Canadian-Born Blueliner Sridhar Joins the Lions

The Lee Valley Lions are delighted to announce the signing of Canadian-born blueliner Yasin Sridhar.

Yasin was born in the Canadian province of Ontario, but is EIHA-trained and thus does not fall under the club’s non UK-trained player contingent.

The 26-year-old played three seasons for the University of London Dragons in the BUIHA (British Universities Ice Hockey Association) between 2013 and 2016, appearing in 27 games and scoring 12 points (four goals, eight assists) while also sitting 52 penalty minutes.

During his time with the Dragons, he was a team-mate of current Lions netminder James Andrew.

Yasin now takes his first step into NIHL league hockey with the Lions, with the club hoping that he can help to shore up the backline.

He will wear the #4 jersey for the Lions.

Click here to view Yasin’s career statistics courtesy of eliteprospects.com.

Lions Defeated by Peterborough in Home Opener

Six days after opening day defeat to the Chelmsford Chieftains, the Lions were back in action on Saturday as they played their first home game of the season. Visiting the Den were the Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms.

The Lions handed first appearances of the season to Joe Miller, Nicky Brathwaite and Richard Hodge; while Oliver Glover and Tom Hnilica were unavailable to play and James Joseph took up coaching duties from the bench. This gave the Lions 12 skaters plus netminders James Andrew – who started in net – and Steve Grout.

The Phantoms brought along 17 skaters – including former Lions captain Nick Alley – as well as starting netminder Dan Lane and backup Jack Peacock.

1st Period: It didn’t take long for the aforementioned ex-Lions captain to make an impression against his former team-mates, as Nick Alley (0:57, assisted Shaun Yardley) put in the first goal of the contest within a minute of the opening faceoff. Things would get worse for the home side in the opening ten minutes of the game, as the Phantoms showed a lot of speed and skill to bag three more goals. Firstly it was Conor Pollard (3:58, assisted Yardley and Alley) who doubled the score to 2-0, before Yardley (7:11, assisted Alley) and Jordan Liddell (9:27, assisted Jack Sansby and Samuel Dean) extended the lead to 4-0.

In what was a first period without any penalties, things calmed down a bit after the fourth goal as the Lions tried to create some offensive chances, but the next goal would come from the visitors as Pollard (15:49, assisted Alley and Sam Barlow) made it 5-0. The half dozen was then complete in the 17th minute with Jake Samal (16:30, assisted Ross Clarke and Callum Worthington-Evans) extending the score to 6-0.

The Lions did have something to shout about just 14 seconds later though, as Joe Berry (16:44, unassisted) intercepted the puck and hared down the ice to score past Dan Lane on the breakaway and get the score back to 1-6. That was to be the last goal of the first period, with the Phantoms outshooting the home side 24-6 in the opening frame.

2nd Period: The Lions were once again caught cold at the start of the second period; and again it was Alley (20:19, assisted Yardley and Pollard) who punished them with an early goal just 19 seconds in. The Lions then did a good job of keeping Peterborough’s forwards quiet in the next passage of play, with netminder James Andrew making some impressive saves and the defencemen also showing great commitment to block some dangerous shots.

However, the defensive barricade couldn’t last forever; and it was Pollard (27:53, assisted Yardley and Alley) who completed his hat-trick and made it 8-1 to the visitors – with Peterborough’s top line once again doing the damage, their slick passing just proving too much for a tired Lions defence. The Lions then swapped netminders in the 29th minute, with Steve Grout coming into net in relief of James Andrew; but just under two minutes later Grout was already picking the puck out of the net after Sansby (30:53, unassisted) scored a bizarre unassisted goal.

Two more goals followed in the second period – which once again passed without any penalty minutes being called – as Pollard (32:05, assisted Yardley) put the Phantoms into double figures before Alley (36:40, assisted Yardley and Pollard) completed his own hat-trick to extend the score to 11-1. There were to be no more goals in the middle frame, with the Phantoms outshooting the Lions 29-2 in the period – numbers that reflected their dominance on the night.

3rd Period: The Lions went into the 3rd period trying to limit the damage and not concede too many more; but the Phantoms were relentless in their pursuit of more goals. It took until the 46th minute, when Peterborough used their first powerplay of the game – Lions forward Jordan Sullivan was sitting two minutes for a late hit – to good effect, as Craig Ellis (45:41, assisted Barlow and Yardley) made it 12-1.

The Phantoms then scored a quickfire double to extend the score again to 14-1; first Pollard (46:33, assisted Ellis) got his fifth of the night before Alley (47:35, assisted Pollard and Ellis) got his fourth. However despite all the goals being scored, the Lions were still trying their best to keep the score down and were still playing hard – with Jack Ball in particular making several gutsy plays, sacrificing his body to block shots or intercept loose pucks despite the high scoreline.

Nonetheless, the Lions continued to tire as the game went on, with the short bench becoming more and more evident as time went by. The Phantoms completed their scoring between the  54th and 58th minutes with a trio of goals; Dean (53:19, assisted Sansby and Robert McDonald), Hunter (54:13, assisted Sansby and Dean) and Dean (57:04, assisted Bradley Wright and Sansby) doing the late damage.

There was still something for the Lions fans to cheer late on however, with Richard Hodge (57:56, assisted Berry and James O’Brien) – playing his first game for the Lions since the summer of 2014 – racing clear to bury past Phantoms netminder Jack Peacock after nice buildup play from Joe Berry and James O’Brien. There was also a scrap in the dying stages of the game, as former team-mates Alley and Berry dropped them and sat 2+2 each for fighting.

The final buzzer sounded with the Lions once again going down to a heavy defeat against well-drilled opponents. Phantoms captain Conor Pollard was awarded Man of the Match for scoring 5+3=8 points on the night, while Michael Jacobs received the same award for the Lions after a tireless performance up front.

The Lions will be hoping that, when the likes of Glover and Joseph come back into the team and Hnilica makes his debut, things will start to look up for them. The next game is away at the Slough Jets in two weeks (Saturday 29th September). Faceoff in Slough will be at 17:45.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 2-17 Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms

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

Shots: Lee Valley Lions 16-82 Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms (6-24/2-29/8-29)

Penalty Minutes: Lee Valley Lions 10-8 Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms

Scorers: Lee Valley – Joe Berry 1+1, Richard Hodge 1+0, James O’Brien 0+1

Peterborough – Conor Pollard 5+3, Nick Alley 4+4, Shaun Yardley 1+7, Jack Sansby 1+4, Samuel Dean 2+2, Craig Ellis 1+2, Sam Barlow 0+2, Jordan Liddell 1+0, Connor Hunter 1+0, Jake Samal 1+0, Callum Worthington-Evans o+1, Robert McDonald 0+1, Bradley Wright 0+1, Ross Clarke 0+1

Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew (28:36 played, 38 shots/8 goals against); Steve Grout (31:24 played, 44 shots/9 goals against)

Peterborough – Dan Lane (32:05 played, 6 shots/1 goal against); Jack Peacock (27:55 played, 10 shots/1 goal against)

Man of the Match – Michael Jacobs (Lee Valley), Conor Pollard (Peterborough)

Experienced Forward Hodge Back at the Den

The Lee Valley Lions are delighted to announce the return of experienced forward Richard Hodge after four seasons away from the sport.

36-year-old Gillingham native Hodge started his career in the EPL with the Invicta Dynamos, where he played three seasons between 1998 and 2001. He then moved to the Lions for the club’s first two seasons after reforming in 2005-06 and 2006-07, scoring a total of 12 points (six goals and six assists) during that time.

After two seasons away, Hodge then returned to the Lions in 2009 – this was the start of a five year spell with the club. Over the next five seasons, he played a total of 105 games, scoring 88 points (43 goals and 45 assists). Hodge was also alternate captain of the Lions during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 campaigns.

He now returns to the Lions and the sport of ice hockey, hoping to help the club move up the table this season.

Hodge will wear the #18 jersey for the Lions.

Click here to view Richard’s career statistics courtesy of eliteprospects.com.

Richard Hodge during his last season with the Lions in 2013-14 (Photo: Julianne Bonner)

 

Lions Lose Opener in Chelmsford

After a summer of upheaval at the club, the Lee Valley Lions started the new season away from home as they faced last season’s fourth placed side and playoff finalists, the Chelmsford Chieftains.

The Lions iced 11 skaters for the game with forwards Tom Hnilica, Nicky Brathwaite and Joe Miller all unavailable. Debuts were handed to James O’Brien, Jordan Sullivan and Joe Trotter; while Michael Jacobs, Joe Berry, Jack Ball and Joe Weare all returned to the club after a varying number of years away. The line-up was completed by player-coach James Joseph, captain Simon Jones, and forwards Ben Gillingham and Ollie Glover – all of whom are staying on from last season. Starting in net was Steve Grout, another returnee after two seasons away, while James Andrew backed up.

The Chieftains iced 12 skaters including former Lions forward TJ Fillery. Starting in goal was Sonny Phillips with another former Lion, James Tipple, backing up for the home side.

1st Period: The Chieftains caught the visiting side cold early on with a couple of goals, first Fillery (1:43, assisted by Ross Brears and Jake Luton) scoring against his former club and then James Ayling (5:45, assisted Brears) doubling the lead. Chelmsford then had a few more chances but Grout in the Lions net made some impressive saves to keep the score at 2-0.

The Lions grew into the period as it progressed, creating a few chances of their own; Joe Berry forced Sonny Phillips into a sharp save and Michael Jacobs shot inches wide from a good position. Unfortunately for the Lions, the Chieftains caught them on the break to go 3-0 up through Ayling (9:52, assisted Bradley Moore and Brears).

Shortly afterwards, the Lions had some 5-on-3 powerplay time with both Fillery and James Dimond in the box, but could not convert. However the Lions grabbed their first goal of both the game and the season a few minutes later as Simon Jones (15:45, assisted Joe Berry) celebrated his first game as club captain with a neat finish, after industrious work behind the Chieftains net by Berry. The remainder of the period was back and forth, with both Berry and Jacobs going close to grabbing another goal, but the period ended with the Chieftains 3-1 up.

2nd Period: The hosts came out energetically in the second period, peppering the Lions net with shot after shot as they looked to extend their lead. Three minutes into the period, that pressure paid off as Bradley Moore (23:00, assisted Ayling and Brears) tucked a rebound home past Grout to make it 4-0.

The Lions then hit penalty trouble – they would take eight minor penalties in the period in total – with both Jack Ball and Ben Gillingham being sent to the penalty box. This gave Chelmsford a 5-on-3 PP that they were able to convert, Courtney Grant (25:30) scoring an unassisted goal to make it 5-1. And with just three seconds left in Gillingham’s penalty, the Chieftains struck again through Charlie Phillips (26:47, assisted Ayling and Brears) who increased the lead to 6-1. This was the end of the night for Grout, who was replaced in the Lions net by James Andrew. Despite conceding six goals, it was a strong performance by the veteran netminder in his first start for over two years.

The Lions took three more penalties in the next five minutes (one against Jordan Sullivan and two against Ball) and, while they were able to kill them off, the effort it took out of the short-benched visitors started to show shortly afterwards as the Chieftains went 7-1 up through a short-handed goal by James Dimond (33:38, assisted Moore).

The Lions impressively killed off a 5-on-3 with both Joe Berry and James O’Brien in the box, however this further wore them out; and it wasn’t a surprise when Chelmsford scored two more goals before the period ended to make it a 9-1 game. Both goals had the same make-up: Brears (assisted Ayling and Will Polston), with one goal coming during a 4-on-4 period of play and the other coming on the powerplay. To make matters worse for the Lions, young blueliner James O’Brien was injured towards the end of the second period and didn’t ice again, leaving the Lions with just ten skaters.

3rd Period: The Chieftains were relentless in the third period, not letting up at all despite the high scoreline and the tiring opposition. Within the first 90 seconds of the period they had added two more goals to go 11-1 up, first Moore (41:02, assisted Brears and C. Phillips) and then Grant (41:25, assisted Fillery and Luton) doing the damage.

Two Chieftains players would then complete hat-tricks within a few minutes of each other as the home side increased the score to 13-1; Grant (46:41, assisted Moore and Dimond) was the first to do so with a shorthanded goal, and Moore (48:52, assisted Brears) followed him not too long afterwards.

The Lions then held out for the next 11 minutes without conceding any more, with James Andrew making some great saves as he tried his best to stop the home side getting any more goals. Cruelly with just 21.2 seconds left in the game, the Chieftains put the icing on the cake with their 14th of the night, Charlie Phillips (59:32, unassisted) smashing a shot past Andrew to complete the scoring. Nonetheless, Andrew was named as Lions’ Man of the Match for stopping 47 of 55 shots he faced, with 37 of those shots coming in the last period alone.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Chelmsford Chieftains 14-1 Lee Valley Lions

Period Scores: 3-1/6-0/5-0

Shots: Chelmsford Chieftains 90-16 Lee Valley Lions (26-7/27-4/37-5)

Penalty Minutes: Chelmsford Chieftains 14-20 Lee Valley Lions

Scorers: Chelmsford – Ross Brears 2+7, Bradley Moore 3+3, Courtney Grant 3+2, James Ayling 2+2, Charlie Phillips 2+1, TJ Fillery 1+1, James Dimond 1+1, Will Polston 0+2, Jake Luton 0+2

Lee Valley – Simon Jones 1+0, Joe Berry 0+1

Goaltenders: Chelmsford – Sonny Phillips (31:36 played, 8 shots/1 goal against); James Tipple (28:24 played, 8 shots/0 goals against)

Lee Valley – Steve Grout (27:15 played, 35 shots/6 goals against); James Andrew (32:45 played, 55 shots/8 goals against)

Man of the Match – James Andrew (Lee Valley), Courtney Grant (Chelmsford)

The Lions lining up for their first game of the season, away to Chelmsford.

Lions Junior Starlet Miller Graduates to Senior Side

The Lee Valley Lions are delighted to announce the next addition to our 2018-19 roster, as forward Joe Miller signs on.

17-year-old Miller played three games for the senior Lions side last season, scoring an assist against Basingstoke in just his second ever senior game.

Prior to that, Joe came through the ranks in the Lee Valley junior system, captaining both the Under 15 side in 2015-16 and then the Under 18s last season.

Joe was the joint-leading points scorer for the U18s in the 2016-17 campaign, as he tallied seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points. Last season he led the U18 side in scoring with six goals and two assists for eight points.

Now he is ready to make the next step in his career as he signs up for his first full senior season. Joe will wear the #3 jersey for the Lions this season.

Click here to view Joe’s career statistics courtesy of eliteprospects.com.