Early Mustangs Blitz too Much for Lions

After picking up their first win of the season the day before in Slough, Lee Valley were looking to keep a streak going against a resurgent Invicta Mustangs.

Lions welcomed back Joe Weare & Chris Fox. Missing were Robin Young, Ben Gillingham & Ben Duffy.

Invicta travelled to East London featuring former Dynamo Jamie Smith, returning goalie Matthew Passmore.

1st Period: The Lions couldn’t have had a worse start to the game. After a poor turnover on the Invicta blue line, Jake Luton (0:29, assists Ferris, Dennis) raced down the left wing and fired a quick shot through the legs of a defence-man and past James Andrew to take the lead. The Mustangs continued to press aggressively but Andrew held the fort well, before the Lions began to gain a bit of momentum. Lee Valley maintained possession but weren’t getting enough shots on Passmore, and the not following up on the rebounds proved fatal again as Jake Stedman (16:38, assists Holt, Smith) to double the Mustangs lead ending the period.

2nd Period: Despite starting the period on the Power-play, the Lions weren’t able to take advantage, they were starting to get more shots on Passmore but Invicta were also creating opportunities. More aggressive pressure on the Lions defence saw a hit on James Gosling go un-punished, and the resulting turnover allowed Tom Dennis (27:17, assist Luton) to make it 3-0. Shortly after Ollie Glover was penalised for Holding the Stick and Invicta capitalised on the power-play through Danny Terry (PPG 31:16, assists Stokes, Dennis). Lions continued to probe but Passmore was holding them at bay and the period closed at 4-0 to the Mustangs.

3rd Period: With the odds heavily stacked against them, Lee Valley finally broke Passmore’s resistence through Nick Alley (42:31, assists Horter, Jones), but Invicta added another goal, again through Danny Terry (45:57, assists Ferris, Stokes). Invicta took a Too Many Men penalty and the Lions were able to score through Matt Hepburn (PPG 50:31, assists Geldart, James Hepburn). Lee Valley started to up the ante and were finally keeping consistent pressure on the Invicta goal but weren’t breaking through. Finally Chris Fox (57:17, assist Geldart) blasted a slap shot to bring the game within two goals, which made for a tense finish but Invicta held out for their second win of the season, leaving the Lions still winless at home.


Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 3-5 Invicta Mustangs
Period Scores: 0-2/0-2/3-1
Shots on Goal: Lee Valley 34-37 Invicta (8-8/12-17/14-12)
Penalties: Lee Valley 4-12 Invicta
Scorers: Lee Valley – Simon Geldart (0+2), Nick Alley, Matthew Hepburn & Chris Fox (1+0), Oskar Horter, Simon Jones & James Hepburn (0+1)
Invicta – Tom Dennis (1+2), Danny Terry (2+0), Jake Luton (1+1), Michael Stokes & Aaron Ferris (0+2), Kwame Holt & Jamie Smith (0+1)
Galtending: Lee Valley – James Andrew 37 shots/5 goals, 86.49%
Invicta – Matthew Passmore 34 shots/3 goals 91.18%

Lee Valley now have two weekends off before a local rivals Haringey Racers come to Lea Bridge Road on Sunday 13th of November.

Face off at Lee Valley is at 5:30pm. Ticket and travel information can be found in the ‘Game Day’ section of our website.

You can follow the Lions on Facebook & Twitter with #LeeValleyLions for up to date news and live scores.

Lions Earn First Win in Slough Battle

Almost 30 years on from the first meeting between the two sides. That game in 1986 resulted in a 10-8 win for the Lions in the old British Division 1, this time Lee Valley were looking to kick-start their season in NIHL 2 South East with a first win. The Lions travelled along the M4 to face the Jets in what would temporarily be the last game at the their Absolutely Ice home.

Making his debut for the Lions was former junior Ronnie O’Connor, with Robin Young returning after missing the last game through illness.
Missing from the line up were Chris Fox, Ben Duffy, Joe Weare & Ben Gillingham.

Since the previous meeting with, the Jets had added former Lion Mark Saunders and Nathan Darmanin to their side.

1st Period: The game got off to a scrappy start, with three penalties called in the first two minutes. Two of them fell to the Lions, but they were able to kill off the 4-on-3, then 5-on-3 advantage. However they struggled to clear the puck from their own zone and this resulted in Slough’s first goal when a scramble in front of net allowed Ashley West (7:11, assist Chandler) to poke the puck past James Andrew. Lee Valley needed to respond quickly and they did when Nick Alley (10:50, unassisted) raced clear on a break-away to tie the game. The pressure on the Jets continued and forty one seconds later, the Lions had the lead through James Hepburn (11:31, assists Young, Matt Hepburn) after good work in the Slough zone. The game continued back and forth but Lee Valley held out until the end of the period.

2nd Period: Lions were out of the blocks quickly this period and piled the pressure on Slough. After a period of possession in the Jets’ zone, in his first shift of the game Simon Geldart (24:31, unassisted) pick-pocketed a Slough defender and found the net, this having only arrived at the rink at the end of the first period. Lions then trebled their lead through Matt Hepburn (25:56, assists Alley, Young) after continued pressure. Slough pulled Robert Warrington and replaced him with Chris Douglas. This spurred the Jets into a strong response, and they scored soon-after through Kirkland Rhys-Evans (28:47, assist Saunders). Lions’ discipline started to fail them as Slough continued to crash the net, a penalty to Robin Young gave the Jets the advantage they needed and Luke Martin-Digby (PPG 31:32, assist Dobbins) reduced the lead to one. George Alley then called a time-out to try and stem the flow of Slough’s attack. The breather seemed to settle the Lions and when Christopher Hocquigny was penalised for slashing, Lee Valley made short use of the power-play and broke up the ice quickly and Ross Sin-Hidge (35:35, assist Aiken) rifled a wrist shot past Douglas for his first Lions’ goal, giving the Lions a two goal cushion going into the third.

3rd Period: Lee Valley needed to hold their nerve and did so in a composed fashion that had been absent in crucial moments in games so far. The Lions reduced Slough to only 7 shots and with the Jets sitting a string of penalties early on in the period, Lee Valley maintained good control and continued to rain shots in on Douglas. A strong penalty kill from the Lions, sent them back on the offensive but they couldn’t find a way past the veteran goalie. A late tripping call on Robin Young saw Slough call a timeout, but they couldn’t convert the resulting power-play and Lee Valley closed out the game for their first win of the season.

GAME STATS(Please note, our stats differ slightly from the official game sheet)

Final Score: Slough Jets 3-5 Lee Valley Lions
Period Scores: 1-2/2-3/0-0
Shots on Goal: Slough 32-66 Lee Valley (12-12/13-17/7-33)
Penalties: Slough 20-18 Lee Valley
Scorers: Lee Valley – Nick Alley & Matt Hepburn (1+1),Robin Young (0+2), Simon Geldart, James Hepburn & Ross Sin-Hidge) (1+0), Henry Aiken (0+1)
Slough – Luke Martin-Digby, Kirkland Rhys-Evans & Ashley West (1+0), Mark Saunders, Charlie Dobbins & Jamie Chandler)
Goaltending: Lee Valley – James Andrew 32 shots/3 goals, 90.63%
Slough – Robert Warrington 18 shots/4 goals, 77.78%, Chris Douglas 44 shots/1 goal, 97.93%

Man of the match: Simon Jones

The Lions take on Invicta Mustangs today in our second match of the weekend.
Face off against the Mustangs is at 5:30pm.

Ticket and travel information can be found in the ‘Game Day’section of our website.

You can follow the Lions on Facebook & Twitter with #LeeValleyLions for up to date news and live scores.

Pitbulls Take Points in Cup Loss

Looking to get over the disappointment of the previous week’s derby loss to Haringey. Lee Valley welcomed Bristol Pitbulls to Lea Bridge Road for the first time in two years, in the NIHL 2 Cup.

Lions welcomed back Jordan Turner, who was returning from injury. Absent for the Lions were Robin Young, Ben Duffy & Ben Gillingham.

Bristol arrived with a full squad of 22 players including former London Racer & Swindon Wildcat Richie Hargreaves.

1st Period: Bristol started the stronger of the two sides, punishing loose passes from the home side and keeping them pinned down in their own zone. After a spell of pressure Giovanni Rafaelli (6:01 assist Giacomo Rafaelli), found space in the Lions’ slot to score. Just a couple of minutes later and Christopher Moore (9:20, assist Zach Dolphin) had doubled the Pitbulls’ lead. This spurred the Lions into action, the line of James & Matt Hepburn and Jordan Turner were starting to create chances. In the latter stages of the period, Nick Alley sent a long pass to Ross Sin-Hidge, who drew two defenders and found Matt Hepburn (16:37, assists Sin-Hidge, Alley). A couple of minutes later and the Lions were even, A loose shot from Simon Geldart (18:32, assists Glover, Aiken) trickled through Andy Leckie to close the period 2-2.

2nd Period: Lee Valley begun the period with much more urgency, taking more time to control the puck in Bristol’s zone. After creating a host of rebound opportunities, Chris Fox (27:26, unassisted) pounced on a loose puck to give the Lions the lead. Lee Valley continued with their pressure but when they were penalised for Too Many Men on the Ice, Bristol capitalised with a long shot from Giovanni Rafaelli (PP goal 34:35, assists Mcfarlane, R Hargreaves) beating James Andrew, keeping the score tied going into the third.

3rd Period: This was a much tighter affair, both teams were having spells of dominance but early on, with Matthew Hepburn sitting for High Sticks, Grant Richardson (PP goal 43:47, assists Giocomo Rafaelli, Moore) walked out of the corner and pinged a shot in off of James Andrew’s helmet. Both teams were pressing for a crucial goal but a turnover at the Bristol blue line allowed Ryan Mcfarlane (53:38, assist R Hargreaves) to break free to double the Pitbulls’ lead. Lee Valley came close on several occasions to pulling one back. A powerplay opportunity late in the game gave the Lions a chance, they pulled Andrew in the last 30 seconds but to no avail and Bristol left East London with two points.

Final Score:
Lions 3-5 Bristol.


Period Scores: 2-2/1-1/0-2
Shots on Goal: Lions 33-46 Bristol (15-20/8-15/10-11)
Penalties in Minutes: Lions 6-6 Bristol
Scorers: Lee Valley – Chris Fox, Matthew Hepburn & Simon Geldart (1+0), Henry Aiken, Oliver Glover, Nick Alley & Ross Sin-Hidge (0+1)
Bristol – Giovanni Rafaelli (2+0), Ryan Mcfarlane & Christopher Moore (1+1), Giacomo Rafaelli & Richard Hargreaves (0+2), Grant Richardson (1+0), Zach Dolphin (0+1)
Goaltending: Lee Valley – James Andrew 46 shots/5 goals 89.13%
Bristol – Andrwe Leckie 33 shots/3 goals 90.91%

Lee Valley now have a week off before a double header with Slough (away Saturday 22/10) and Invicta (home Sunday 23/10).

Face off against Invicta is at 5:30pm.

Ticket and travel information can be found in the ‘Game Day’ section of our website.

You can follow the Lions on Facebook & Twitter with #LeeValleyLions for up to date news and live scores.

Derby Day Blues Again for Lions

After defeat on Saturday to Chelmsford, the Lions were looking to bounce back immediately, and avenge the loss two weeks ago against neighbours Haringey.

Lions welcomed back Sam Awoyemi and Joe Weare, taking the team’s contingent to three lines for the first time in 5 games.

Haringey arrived with four lines, featuring former Lion Stuart Spence and ex London Raider Rob Veares.

1st Period: The game got off to the worst possible start for the Lions as Matt Brown (1:21, assists Whittleston, Appleby) was left alone to skate out of the corner and score. Despite the early wake up call, Lee Valley couldn’t shake their rustiness and after being turned away by James Andrew, Haringey doubled their lead through Ben Osborne (9:18, assists Clayton, Veares) through similar circumstance. Lions began to find their feet but a spell of pressure saw a shot blocked from a face off in the Haringey zone, and Daniel Clayton (11:24, assist Osbourne) broke away to score their third). Lee Valley called a timeout, and although they stopped the hosts from scoring again, they weren’t able to find the net themselves.

2nd Period: Lee Valley came out with a new found intensity that was much needed in the first period. Forcing the Racers into ill-discipline and mistakes in their own zone, but they still couldn’t convert the powerplay opportunities given to them. After a spell of back and forth play, Ben Gillingham found Matt Hepburn (37:01, assists Gillingham, Aiken) with a deflected stretch pass and Hepburn scored with the rebound trickling through Steve Nightingale. Lions continued to pile on the pressure but couldn’t find a way through as the period ended 3-1.

3rd Period: Carrying the momentum from the 2nd period, Lee Valley looked like they were playing with more urgency, setting up in the Racers’ zone but not getting clear enough shots on Nightingale. Haringey did find space on the counter attack but James Andrew was doing well to deflect their efforts. As the period wore on the Lions were making a a hash of getting into the Haringey end on their own powerplay, but when they did Nightingale stood strong. Finally with under five minutes remaining, a scramble saw the puck fall to Ollie Glover (55:40, assists Fox, Alley) to bring the game within one goal. Ross Sin-Hidge and Nick Alley came close to equalising and Lions had another opportunity with six seconds remaining but were unable to convert, leaving Haringey to escape with another one goal victory this season.


Final Score: Haringey 3-2 Lions
Period Scores: 3-0/0-1/0-1 
Shots on Goal: Haringey 33-41 Lions (14-10/9-17/10-14)
Penalties in Minutes: Haringey 12-8 Lee Valley
Scorers: Lions – Matthew Hepburn & Ollie Glover (1+0), Nick Alley, Chris Fox, Henry Aiken & Ben Gillingham (0+1)
Haringey – Daniel Clayton & Ben Osbourne (1+1), Matt Brown (1+0), Rob Whittleston, Stuart Appleby & Rob Veares (0+1)
Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew 33 shots/3 goals (90.91%)
Haringey – Steve Nightingale 41 shots/2 goals (95.12%)


The Lions return to NIHL 2 Cup action with a visit from Bristol Pitbulls on Saturday (8/10).

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

Ticket and travel information can be found in the ‘Game Day’ section of our website.

You can follow the Lions on Facebook & Twitter with #LeeValleyLions for up to date news and live scores.

Lions Open Weekend with Warriors Loss

After a week’s break, Lee Valley faced a double header against last season’s double winners Chelmsford Warriors, followed by a trip to Alexandra Palace to play against local rivals Haringey Racers.

Last season’s champions Chelmsford, were yet to win a game after two defeats to Peterborough.

The Lions entered the game with the returning Oskar Horter making his first appearance of the season, along with returns for Ollie Glover, Ben Gillingham & James Gosling. Missing from the Lions squad were Ben Duffy, Joe Weare, Sam Awoyemi & Jordan Turner.

With their parent side the Chieftains not playing, the Warriors arrived on Lea Bridge Road featuring young Chieftains Jake Sylvester, Ollie Baldock, Brandon Ayliffe and goaltender Sonny Phillips. Also playing were former Lions TJ Fillery & Ashlee Cave.

1st Period: Both teams started the game very quickly with the play going back and forth in the early exchanges. Chelmsford’s attempts to stretch the game were being stifled by the Lions’ pressure, and it paid off when a turnover saw Chris Fox (7:28, assists Alley, Sin-Hidge) alone in front of net to give the Lions the lead. The visitors were quick to respond and put a lot more pressure on Lee Valley in the neutral zone and, when the Lions failed to get the puck out of their own zone, the resulting pressure allowed Brandon Ayliffe (10:09, assists Sylvester, Cave) to blast a shot past James Andrew. Chelmsford grew into the game from there and despite Oskar Horter being penalised for intereference, the Lions held out going into the close of the period.

2nd Period: The Lions killed the penalty and gained much more of a foot-hold in the Chelmsford zone, with several near chances on Sonny Phillips’ net. With Lee Valley unable to convert though, a spell of Chelmsford pressure saw a deflected pass clip off of Ashlee Cave (29:57, assists Polston, Brown) and trickle past Andrew to give the Warriors the lead. The game was still end to end and both sides created very good chances, but the Warriors were starting to control the game as the period drew to a close, missing two open nets as the score remained close at 2-1. As the Lions dumped the puck on net, they were caught making a slow line change and the result was another penalty to end the period, this time for too many men.

3rd period: Chelmsford took their opportunity quickly as Ayliffe (PP goal 40:35, assists Baldock, Morgan) converted in the slot to double the Warriors’ lead. The game was still being played at a high tempo, with both goalies being kept busy but it was Chelmsford who were next to score. Jake Sylvester (50:00, assist Morgan) added a fourth, which was proceeded by two more goals in a minute. First Ollie Baldock (52:32, assist Ayliffe) and despite a timeout, Ricky Mills (53:21, assist Fillery) was left alone after a face-off to make it six.
Lions rallied with two goals eleven seconds apart, James Hepburn (PP goal 55:25, assists Glover, Matt Hepburn) and Nick Alley (55:36, unassisted) halving Chelmsford’s lead.
With ten seconds left in the game, and Chris Fox and Will Polston both sat for roughing, the resulting face-off and some lax play from Lee Valley saw Thomas Wilson (59:58, unassisted) break away to bag a seventh for the visitors


Period Scores: 1-1/0-1/2-5
Shots on Goal: Lions 36-45 Chelmsford (8-13/15-16/13-16)
Penalties in Minutes: Lions 6-6 Chelmsford
Scorers: Lions – Nick Alley (1+1), James Hepburn & Chris Fox (1+0), Ross Sin-Hidge, Matt Hepburn & Ollie Glover (0+1)
Chelmsford – Brandon Ayliffe (2+1), Jake Sylvester, Ashlee Cave & Ollie Baldock (1+1), Ryan Morgan (0+2), Thomas Wilson & Ricky Mills (1+0), TJ Fillery, Will Polston & Gary Brown (0+1)
Goaltending: Lions – James Andrew 45 shots/7 goals 84.44%
Chelmsford – Sonny Phillips 36 shots/3 goals 91.67%

The Lions will look to end their skid with a derby win roday (02/10) at Haringey.

You can follow the Lions on Facebook & Twitter with #LeeValleyLions for up to date news and live scores.