Lions Blanked by Devils on South Coast

The Lee Valley Lions made a tough trip to the south coast on Saturday, as they travelled to Gosport to take on last season’s playoff champions, the Solent Devils.

The visitors were once again short-benched for this game, as they were missing forwards Tom Hnilica and Joe Berry as well as defencemen Joe Weare, Joe Trotter and Jack Ball. James Andrew started in goal with Steve Grout backing up.

The Devils fielded a full line-up of 20 skaters with Christian Cole starting in net.

First Period – The Lions made the worst possible start as they went 1-0 down after just 13 seconds, Evan Crockford (0:13, assisted Alex Murray and Richard Facey) putting the puck past Andrew on the Devils’ first chance of the game. And it would get worse from there, Crockford (4:44, assisted Facey and Murray) doubling the advantage in the fifth minute and Alexander Trendall (5:09, assisted Drew Campbell and Jamie Fitzpatrick) following up with a third goal just 25 seconds later.

The Devils then added two more goals before the ten minute mark to effectively kill the game as a contest, Daniel Shier (8:37, assisted Alexander Cole and Campbell) making it 4-0 on the powerplay with Lions blueliner Yasin Sridhar in the box for cross-checking and then Campbell (9:56, assisted Ben Lock and Daniel Lackey) making it 5-0 on a delayed penalty.

Try as they might, the Lions could not stop the Devils juggernaut and conceded two more goals before the first period was over; first Rhys McCormick (12:19, assisted Christopher Hocquigny and Shier) made it 6-0 before Shier (14:21, assisted Hocquigny and McCormick) grabbed another powerplay marker with Nicky Brathwaite sitting two for high-sticking. There was to be no further scoring in the period, with the Devils taking a 7-0 lead into the first intermission and outshooting the Lions 38-2 after a totally dominant period.

Second Period – The home side dialled things back a bit in the second period, rotating their bench and giving more ice time to their younger players. The Lions did not have that luxury however, and it looked like being another tough period for them when the Devils struck twice within 51 seconds to make it 9-0; first Fitzpatrick (26:11, assisted Mason Wild and Trendall) scored on the powerplay with Lions forward Ben Gillingham in the box, before Crockford (27:02, assisted Facey and Thomas Bazell) grabbed the ninth goal of the evening and completed his hat-trick.

The Lions swapped netminders at the midway point of the game, with Grout coming in for Andrew. The Devils reached double figures not too long afterwards, Trendall (31:57, assisted Campbell and A. Cole) notching his second of the night and putting the hosts 10-0 in front. And there was time for one more goal before the middle period was done, McCormick (37:39, assisted Hocquigny and Shier) also getting his second of the night and raising the scoreline to 11-0. It would remain that way until the end of the period, with Solent again outshooting the visitors 28-3.

Third Period – The Devils again used the third period to give ice time to their full bench, while the Lions came out stronger, desperate to score at least one goal. However, the Lee Valley players were running on empty at this point; consequently, the last period did not have as many goals or as much action as the first two frames. There were in fact just two goals in the final period, both for the hosts; Trendall (50:10, assisted Campbell and Callum Farrell) made it 12-0 with just under ten minutes remaining in the game before A. Cole (54:24, assisted Crockford and Murray) wrapped things up with the unlucky 13th goal from a Lions perspective. The final buzzer sounded with the Lions going down heavily on the road against the reigning champions, being outshot in the final period 20-4.

It was yet another tough road trip for a group of Lions players who are still finding chemistry and developing as a team, facing a side with good chemistry and a deep roster full of quality. Man of the Match for the visitors was Ben Gillingham for a hard-working performance, while hat-trick scorer Evan Crockford took home the award for the Devils.

The Lions will now hope that they can get something out of their next game, with London rivals Haringey visiting the Den on Saturday.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Solent Devils 13-0 Lee Valley Lions

Period Scores: 7-0/4-0/2-0

Shots: Solent Devils 86-9 Lee Valley Lions (38-2/28-3/20-4)

Penalty Minutes: Solent Devils 10-28 Lee Valley Lions

Scorers: Solent – Drew Campbell 1+4, Evan Crockford 3+1, Alexander Trendall 3+1, Daniel Shier 2+2, Rhys McCormick 2+1, Alexander Cole 1+2, Alex Murray 0+3, Richard Facey 0+3, Christopher Hocquigny 0+3, Jamie Fitzpatrick 1+1, Daniel Lackey 0+1, Mason Wild 0+1, Thomas Bazell 0+1, Callum Farrell 0+1, Ben Lock 0+1

Goaltenders: Solent – Christian Cole (60:00 played, 9 shots/0 goals against)

Lee Valley – James Andrew (31:44 played, 56 shots/9 goals against), Steve Grout (28:16 played, 30 shots/4 goals against)

Man of the Match – Ben Gillingham (Lee Valley), Evan Crockford (Solent)

The Lions’ next game is at home to the Haringey Huskies this upcoming Saturday the 20th of October. Faceoff at the Den will be at 5:30pm.

Lions Shut Out at Home by Mustangs

The Lee Valley Lions welcomed the Invicta Mustangs to the Den last weekend, with both sides hoping to take their first win of the season.

The Lions hoped to ice a larger line-up than they had managed in the three games to date, but were without Richard Hodge, Jack Ball, Joshua Irish and Joe Trotter, leaving them with 13 skaters. Steve Grout started in the Lions net.

The Mustangs also brought along 13 skaters – including former Lions defenceman Jarvis Mewett – as well as netminder Matthew Passmore.

1st Period: The Mustangs got off to a good start in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead through Tom Dennis (2:36, unassisted) in the third minute, after a tight angle shot found its way past Grout. The visitors were then able to kill off a kneeing penalty against Jarvis Mewett, and the Lions were able to do the same after receiving a bench penalty for too many men.

Invicta then added a second goal in the 13th minute, Bradley Gutridge (12:59, assisted Aaron Ferris) finishing nicely past Grout after nice build-up play with Aaron Ferris. And they extended that lead a few minutes later as Thomas Mallett (16:43, assisted Regan O’Neil) fired a hard shot into the net past Grout.

The Lions came alive a bit towards the end of the period, with Joe Berry and Michael Jacobs linking up nicely and creating a few chances, but Matthew Passmore in the Mustangs net stood tall – and the score was 3-0 to the visitors at the end of period one.

2nd Period: Just a minute into the second period, there was a break in play as young Lions defenceman James O’Brien took a puck to the mouth and needed to be helped off the ice. Coupled with fellow defenceman Joe Weare not returning to the game after period one due to injury, this put the home side down to 11 skaters for the rest of the night.

However, losing O’Brien and Weare initially seemed to fire the Lions up – they created many chances in the second period, with Berry and Jacobs again creating numerous opportunities, and Czech forward Tom Hnilica also testing Matthew Passmore on several occasions. The Mustangs goalie was on red hot form, and kept out everything that the Lions threw at him – albeit also having some luck when Berry rang one off the pipes with Passmore beaten.

It was against the run of play that the Mustangs scored their fourth of the night, Aaron Ferris (33:57, assisted Luke Thirkettle and O’Neil) finishing past Grout in amongst all the Lions pressure. There was still time in the period for the Lions to create a few more opportunities, with Ben Gillingham also being robbed by Passmore, but frustratingly for the home side no goals came in the second period, as they trailed 4-0 going into the third.

3rd Period: The energy that the Lions had found in the second period seemed to evaporate in the third; a combination of tired legs and frustration as not being able to beat the Mustangs keeper seemed to get to the home side. The Lions conceded just 47 seconds into the final period, Gutridge (40:47, assisted Ferris and Dennis) getting his second of the night and extending the visitors’ lead to 5-0.

And things wouldn’t get much better from there on, with the Mustangs adding four more goals before the night was over to give a lop-sided look to the scoreline; first Mewett (52:50, unassisted) made it 6-0 against his former side before Ferris completed his hat-trick on the night, with goals coming at 54:31 (unassisted) and 55:02 (assisted Anthony Baskerville).

The Lions were also unable to take advantage of two powerplay chances – including a 2+10 for boarding against Connor Tourish Pike – with the Mustangs defence and again goalie Passmore doing enough to keep the home side at bay. The last goal came with just 1:17 left in the game as Thirkettle (58:43) completed the scoring with an unassisted goal to make it 9-0 to the Mustangs.

As the final buzzer sounded, the Lions had lost their fourth game on the bounce and are still searching for their first victory of the season. Another frustrating night for the East London side, as they were not able to convert their chances at one end and lost their shape at the back towards the end of the game too. Man of the Match for the Lions was player-coach James Joseph who had a strong evening on the blueline, while Mustangs goalie Matthew Passmore took the award for the visitors.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 0-9 Invicta Mustangs

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

Shots: Lee Valley Lions 31-83 Invicta Mustangs (10-33/16-14/7-34)

Penalty Minutes: Lee Valley Lions 4-18 Invicta Mustangs

Scorers: Invicta – Aaron Ferris 3+2, Bradley Gutridge 2+0, Tom Dennis 1+1, Luke Thirkettle 1+1, Regan O’Neil 0+2, Thomas Mallett 1+0, Jarvis Mewett 1+0, Anthony Baskerville 0+1

Goaltenders: Lee Valley – Steve Grout (60:00 played, 83 shots/9 goals against)

Invicta – Matthew Passmore (60:00 played, 31 shots/0 goals against)

Man of the Match – James Joseph (Lee Valley), Matthew Passmore (Invicta)

The Lions’ next game is away to the Solent Devils this upcoming Saturday the 13th of October. Faceoff in Gosport will be at 5pm.

Lions Replica Jerseys – Available Now!

Have you ever wanted to support the Lions by purchasing a jersey just like the players wear? Now you can!

We are now offering replica jerseys at a cost of £50 each with a name and number on the back.

If you would like to purchase one, please send us an email via the Contact Us page, or contact us on any of our social media channels, with the following information:

  • Type of shirt – home (white) or away (green)
  • Size (see sizing chart below)
  • The name and number to be printed on the back
  • Your contact details (email address and/or phone number)

With regards to size, please see the sizing chart below:

We also have spare player shirts available at home games for you to try on and ensure you are getting the right size before you purchase.

Delivery time after ordering a jersey will be four weeks.

Left: James Andrew models the home jersey (Photo: Kim Jones)
Right: James Joseph in the away jersey (Photo: Patrick Ayling)

Berry and Hnilica Doubles Not Enough for Lions in Slough

The Lee Valley Lions travelled to a newly-refurbished Slough Ice Arena on Saturday for their third game of the season against the Jets. After two heavy defeats to start the season, the Lions were hoping to kick start their campaign with a win.

However the Lions were once again short-benched; although they handed debuts to Yasin Sridhar and Tom Hnilica, and welcomed Joshua Irish back after five years away from the club, they were missing Oliver Glover, Ben Gillingham, Joe Weare, Jack Ball and captain Simon Jones – giving them 12 skaters. Steve Grout started in net.

The Jets fielded 18 skaters and started with former Lions netminder Brett Shepherd in goal.

First Period – The Lions started the game well, putting pressure on the Jets and defending well in their own end and killing off an early penalty. However another hooking penalty against Joe Berry led to another Slough powerplay which the home side converted, Sean Norris (7:09, assisted Danny Rose and Lukas Smital) firing a rocket of a slapshot past Steve Grout and into the back of the net.

The Lions got a powerplay chance of their own shortly afterwards and couldn’t convert, before then losing Tom Hnilica for twelve minutes after a 2+10 call for checking from behind. The Jets ramped the pressure up as the period went on and were rewarded with two goals within the last four minutes of the period; first Norris (16:43, assisted Smital and Liam Poulson) got the puck past Grout after sustained pressure in front of the Lions net, before player-coach Smital (18:38, assisted Norris and Timo Lindgren) got on the scoresheet himself to make it 3-0. That was how the score would stay at the end of the first period, with the Jets outshooting the Lions 27-7.

Second Period – The visitors were caught cold at the start of the second frame, Norris (20:54, assisted Smital and Sam Talbot) completing his hat-trick less than a minute into the period. And things got feisty a few minutes later when Norris objected to a hit from Yasin Sridhar which led to a shoving match; Sridhar received two for clipping and two for roughing, while Norris received 2+2 for roughing and Slough’s Luke Reynolds also received two for roughing. This put the Lions on the powerplay and they duly converted to get the score back to 1-4, Joe Berry (23:30, unassisted) showing great determination to put the puck past Jets goalie Shepherd. It was Berry’s second goal of the campaign.

Unfortunately for the Lions, their joy was to be short-lived as Lindgren (24:06, assisted Rose) scored a shorthanded goal to put Slough 5-1 up. And things would get worse for the visitors as they would ship three more goals in the next eight minutes as their legs began to tire; Talbot (26:54, assisted Simon Griffiths), Talbot again (29:48, assisted Smital) and Smital (32:56, assisted Talbot and Liam Underdown) doing the damage. In between those three goals, the Lions had created numerous chances with Tom Hnilica and Joshua Irish both coming close on a couple of occasions.

The Lions did get their second goal shortly afterwards though as Berry (34:41, unassisted) scored his second of the night to bring the score back to 8-2. Slough then went 9-2 up through Ryan Handisides (36:30, assisted Underdown and Rose) before Hnilica (39:13, assisted Nicky Brathwaite) scored his first Lions goal on his debut with a cheeky backhand over Shepherd. There was still time for Slough to score once more, Underdown (39:41, assisted Rose and Handisides) making it 10-3. That was how the period with end, with the Lions playing probably their best period of the season to date and creating numerous chances, and only being outshot 24 to 17.

Third Period – The Lions came out well at the start of period 3, forcing Liam Underdown into a delay of game penalty and then scoring on the resulting powerplay, Hnilica (42:16, assisted James Joseph) grabbing his second of the night to bring the score back to 10-4. However just 42 seconds later, the Jets got another goal through Talbot (42:58, assisted Smital and Reynolds). This seemed to take the wind out of the sails of a depleted Lions side, as the Jets started to dominate proceedings more and more and scored two further goals through Rose (44:59, assisted Handisides and Underdown) and Smital  (45:29, assisted Harry Harcup and Talbot).

The Lions then lost player-coach James Joseph to a 5+game for slew-footing, putting them down to 11 skaters; they killed the first three and a half minutes of the major penalty well before finally conceding their 14th goal through Talbot (50:16, assisted Smital). The last ten minutes saw the Jets score four further goals with the Lions dead on their feet, with one each for Benjamin Eastwood, Harcup, Smital and Talbot making the final score 18-4 in favour of the Jets.

It was another frustrating game for the Lions; it was a better performance than the first two games of the season, with four goals scored and numerous chances created. But once again a short bench and tired legs cost them against a team with lots of scoring quality, as the score climbed higher and higher at the end of the game. Man of the Match for the Lions was double goal scorer Berry, while Slough’s Sam Talbot took it after scoring five goals on the night.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Slough Jets 18-4 Lee Valley Lions

Period Scores: 3-0/7-3/8-1

Shots: Slough Jets 86-32 Lee Valley Lions (27-7/24-17/35-8)

Penalty Minutes: Slough Jets 14-45 Lee Valley Lions

Scorers: Slough – Lukas Smital 4+9, Sam Talbot 5+4, Danny Rose 1+4, Sean Norris 3+1, Liam Underdown 1+3, Harry Harcup 1+2, Ryan Handisides 1+2, Timo Lindgren 1+1, Benjamin Eastwood 1+0, Liam Clark 0+1, Simon Griffiths 0+1, Craig Cowell 0+1, Liam Poulson 0+1, Luke Reynolds 0+1

Lee Valley – Joe Berry 2+0, Tom Hnilica 2+0, Nicky Brathwaite 0+1, James Joseph 0+1

Goaltenders: Slough – Brett Shepherd (60:00 played, 32 shots/4 goals against)

Lee Valley – Steve Grout (60:00 played, 86 shots/18 goals against)

Man of the Match – Joe Berry (Lee Valley), Sam Talbot (Slough)

 

Irish Returns to the Den

The Lee Valley Lions can announce a further addition to our roster with the signing of Joshua Irish.

The 24-year-old forward came through the junior ranks at Lee Valley before playing two senior seasons for the Lions in 2011-12 and 2013-13, scoring two goals.

The next four years saw him move up north to attend university, playing two seasons each for the Bradford Sabres and Leeds Gryphons in the BUIHA. He scored 143 goals during this time, assisting on a further 35 for a total of 178 points at a rate of almost four per game.

Now after a season out of hockey, he returns to the Den to strengthen the Lions’ roster this season.

Josh already made his first appearance of the season last night in Slough, impressing straight away with his energy and creating a few good scoring opportunities too.

Click here to see Josh’s career statistics courtesy of eliteprospects.com.

Joshua Irish during his first spell with the Lions (Photo: Patrick Ayling)