Having come close in two of the previous three meetings with Haringey, Lee Valley travelled to Alexandra Palace looking to end their losing run against their local rivals.
Illness to James Andrew meant coach George Alley stepped in to take up goaltending duties, whilst James Gosling, Jordan Turner, Ben Gillingham and Ronnie O’Connor were also missing from the line-up.
1st Period: Haringey drew first blood when a turnover in their zone saw Daniel Clayton (4:24, assist Abbott) from a 2-on-1, but Lee Valley were taking more shots and soon found their mark as James Hepburn (8:18, unassisted) went around the goal and roofed a backhand shot past Matthew Brown. Lions continued to press and a team break from their own zone saw Nick Alley (11:12, assists Hounslow, Sin-Hidge) rifling a quick wrist shot in off the bar. Both teams exchanged penalties and the hosts went close on a couple of occasions but neither side could add to their tally.
2nd Period: The first half of the period was tight as both goalies were called into action but it was Lee Valley who doubled their lead when Nick Alley (31:19, assist Jones) rounded a defence-man and buried the puck through Brown’s legs. Haringey were quick to respond as Matt Brown (32:02, assists Clayton, Abbott) caught the Lions defence napping to score on the breakaway. With the majority of the play in the period the Racers drew level when Sam Park set up Robin Martinsson (38:04, assist Park, Osborne) with a tip-in, closing the period at 3-3 with Haringey in the ascendancy but with Lee Valley on the power-play after Ryan Payne was called for Tripping.
3rd Period: Payne’s penalty saw the Lions get their first PP goal of the game, Ross Sin-Hidge (PP goal, assists Jones, Nick Alley) tapping in after a passing move around the hosts’ zone. Haringey continued to take penalties and when Stuart Appleby was penalised for Roughing, Sin-Hidge (PP goal, assist Jones) was on hand to double the Lions’ lead, the resulting play saw an injury to Haringey’s goalie Brown. Lee Valley’s dominance was undermined when a third turnover goal saw Matt Brown (51:27, assists Clayton, Ball) knock in his own rebound. Despite the set-back, the Lions controlled possession and with 27 seconds left and Haringey again short-benched, this time for Too Many Men Ross Sin-Hidge (PP goal 59:33, assist Nick Alley) was fed for an easy tap for his hat-trick, sealing the Lions first win over their neighbours since 2015.
Final Score: Haringey Racers 4-6 Lee Valley Lions
Period Scores: 1-2/2-1/1-3
Shots: Haringey 31-41 Lee Valley (14-19/13-10/4-12)
Penalties: Haringey 16-8 Lee Valley
Scorers: Lee Valley – Ross Sin-Hidge (3+1), Nick Alley (2+2), Simon Jones (0+3), James Hepburn (1+0), Lee Hounslow (0+1)
Haringey – Daniel Clayton (1+2), Matt Brown (2+0), Josh Abbott (0+2), Robin Martinsson (1+0), Ben Osborne, Jack Ball & Sam Park (0+1)
Goaltenders: Lee Valley – George Alley 31 shots/4 goals, 87.10%
Haringey – Matthew Brown 33 shots/5 goals, 84.85%, Aaron Mallet 8 shots/1 goal, 87.50%
Man of the Match – Nick Alley
With a game with Chelmsford originally scheduled for January the 7th being awarded as a 0-0 draw due to no ice time being available, the Lions have one more game left this season when we travel to face Slough Jets in a re-arranged game on Saturday 8th of April.
Face off at Montem Lane is at 6:15pm.