30 shots/6 goals against), James Andrew (28:22 played, 29 shots/5 goals against)

Bristol – Andrew Leckie (60:00 played, 33 shots/1 goal against)

Man of the Match – Ben Gillingham (Lee Valley), Olly Shone (Bristol)

The Lions are back in action on Saturday 2nd December as they welcome the Cardiff NIHL2 Fire to Lee Valley. Faceoff is at 5:30pm.

You can keep up to date with the Lions on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LeeValleyLions.

Slough & Haringey Match Reports

Lions Grounded by Jets

Seven matches into their NIHL South 2 (Wilkinson) campaign and still looking for that elusive first win, the Lee Valley Lions travelled to Slough to take on the Jets at their temporary rink. Slough finished behind Lee Valley in last season’s NIHL South 2 (East) campaign, so the Lions were confident of a strong result.

The Lions welcomed back Ben Gillingham, but were still missing injured trio Ben Duffy, Michael Crosse and Jordan Turner, as well as Matthew Hepburn, Lee Hounslow and Robyn Maby – making a total of 13 skaters plus netminder Brett Shepherd. The 17-year-old goaltender was making his second consecutive start in net for the East London side. The Jets could call upon 15 skaters and goaltending duo Chris Douglas and Charlie Nelhams.

1st Period: Unlike in some recent games, the Lions did not start slowly in this one. Indeed, both sides had a lively first period in which both goaltenders – Shepherd for the Lions and veteran Douglas for the Jets – were kept busy. However neither side was able to break the deadlock until the 17th minute of the period, as Slough captain Liam Underdown (16:26, assisted Lukas Smital) fired past Lions netminder Shepherd after a feed from Jets player-coach Smital. The Jets took a few minor penalties in the period – hooking against Kurt Tyrrell and roughing against Jack Lee – but the Lions were unable to convert either of the resulting powerplays. The period ended 1-0 to the home side, who were narrowly outshot 16-15 by the visitors.

2nd Period: The second period had a bit of everything, with goals and penalties flowing in regular succession. The Jets doubled their lead less than two minutes in to the period, Kurt Tyrrell (21:19, assisted Benjamin Eastwood) making it 2-0 to the home side. But after an interference call against Slough’s Luke Reynolds, the Lions halved the advantage as Nick Alley (22:57, assisted Simon Geldart) scored a powerplay goal to make it 2-1. A lack of discipline from both sides was to follow, with a total of eight minor penalties being called in the eight minutes of play following Lee Valley’s goal. The Jets were able to make one of these penalties count, going 3-1 up on the powerplay as Reynolds (31:52, assisted Nathan Darmanin and Underdown) fired past Shepherd.

The Lions refused to roll over though, getting it back to 3-2 with another powerplay goal of their own, as Samuel Awoyemi (35:53, assisted Geldart and Alley) scored his first goal of the season with Craig Cowell in the box for roughing. The game took another turn not long afterwards as Slough regained their two goal lead, Darmanin (35:54, assisted Jamie Chandler) making it 4-2 to the hosts with just over four minutes left in the period. And that was how it would stay at the second break, thanks in part to Shepherd making some outstanding saves in the Lions net. The Jets outshot the Lions 25-12 in the middle period.

3rd Period: The third period started off with a bang: Lions captain Alley was hauled down just 16 seconds into the period, and stepped up to dispatch a penalty shot (40:16) to bring it back to 4-3 and set up what looked to be a tense final period. However, things would all change just 20 seconds later: Alley was adjudged to have drawn blood from a Slough player with a high stick, and was awarded a 5 + game penalty. This not only robbed the Lions of their captain for the final period, it also put them on the penalty kill for five minutes – and the Jets punished them. First Timo Lindgren (40:45, assisted Smital and Underdown), then Smital (42:54, assisted Reynolds and Underdown) and finally Reynolds (44:12, assisted Smital) made it 7-3 during the resulting five minutes, putting the game beyond the Lions.

For the last 15 minutes of the game, the Lions battled hard as they looked to reduce the deficit, but were not able to get the puck past Douglas in the Slough net. A big chance to get back into the game arose at 44:37 as Jack Standing was ejected on a match penalty for checking to the head; but the Lions were unable to take advantage and couldn’t score any goals on the resulting major powerplay. And, with just under 10 minutes left to play, Underdown (50:06, assisted Darmanin and Smital) grabbed his second of the game to put the icing on the cake for Slough and complete an 8-3 victory.

This game was a prime example of how everything can turn on just one moment: before Nick Alley’s ejection, the Lions were only 1 goal down and pressing for an equaliser, but his game misconduct and the subsequent penalty kill knocked the stuffing out of them and they couldn’t quite recover. Yet again, a positive could be found in net, as Brett Shepherd performed admirably in what was just his second senior start, turning away 56 of 64 shots that he faced. Simon Geldart was awarded the Man of the Match award for the Lions for his two assists.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Slough Jets 8-3 Lee Valley Lions

Period Scores: 1-0/3-1/4-1

Shots: Slough 64-41 Lee Valley (15-16/25-12/24-13)

Penalty Minutes: Slough 47-47 Lee Valley

Scorers: Slough – Liam Underdown (2+3), Lukas Smital (1+4), Luke Reynolds (2+1), Nathan Darmanin (1+2), Timo Lindgren (1+0), Kurt Tyrrell (1+0), Benjamin Eastwood (0+1), Jamie Chandler (0+1)

Lee Valley – Nick Alley (2+1), Simon Geldart (0+2), Samuel Awoyemi (1+0)

Goaltenders: Slough – Chris Douglas (60:00 played, 41 shots/3 goals against)

Lee Valley – Brett Shepherd (60:00 played, 64 shots/8 goals against)

Man of the Match – Simon Geldart (Lee Valley)

Lions Edged Out by Huskies Again

One day after a disappointing defeat in Slough, the Lee Valley Lions had another chance to take their first victory of the season, as they welcomed the Haringey Huskies to the Den for the second London derby of the season. Haringey had beaten the Lions 8-7 at Alexandra Palace back in September, so the East London side were out for revenge in this one.

The Lions were still without injured trio Ben Duffy, Michael Crosse and Jordan Turner, as well as Matthew Hepburn, Lee Hounslow, Robin Young and Robyn Maby, meaning they had 12 skaters as well as netminding duo James Andrew and Brett Shepherd. Their visitors from Haringey brought along 15 skaters as well as goaltenders Jussi Lynch Grut and Thomas Adams.

1st Period: The Lions got off to a flying start in the first period, as they opened the scoring through former Haringey forward Ross Sin-Hidge (6:53, unassisted) with just under seven minutes having been played in the game. Haringey were then able to successfully kill off minor penalties against Dan Peters and ex-Lions forward Joe Berry as they kept the deficit down to one. In the 17th minute, Haringey got a powerplay of their own as Lions skipper Nick Alley was sent to the box for hooking, and the Huskies equalised through Lewis Jones (17:58, assisted Mark Voslinsky and Sam Park) whose shot from the blueline was deflected past Lions keeper James Andrew. The rest of the period passed without incident, with the score remaining at 1-1 at the first intermission. Lee Valley had put 11 shots on Lynch Grut while Haringey managed 14 on Andrew.

2nd Period: Just like the game against Slough the previous night, the second period in this game was also action packed. Just nine seconds in, the Lions took the lead again as Sin-Hidge (20:09, assisted Nick Alley and Matthew Hamilton) scored his second of the night after Alley forced Lynch Grut into a save. But the Huskies didn’t take long to equalise once more, captain Ben Osborne (21:12, unassisted) capitalising on a Lions defensive breakdown to level things at 2-2. Back the Lions came however, going 3-2 up as Alley (22:36, assisted Sin-Hidge) wristed an absolute beauty past Lynch Grut and under the crossbar. And the Lions had the chance to extend their lead when Chris Fox was brought down on the breakaway, but he could not convert the resulting penalty shot as Lynch Grut came up big with the save.

The Lions did extend their lead to 4-2 not long later, however, with another former Haringey man – this time Matt Brown (28:33, unassisted) – capitalising on some slack Huskies defending and unleashing a sweet backhander past Lynch Grut. But there would soon be some slack defending at the other end, as first Dan Peters (34:20, unassisted) and then Lewis Jones (38:31, unassisted) both scored after defensive lapses from Lee Valley. As the second period drew to a close, Brown (39:01, unassisted) scored his second of the night to put the Lions 5-4 up going into the final stanza, after a rollercoaster ride of a second period which had seen seven goals scored.

3rd Period: The third period would also start off with a bang, as Chris Fox took a tripping call and the Huskies scored on the resultant powerplay, Stephen Woodford (43:25, assisted Osborne and Lewis Jones) the scorer with a shot that found its way past Andrew. After the Lions successfully killed a high sticking call against Nick Alley, they found themselves a man down once again just a few minutes later with Simon Geldart in the box for hooking, and Haringey once again took advantage of the extra man with Daniel Clayton (50:45, assisted Ryan Payne and Lewis Jones) putting the Huskies 6-5 up – the first time they had led in the game.

But the Lions weren’t out of it – Chris Fox (51:05, assisted Ben Gillingham and Hamilton) tied it at six with a beautiful finish on the breakaway, and at this stage the game could have gone either way. Haringey retook the lead with just over five minutes left, Bryn Griffiths (54:48, assisted Park and Stuart Appleby) unleashing a shot from the blueline that found its way into the bottom corner of the net and made it 7-6 to the visitors. And when the Lions took yet another penalty with just a couple of minutes left, Haringey put the game to bed as Woodford (57:41, assisted Osborne) scored his second of the night and the Huskies’ fourth powerplay goal in total, leading to the final score of 8-6 in favour of the visitors.

It was another night of frustration for the Lions. They raised their game as they always do against their biggest rivals, and were arguably the better side on the night; but too many penalties and a few defensive breakdowns gifted the game to their visitors. The performances of Matt Brown – who took home the Man of the Match award – and Ross Sin-Hidge up front are worth mentioning, with both ex-Haringey forwards looking unplayable at times. If the Lions can play with the same fire and tenacity in their next few games, that elusive first win of the campaign is surely just around the corner.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 6-8 Haringey Huskies

Period Scores: 1-1/4-3/1-4

Shots: Lee Valley 38-61 Haringey (11-15/18-23/9-23)

Penalty Minutes: Lee Valley 16-24 Haringey

Scorers: Lee Valley – Ross Sin-Hidge (2+1), Matt Brown (2+0), Nick Alley (1+1), Matthew Hamilton (0+2), Chris Fox (1+0), Ben Gillingham (0+1)

Haringey – Lewis Jones (2+2), Ben Osborne (1+2), Stephen Woodford (2+0), Sam Park (0+2), Daniel Clayton (1+0), Bryn Griffiths (1+0), Dan Peters (1+0), Stuart Appleby (0+1), Ryan Payne (0+1), Mark Voslinsky (0+1)

Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew (60:00 played, 61 shots/8 goals against)

Haringey – Jussi Lynch Grut (60:00 played, 38 shots/6 goals against)

Man of the Match – Matt Brown (Lee Valley), Lewis Jones (Haringey)

The Lions’ next game is away to the Invicta Mustangs on Saturday 25th November, before a home game the next day as we welcome the Bristol Pitbulls to town on Sunday 26th November.

Lions Overwhelmed by Devils

After six matches of this season’s NIHL South 2 (Wilkinson) campaign, the Lee Valley Lions were still looking for their first win as they welcomed the Solent Devils to the Den. The corresponding fixture in Gosport last month was won 13-4 by a Devils side that played the last five seasons in NIHL South 1 before moving down in the summer, so the Lions could expect yet another tough game in what has been a difficult season so far.

The Lions welcomed back Samuel Awoyemi and Brett Shepherd, the latter making his first senior start between the pipes in this game after playing 30 minutes in the away fixture against the same opponents. Lee Valley were missing injured trio Ben Duffy, Michael Crosse and Jordan Turner, as well as Ben Gillingham, Lee Hounslow and Robyn Maby, making a total of 13 skaters plus netminding duo Shepherd and James Andrew. Solent brought 14 skaters to Lee Valley as well as netminders Christian Cole and Aaron Taylor.

1st Period: One of Lee Valley’s issues this season has been starting games slowly, and this reared its ugly head again as Drew Campbell (2:56, assisted Alex Murray and William Crossley) put Solent ahead inside the first three minutes with Lions captain Nick Alley sitting two minutes for kneeing. Less than two minutes later, the Devils doubled their advantage with Rhys McCormick (4:39, assisted Daniel Shier) finishing past Shepherd in the Lee Valley net. The next ten minutes or so saw the Lions defending somewhat better, but unable to exert much sustained pressure on Taylor in the Solent net.

The Devils then made the Lions pay for a defensive breakdown as Richard Facey (13:19, assisted Alexander Cole) batted down a wayward lofted pass out of the Lee Valley zone and raced in on the breakaway to finish past Shepherd. And two more goals were to follow in the period as the Devils started to show their superior quality; first Christopher Hocquigny (17:47, assisted Mark Pitts) scored past Shepherd from a tight angle, and then McCormick (19:28, assisted Campbell and Facey) grabbed his second of the night with just 32 seconds left in the period. As the buzzer sounded, the Devils were leading 5-0 and had put 25 shots on young Shepherd, compared to the six that the Lions managed at the other end.

2nd Period: Solent captain Alex Cole had taken a holding penalty right on the buzzer at the end of period one, so the Lions started the second period on the powerplay. The home side were not able to capitalise on this, however, as the Devils smartly killed the penalty. A few minutes later saw the Lions scoring their first goal of the game, bringing the scoreline back to 5-1; Matthew Hamilton (24:21, assisted Chris Fox) ghosted into the Devils zone to follow up on a rebound after Chris Fox had shot, and the defenceman managed to fire the puck past Taylor in the Solent net.

The following six minutes then saw Shepherd making several fantastic saves in the Lions net to prevent Solent from grabbing a goal, while the Lions once again struggled to create concrete chances at the other end of the ice. The 31st minute saw Solent’s Daniel Shier sit two for tripping, but this was cancelled but 44 seconds later as Robin Young was called for holding. No goals came from either of these penalties, and it looked like possibly being a goalless period for Solent until Facey (37:14, assisted Murray) scored his second of the night with 2:46 left in the period. The second period ended with the Devils 6-1 up, and again dominating the shot count: they put 27 on Shepherd, while the Lions could only manage seven on Taylor.

3rd Period: The final period started off with the Devils yet again pressuring Shepherd in the Lions net, but the 17 year old continued to frustrate them, flashing the leather to deny them on several occasions. However in the 45th minute, Lions forward Matt Brown was called for tripping, and the Devils made it 7-1 on the resultant powerplay, Alexander Trendall (45:09, assisted A. Cole) breaking the Lions’ resistance. The next few minutes saw Solent show some poor discipline, with first Pitts and then A. Cole sitting two minutes each for holding. This gave the Lions over a minute of 5-on-3 powerplay time, but they were unable to convert – and indeed not long after Pitts had left the box to make it 5-on-4, Solent scored a shorthanded goal as Kieran Annis (51:16, assisted Pitts and Facey) made it 8-1.

A four minute powerplay would follow for the Lions not long after, as Alexander Trendall received a 2+2+10 for butt-ending. The Lions bagged their second goal of the evening on this man advantage, Fox (53:18, assisted Oliver Glover and Robin Young) firing past Taylor to bring the game back to 2-8. Yet things went sour again for the home side soon after, as both Facey (54:13, assisted Campbell) and Murray (54:29, unassisted) scored shorthanded goals 16 seconds apart to put the Devils 10-2 up. And the Devils put two more past a tired Lions side in the last 1:26 of the game, Hocquigny (58:34, assisted Facey and A. Cole) completing his brace and Facey (59:41, assisted Shier) getting his fourth of the night, as the Devils won the game with a final score of 12-2.

It was yet another tough game for the Lions against a strong team, as the more experienced Devils overwhelmed the East London side and ran out deserved winners. As in many Lions games this season, one positive to take from the game was between the pipes; while it is usually James Andrew’s heroics keeping Lee Valley in games, this time it was 17 year old Brett Shepherd who made 60 saves on his first senior start and kept the scoreline from being even higher. Opposite number Aaron Taylor faced 22 shots in total. The Man of the Match award for the Lions went to Chris Fox, who had 1+1 on the night, while Solent’s Rhys McCormick took home the award for his side.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 2-12 Solent Devils

Period Scores: 0-5/1-1/1-6

Shots: Lee Valley 22-72 Solent (6-25/7-27/9-20)

Penalty Minutes: Lee Valley 6-22 Solent

Scorers: Lee Valley – Chris Fox (1+1), Matthew Hamilton (1+0), Oliver Glover (0+1), Robin Young (0+1)

Solent – Richard Facey (4+3), Drew Campbell (1+2), Alex Murray (1+2), Alexander Cole (0+3), Rhys McCormick (2+0), Christopher Hocquigny (2+0), Mark Pitts (0+2), Daniel Shier (0+2), Alexander Trendall (1+0), Kieran Annis (1+0), William Crossley (0+1)

Goaltenders: Solent – Aaron Taylor (60:00 played, 22 shots/2 goals against)

Lee Valley – Brett Shepherd (60:00 played, 72 shots/12 goals against)

Man of the Match – Chris Fox (Lee Valley), Rhys McCormick (Solent)

The Lions’ next game is away to the Slough Jets on Saturday 11th November, followed by a home game the very next day against the Haringey Huskies on Sunday 12th November.

Face off in Berkshire is at 6:00pm, whilst face at Lea Bridge Road is at 5:30pm.

You can keep up to date with the Lions on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LeeValleyLions.

Weekend Match Reports

Lions Overpowered in Cardiff

The Lee Valley Lions travelled to Wales still in search of their first win of the season, as they took on the Cardiff Fire at Ice Arena Wales. It was the Lions’ first trip to Cardiff since September 2013.

The Lions welcomed back Ben Gillingham and Oliver Glover, and gave a debut to new signing Matthew Hamilton. Missing were Ben Duffy, Brett Shepherd, Lee Hounslow, Matt Brown, Robin Young and Robyn Maby. That gave Lee Valley 14 skaters plus netminder James Andrew. The Fire were able to ice a full roster of 20 skaters and two netminders. Nine of their roster had won the NIHL South 2 (West) league title with the Fire last campaign.

1st Period: Cardiff started the game quickly, playing an aggressive brand of hockey and using their size well. They took an early lead as Ben Smith (2:02, assisted Jordan Baber and Robert Sedlak) put them ahead with just over two minutes played. The Lions were then unable to capitalise on an elbowing penalty against Cardiff captain Alan Armour, but were able to get back into the game just shy of the ten minute mark. Michael Crosse (9:44, assisted Nick Alley) buried a rebound to tie the game at 1-1 after Lions captain Nick Alley drove down the left flank and released a shot that Fire netminder Lewis Davies could only parry into Crosse’s path.

Cardiff regained the lead with just under five minutes left in the period, Rhys Harding (15:36, assisted Sedlak and Armour) putting the puck past James Andrew. The rest of the period saw the Lions successfully kill their first penalty of the game, as Simon Jones sat for hooking, and the two sides went into the first break with the Welsh side leading 2-1. The Lions outshot their hosts 12-9 in the period.

2nd Period: The second period started with a bang as Cardiff’s Elliott Murdoch and Lee Valley’s Chris Fox both sat 2+2+2 for slashing and roughing at 21:48. The Fire then managed to extend their lead to 3-1 as Ryan Banwell (26:37, assisted Baber and Morgan Evans) fired past Andrew in the Lions net. The next ten minutes mostly passed without incident before Michael Hutchings of the Fire sat 2 minutes for boarding. The Lions were unable to use the resultant powerplay and, as Hutchings returned to the ice, he set up Sedlak (39:27, assisted Hutchings) who made it 4-1 to the home side.

With just one second remaining in the second period, Fire forward Elliott Murdoch was tossed from the game on a match penalty, meaning the Lions would have almost five minutes of powerplay time to start the final period. The second period ended 4-1 to the hosts, with the shots equal at 17 apiece.

3rd Period: Starting period 3 on the powerplay, the Lions were unable to find their way past a disciplined Fire penalty kill; and a bench minor for too many men at 42:58 killed the Lions’ momentum. On the resulting 4-on-4 period of play, Fire extended their lead to 5-1 as Hutchings (44:25, assisted Harding and Stephen Deacon) scored past Andrew.

The last ten minutes saw the Fire adding two more goals to win the game 7-1; first Banwell (53:16, assisted Ross Wilkinson) bagged his second of the game and then Baber (58:45, assisted Morgan Evans) completed the scoring just over a minute from time. Sandwiched in between was a cross-checking penalty to Lions captain Nick Alley which was successfully killed off.

As the final buzzer sounded, the hosts could celebrate a 7-1 win over a Lions side that once again gave a good account of themselves but fell short against bigger, more physical opponents with a larger bench. For the Lions, Michael Crosse created several good chances before having to leave the game with a concussion following a hit. Jordan Turner also re-aggravated an injury to complete a tough night for the East London side. One positive for the Lions was in net, as James Andrew once again put in a strong performance, earning the man of the match award – already his third such award this season.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Cardiff Fire 7-1 Lee Valley Lions

Period Scores: 2-1/2-0/3-0

Shots: Cardiff 41-40 Lee Valley (9-12/17-17/15-11)

Penalty Minutes: Cardiff 35-12 Lee Valley

Scorers: Cardiff – Robert Sedlak (1+2), Jordan Baber (1+2), Ryan Banwell (2+0), Michael Hutchings (1+1), Rhys Harding (1+1), Morgan Evans (0+2), Ben Smith (1+0), Stephen Deacon (0+1), Alan Armour (0+1), Ross Wilkinson (0+1)

Lee Valley – Michael Crosse (1+0), Nick Alley (0+1)

Goaltenders: Cardiff – Lewis Davies (60:00 played, 40 shots/1 goal against)

Lee Valley – James Andrew (60:00 played, 41 shots/7 goals against)

Man of the Match – James Andrew (Lee Valley)

Courageous Lions Downed by Peterborough

Less than 24 hours after defeat in Cardiff, the Lee Valley Lions hosted the Peterborough Phantoms on home ice on Sunday. Peterborough – previously known as the Islanders – dominated the league last season, winning the “Treble” of the NIHL South 2 (East) league title, NIHL South 2 Cup and NIHL South 2 Playoffs. So it was sure to be another difficult game for coach George Alley’s side.

The Lions welcomed back Matt Brown and Robin Young who missed the trip to Cardiff, while new signing Matthew Hamilton made his home debut. Missing for Lee Valley were Ben Duffy, Brett Shepherd, Jordan Turner, Lee Hounslow, Michael Crosse and Samuel Awoyemi – with both Turner and Crosse having been injured the previous night. That gave Lee Valley 13 skaters plus netminding duo James Andrew and Robyn Maby. The Phantoms brought a full roster of 20 skaters plus netminder Dan Lane – an almost identical lineup to the all-conquering Islanders side of the previous season.

1st Period: The Phantoms came out quickly and aggressively, as was to be expected from a team riding high in the league, and tested Lions netminder James Andrew several times early on. But they struggled to find a way through Lee Valley’s defenses despite a lot of pressure. The Lions were able to counter a few times but could not create any concrete chances of their own. The game turned on one penalty against Peterborough; with Jack Sansby in the box for slashing, Peterborough achieved the rare feat of scoring three shorthanded goals on the same Lions powerplay, to put themselves 3-0 up. Nathan Pollard (7:59, assisted Craig Wallis), a second for N. Pollard (8:13, assisted Conor Pollard) and a further goal for James Pentecost (8:53, assisted Shaun Yardley) did the damage.

It was at this point that Lions coach George Alley called a timeout, and this seemed to calm his side down. They were able to prevent the Phantoms from scoring any more goals in the period, and with just over two minutes left until the first break, they got themselves back in the game as Ross Sin-Hidge (17:43, assisted Matt Brown) fired past Lane in the Peterborough net. The first period ended with the home side 3-1 down, but still in the game.

2nd Period: It took only six seconds of period 2 for the Lions to score their second goal of the night, Nick Alley (20:06, assisted Sin-Hidge) taking a pass from Ross Sin-Hidge off the opening faceoff, skating across the blue line and catching Lane cold to put the Lions within one. And at 24:04 the home side tied the game up at 3-3, Simon Geldart (24:04, unassisted) stealing the puck and firing past Lane on the breakaway. It took just 44 seconds, however, for Peterborough to retake the lead as Pentecost (24:48, assisted N. Pollard) managed to get one past Andrew. The Phantoms further extended their lead to 6-3 through goals by Kenny Bavin (30:10, assisted Dale Jowett and Yardley) and Pentecost (36:41, assisted Yardley and Robert McDonald). That goal brought up Pentecost’s hat trick.

In between the scoring, there were several feisty moments as the game got physical. Matthew Hepburn (Lee Valley) and Leon Groom (Peterborough) sat two each for charging while Lions forward Simon Geldart and Peterborough defenceman Callum Medcalf each sat 2+2 for roughing. And as in period 1, the Lions also got the last laugh in period 2, as they brought the scoreline back to 6-4 with captain Nick Alley (39:35, assisted Geldart) bagging his second of the night with just 25 seconds until the second period break, right off a face-off from Simon Geldart.

3rd Period: Peterborough came out more aggressively to start period 3, looking to atone for some sloppy play in the first two periods. And just over three minutes in, they went 7-4 ahead, Bavin (43:05, assisted Connor Hunter and Yardley) netting his second of the night. Still the Lions would not give up however, as Nick Alley (45:57, assisted Sin-Hidge) completed his hat-trick and got the hosts back within two goals, at 7-5 behind. The Lions soon ran into penalty trouble, though, and the Phantoms suitably punished them; first Conor Pollard (47:39, assisted Bradley Moore and Jonathan Brammall) made it 8-5 with Robin Young in the box for interference, and the Phantoms then extended their lead to 9-5 as Connor Stokes (50:12, assisted Bavin and Moore) netted with Daniel Tamasauskas sitting two for tripping.

The closing stages of the game saw a tired Lions side shipping three more goals as Peterborough turned on the style. First C. Pollard (55:07, assisted Pentecost and N. Pollard) put the Phantoms into double figures, before Brammall (58:05, assisted Yardley and Jake Samal) and Stokes (58:47, assisted Sam Barlow and Moore) notched up goals 11 and 12 within the last two minutes. Connor Hunter was assessed a match penalty for high sticking on Lions forward Ben Gillingham, although it was later downgraded to a 5 plus game.

The final score was 12-5 to the Phantoms – a scoreline that undoubtedly flattered them. What on paper looks like a convincing win was not always a foregone conclusion, as the home side battled hard and kept creating chances before finally running out of energy late in the game. Lee Valley are in fact the only side to put more than three goals past Peterborough this season, managing five in this game, and the Lions were within two goals as late as the 43rd minute. Chris Fox was awarded Man of the Match for the Lions after a combative performance, while veteran defenceman Jonathan Brammall took home the beers for the Phantoms.

GAME STATS*
*Please note, some stats vary from those on the official game sheet

Final Score:
Lee Valley Lions 5-12 Peterborough Phantoms

Period Scores: 1-3/3-3/1-6

Shots: Lee Valley 22-73 Peterborough (7-27/8-25/7-21)

Penalty Minutes: Lee Valley 18-43 Peterborough

Scorers: Lee Valley – Nick Alley (3+0), Ross Sin-Hidge (1+2), Simon Geldart (1+1), Matt Brown (0+1)

Peterborough – Shaun Yardley (0+5), James Pentecost (3+1), Nathan Pollard (2+2), Kenny Bavin (2+1), Conor Pollard (2+1), Bradley Moore (0+3), Connor Stokes (0+2), Jonathan Brammall (1+1), Dale Jowett (0+1), Craig Wallis (0+1), Sam Barlow (0+1), Robert McDonald (0+1), Connor Hunter (0+1), Jake Samal (0+1)

Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew (60:00 played, 73 shots/12 goals against)

Peterborough – Dan Lane (60:00 played, 22 shots/5 goals against)

Man of the Match – Chris Fox (Lee Valley), Jonathan Brammall (Peterborough)

The Lions next game is our first rematch of the season, when we welcome Solent Devils to Lee Valley Ice Centre on Saturday 4th November.

Face off at Lea Bridge Road is at 5:30pm.

You can keep up to date with the Lions on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LeeValleyLions.