Lions Add Defenceman Hamilton

Lee Valley Lions are pleased to announce the signing of defenceman Matthew Hamilton for the remainder of 2017/18.

Matthew joins after a year away from hockey, having last played for Coventry & Warwick Panthers in the University League, where he picked up 23 points in 13 games in his final season with the Panthers.

He also spent his junior career in Romford, featuring for the Romford Fury development team in 6 games and played his final year at Slough.

“Matthew got in touch about a month ago and has been skating with us since then. He’s confident on the puck and being a Romford junior, he’s already shown that he’s got the physical game to cope with the step up we’ve had to make in this league.

I’m really happy to have added another defender to the squad, because we’ve needed the depth”

Matthew makes his debut this weekend when the Lions travel to Cardiff on Saturday (21/10), and then we welcome old rivals, the newly renamed Peterborough Phantoms NIHL2 (formerly Islanders) on Sunday (22/10).

Matthew Hamilton Stats

Face off in Cardiff is at 6:30pm on Saturday and at 5:30pm at Lee Valley Ice Centre this Sunday.

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

Lions Suffer South Coast Defeat to Devils

After losing a 15-goal thriller away to Haringey, followed by back to back home defeats, the Lions travelled outside London for the first time this season as they looked to take their first victory of the campaign. Their opponents on the south coast were the Solent Devils, who played in NIHL South 1 last season, so it was sure to be a difficult test.

The Lions welcomed back Michael Crosse, but were missing Ben Duffy, Ben Gillingham, Oliver Glover, Lee Hounslow and Robyn Maby. That gave Lee Valley 13 skaters plus netminding duo James Andrew and Brett Shepherd. The Devils, meanwhile, iced 14 skaters and two netminders. Twelve of the sixteen players on the Solent side were playing in NIHL South 1 last season.

1st Period: Lee Valley got off to a slow start in the game, with the Devils putting early pressure on James Andrew in the Lions net. The first goal of the game came after six and a half minutes, Sam Rudkin (6:25, assisted Richard Facey and Alex Murray) getting on the scoresheet. After Lions defenceman Daniel Tamasauskas took a 2+10 for checking from behind, Solent required just five seconds on the resultant powerplay to double their advantage, former Haringey import Drew Campbell (8:44, assisted Facey and Murray) making it 2-0. The hosts were not done there, and scored three goals within 99 seconds to increase their lead to 5-0: Murray (10:23, assisted Daniel Shier), Mark Pitts (11:03, assisted Alexander Trendall and Alexander Cole) and Rudkin (12:02, assisted Sam Boothroyd) doing the damage as the Lions repeatedly lost track of Solent players in their own zone. After a slashing call on Lions captain Nick Alley, Solent completed the half dozen as Facey (17:03, assisted Daniel Crossley and Campbell) made it 6-0 on the powerplay.

There was finally something to cheer for the Lions with just over a minute remaining in the first period, Matthew Hepburn (18:45, assisted Nick Alley) getting the Lions on the board following some great work behind the Solent net and nice interplay with Simon Geldart & Alley. And just 14 seconds later, Nick Alley (18:59, unassisted) broke down the left hand side and roofed a wrist shot past Christian Cole, smashing the Solent netminder’s bottle. The remaining 1:01 of the period passed without incident, with the Devils leading 6-2 at the break

2nd Period: The second period started off well for the Lions, as they made life difficult for the hosts by showing more aggression and making some big hits. Solent captain Alexander Cole took exception to a hit from Lions forward Jordan Turner, taking 2+2+10 for roughing as he went after the Lee Valley youngster. Turner was assessed 2 minutes for cross checking on the play. The Lions were not able to use the resultant powerplay and, following a slashing call on Chris Fox, found themselves on the penalty kill. The seventh Solent goal soon followed, Campbell (27:32, assisted Facey and Rhys McCormick) getting his second powerplay tally of the evening. And they restored their six goal advantage shortly after, Facey (29:16, assisted Campbell) also bagging his second goal of the evening and making the score 8-2.

The Lions swapped goaltenders after this, with 17 year old Brett Shepherd relieving James Andrew for his debut. And the young netminder, on a two-way deal with South 1 side Streatham, put in a good performance in the second half of the game as he foiled several Solent attacks. However he could not prevent Solent from reaching double figures before the second period was done; Rudkin (32:22, unassisted) completed his hat-trick with a shorthanded goal as Devils defenceman Ben Lock was in the box for elbowing, and Pitts (35:22, assisted Trendall and Crossley) made it 10-2, which would be the score heading into the second intermission.

3rd Period: The Devils increased their lead to 11-2 just over two minutes into the third period, Facey (42:02, assisted McCormick and Campbell) completing his own hat-trick. The Lions kept playing hard, not letting their heads drop and playing aggressive hockey, and were awarded with two quickfire goals; captain Alley (46:28, assisted Geldart) bagging his second of the game and Ross Sin-Hidge (48:57, assisted Chris Fox and Alley) scoring a well-worked powerplay marker with Facey in the box for hooking.

The visitors continued to work hard in search for more goals; however as the game went on, the short-benched Lions started to tire and ran into penalty trouble. Solent made it 12-4 on one of those penalties, player-coach Murray (51:24, assisted Facey and Campbell) netting with Simon Jones in the box on a hooking call. And the Devils put the icing on the cake just over five minutes from time, Christopher Hocquigny (54:15, assisted Murray and Alexander Cole) bagging the hosts’ 13th goal. Solent swapped netminders with a few minutes left, giving three and a half minutes of game time to backup goalie Toby Hall, but a tired Lions were unable to score any more, with the game ending at 13-4.

It was another difficult game for a Lions side that are still low on numbers, against an opponent with a lot of higher division experience. After a slow start, the Lions were able to trouble the hosts with some aggressive ice hockey, but were unable to keep it up for the whole game so suffered a tough defeat in the end. Lions captain Nick Alley took the Man of the Match award after having a hand in all four goals for his side, while Sam Rudkin took home the award for Solent.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Solent Devils 13-4 Lee Valley Lions

Period Scores: 6-2/4-0/3-2

Shots: Solent 67-17 Lee Valley (23-8/22-4/22-5)

Penalty Minutes: Solent 22-32 Lee Valley

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

Lee Valley – Nick Alley (2+2), Matthew Hepburn (1+0), Ross Sin-Hidge (1+0), Simon Geldart (0+1), Chris Fox (0+1)

Goaltenders: Solent – Christian Cole (56:24 played, 15 shots/4 goals against), Toby Hall (3:36 played, 2 shots/0 goals against)

Lee Valley – James Andrew (29:24 played, 30 shots/8 goals against), Brett Shepherd (30:36 played, 37 shots/5 goals against)

Man of the Match – Nick Alley (Lee Valley), Sam Rudkin (Solent)

The Lions’ next game is away to the Cardiff Fire on Saturday 21st October, followed by a home game against the Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday 22nd October.
Face off at Lee Valley is at 5:30pm.

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

Lions Shut Out by Phoenix in Bad Tempered Affair

 After defeat in their first two league games of the season, the Lee Valley Lions were back in action as they hosted league newcomers Guildford Phoenix. The Phoenix were also yet to get off the mark, losing their only game so far, so for both teams this was an opportunity to clinch their first win of the campaign.

Lee Valley welcomed back Daniel Tamasauskas, Robin Young and captain Nick Alley, while 17 year old netminder Brett Shepherd backed up James Andrew. Missing were Michael Crosse, Lee Hounslow and Robyn Maby.

Guildford brought 18 skaters as well as netminder Harry Buckingham. Former Lions players Henry Aiken and Bailey Wootton, and former Lee Valley junior Haydn Wootton, all iced for the Phoenix.

1st Period: The first period got off to a rapid start, with the visitors showing their speed and skill as they peppered James Andrew with shots early. One of those found its way through, Oliver Denis (2:56, assisted Joshua Abbott) getting one past Andrew for 1-0. Guildford had two powerplay opportunities as the period wore on, but couldn’t find a way past the Lions netminder, while the Lions could not convert on a powerplay of their own as they struggled to get into the game. The interplay between Denis and Abbott in particular was strong for the Phoenix, yet they could not score any more goals in the period despite a lot of chances, as the visitors led 1-0 going into the first break.

2nd Period: The second period got off to a bad start for both sides, as a hit from former Lions defenceman Henry Aiken on Ben Duffy left the Lee Valley forward injured and needing to be helped off the ice, while Aiken was handed a 5 + game for boarding. The Lions could not capitalise on the subsequent five minute powerplay, a hooking call on Matt Brown leading to two minutes of four-on-four action and the Phoenix killing the remaining three minutes. Indeed Guildford doubled their advantage with a shorthanded goal with just 15 seconds left in the penalty, former Lions forward Bailey Wootton (27:10, assisted Nick Minhinnick) racing clear after a pass from his captain Minhinnick to slot past James Andrew on the breakaway for 2-0.

Two more Guildford penalties followed as the second period wore on, including some five-on-three powerplay time for the Lions, but Guildford’s penalty kill was up to the task and their young netminder Harry Buckingham made some fantastic saves when called upon, the best of the lot coming as he flashed the leather to deny Simon Geldart on a breakaway. Try as they might, the Lions could not get one past Guildford’s 17 year old keeper as the second period drew to a close, with the visitors 2-0 ahead.

3rd Period: The third period started off quietly, but it all kicked off five minutes in: after a skirmish in front of the Guildford net, Phoenix defenceman Luke Tull received a 5 + game for checking to the head, while Lions forward Matt Brown received 2+2 for fighting and Lee Valley captain Nick Alley was thrown out of the game for third man in. A few minutes later, Lions forward Chris Fox and Guildford’s Bailey Wootton also sat two each for roughing, as the game descended into chaos. On the ice, the Lions still were not able to get sustained pressure on Buckingham in the Guildford net, while his opposite number James Andrew continued to stand tall when called upon, with the score remaining at 2-0.

With just 4:17 left in the game, another Guildford player was ejected from the game; this time it was Michael Krogh who received a 5 + game for checking from behind after a hit that left Matthew Hepburn down on the ice, although Hepburn was able to continue playing. This meant the Lions were on the powerplay for the rest of regulation time, but yet again were thwarted by Guildford’s strong penalty killing and their impressive young netminder. The Lions even had a five-on-three powerplay for the last 13 seconds of the game, but could not convert as they were shut out at home, the Phoenix running out 2-0 winners on the night.

It was a frustrating evening for the Lions as they were shut out in the league for the first time this season, although the continued strong form of netminder James Andrew – last season’s Most Improved Player has picked up right where he left off – is a positive sign. Andrew picked up a deserved Man of the Match award for the Lions, while his opposite number Buckingham took home the award for Guildford after an impressive shutout.

Update on Ben Duffy

After the game, Ben was seen at the Royal London Hospital, where an X-Ray and ICT scan have revealed that Ben has 2 fractures in 2 vertebrae in his lower back (T11 and T12). They are ‘stable’ in that there’s no damage to the ligament or muscles, so the bones won’t move. Ben is already out of hospital and recovering at home, with the aid of a rather fetching brace.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 0-2 Guildford Phoenix

Period Scores: 0-1/0-1/0-0

Shots: Lee Valley 38-76 Guildford (6-30/21-11/11-35)*

Some discrepancies regarding the shots on target recorded.

Penalty Minutes: Lee Valley 32-87 Guildford

Scorers: Guildford – Bailey Wootton (1+0), Oliver Denis (1+0), Joshua Abbott (0+1), Nick Minhinnick (0+1)

Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew (60:00 played, 76 shots/2 goals against)

Guildford – Harry Buckingham (60:00 played, 38 shots/0 goals against)

Man of the Match – James Andrew (Lee Valley), Harry Buckingham (Guildford)

The Lions’ next game is away to the Solent Devils on Saturday 7th October. Face off in Hampshire is at 5:00pm

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

Spirited Lions Stung by Hornets

Just 24 hours after losing a 15-goal thriller away to London rivals Haringey, the Lee Valley Lions were back in action on Sunday night, playing their first home game of the season at the newly-refurbished Lee Valley Ice Centre. The opponents would be the Bracknell Hornets, one of four sides who dropped a division from NIHL South 1 to South 2 in the summer.

The Lions welcomed back Jordan Turner and Matthew Hepburn for their first appearances of the season; but were missing Robyn Maby, Brett Shepherd, Robin Young, Daniel Tamasauskas, Lee Hounslow and captain Nick Alley, giving them 13 skaters plus netminder James Andrew.

Bracknell brought 19 skaters and goalies Will Sanderson and James Richardson to the Den. 15 of Bracknell’s 21 players competed in the EPL and/or NIHL South 1 last season, so the game would be a stern test for a Lions side still not at full strength.

1st Period: The Hornets got off to a blistering start in period 1, showing their quality instantly as Ben Ealey-Newman (00:50, assisted Will Sanderson) raced through to put the puck past James Andrew in the Lions net after taking a direct feed from Bracknell netminder Sanderson. They doubled their lead just two minutes later, American import Sean Scarbrough (2:49, assisted Steve Fisher) netted after good interplay with fellow Streatham alumnus Steve Fisher on the powerplay with James Joseph in the box. The Lions managed to withstand further Hornets attacks for the next eight minutes, and had a few chances of their own as Hornets netminder Sanderson had to flash the leather on a couple of occasions.

The Hornets went 3-0 up just after the halfway stage of the first period, Josh Ealey-Newman (10:24, assisted Will Stead) firing past Andrew, and after the Hornets killed a penalty against former Chelmsford Chieftains defenceman Carl Graham, they extended their advantage to 4-0 as Fisher (16:36, assisted B. Ealey-Newman and Scarbrough) scored his first of the evening. And it was 5-0 in the last minute of the first period, Scarbrough (19:31, assisted Fisher) clinically tucked home a rebound after Andrew had made a fine save to deny Fisher. The Hornets took a five goal advantage into the first intermission.

2nd Period: The second period saw a change of netminders for Bracknell, as they replaced Sanderson with former Invicta Dynamos goaltender James Richardson. This did not bring about a change in fortunes for the Lions however, who continued to push hard but were unable to create many concrete chances. They did keep the Hornets quiet at the other end of the ice for the first twelve minutes of the period, and after an altercation involving Bracknell’s Ben Ealey-Newman and Simon Geldart of the Lions, both sat two minutes for roughing.

During the ensuing 4-on-4 passage of play, James Joseph was penalised for holding back Steve Fisher, and the referee awarded a penalty shot which Fisher (32:54) converted for 6-0. And the Hornets made it 7-0 four minutes later as Scarbrough and Fisher found themselves alone in the Lions zone after a lovely feed from Ben Ealey-Newman, and Fisher (36:48, assisted Scarbrough and B. Ealey-Newman) duly put the puck past Andrew following a pass across the face of goal from Scarbrough. This completed the hat-trick for the Hornets captain. The period would end with the Hornets 7-0 up, having only scored two goals in the period with just one coming from open play, as the Lions put in a far better defensive performance.

3rd Period: The Hornets well and truly put the game to bed in the first 1:21 of the final period with a three-goal blitz putting them 10-0 up. Josh Ealey-Newman (40:25, assisted Stead) made it 8-0 just 25 seconds into the period; Hughes (40:54, assisted Jack Hayes and Stead) then made it 9-0 with a blistering shot past Andrew; and the Hornets hit double figures as Scarbrough (41:21, assisted Harvey Hind-Pitcher and Fisher) completed his own hat-trick.

Even at 10-0 down, the Lions did not let their heads drop as they kept pushing for a goal, and came close a few times but couldn’t get the puck in the net. Bracknell, meanwhile, continued to pepper James Andrew with shots, and scored their 11th and final goal of the evening as player-coach Hughes (49:55, assisted Stead and J. Ealey-Newman) unleashed his second cannon of the evening that Andrew could not keep out.

The Lions did manage to grab a well-deserved goal with seven minutes to go, as Matt Brown (52:39, assisted Ben Duffy and Matthew Hepburn) scored his first goal as a Lion following nice interplay with Duffy and Hepburn. All three forwards had worked tirelessly throughout the game so it was just reward for their efforts. The last seven minutes then passed without much incident, with the Hornets coming away from the Den with an 11-1 victory.
Although the margin of victory was high, the Lions can be proud of their efforts against a team with a much larger bench containing many players with higher level experience. James Andrew was once again impressive in goal stopping 57 of 68 shots, while the Lee Valley forwards never stopped chasing the puck even when the score reached double figures.
For Bracknell, captain Steve Fisher was awarded Man of the Match for his 3+3 on the night, while lone goalscorer Matt Brown took the honours for Lee Valley.

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

Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 1-11 Bracknell Hornets

Period Scores: 0-5/0-2/1-4

Shots: Lee Valley 30-68 Bracknell (11-16/9-26/10-26)

Penalty Minutes: Lee Valley 4-6 Bracknell

Scorers: Lee Valley – Matt Brown (1+0), Ben Duffy (0+1), Matthew Hepburn (0+1)
Bracknell – Steve Fisher (3+3), Sean Scarbrough (3+2), Will Stead (0+4), Josh Ealey-Newman (2+1), Ben Ealey-Newman (1+2), Danny Hughes (0+2), Jack Hayes (0+1), Will Sanderson (0+1), Harvey Hind-Pitcher (0+1), Carl Graham (0+1)

Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew (60:00 played, 68 shots/11 goals against)
Bracknell – Will Sanderson (20:00 played, 11 shots/0 goals against), James Richardson (40:00 played, 19 shots/1 goal against)
Man of the Match – Matt Brown (Lee Valley), Steve Fisher (Bracknell)

The Lions’ next game is at home to the Guildford Phoenix on Sunday 1st October.

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

Lions Edged Out in 15 Goal Thriller

The Lee Valley Lions kicked off their NIHL South 2 campaign with a trip across London to face local rivals Haringey at Alexandra Palace. The Racers team who played the last four seasons has been replaced by the new Huskies organisation this season but, with many familiar faces in the Haringey side, the Lions were looking to claim victory in the first London derby of the season, having won 6-4 in their last trip to the Palace back in March.

The Lions arrived with twelve skaters as well as netminder James Andrew. Missing were Lee Hounslow, Jordan Turner, Robin Young, Robyn Maby, Brett Shepherd and captain Nick Alley. Former Haringey forward Matt Brown made his debut for the Lions while Michael Crosse played his first competitive game for the club since 2013.

Haringey’s side included nine former Lee Valley players, including Joe Berry who played ten seasons for the Lions between 2005 and 2016.

1st Period: Despite being short benched, the Lions showed no signs of backing down, with a crunching hit from Daniel Tamasauskas on Huskies captain Ben Osborne setting the tone early on. The away side took the lead just after the five minute mark, Ben Duffy (5:33, assisted Matt Brown) scoring Lee Valley’s first goal of the season on the breakaway. It took just seven seconds for Haringey to equalise, as Stephen Woodford (5:40, assisted Stuart Appleby) tied the score at one. The Lions took the lead again five minutes later, Chris Fox (10:23, unassisted) scoring directly after a faceoff. However the Huskies had a quick answer again, and again it was Woodford (10:43, assisted Appleby and Lewis Jones) who put the puck in the net. And after a turnover behind their own net, the Lions found themselves behind as Sam Park (13:01, assisted Daniel Clayton) fired the puck past James Andrew.

The Lions refused to give up though, Oliver Glover (15:16, assisted Ben Gillingham) leveling the scores at three apiece as he unleashed a cannon from the blue line which Jussi Lynch Grut in the Haringey net was unable to stop. It got better for the Lions 31 seconds later, Duffy (15:47, assisted Fox) scoring his second of the night and putting the Lions 4-3 up. There was one more sting in the tail in the first period however, as Clayton (17:40, assisted Bryn Griffiths and Park) scored short-handed with Lee Mercer in the box to tie the game at 4-4 going into the first intermission after a crazy first period.

2nd Period: The second period started off as the first had ended, with action at both ends. With former Lions forward Joe Berry in the box, Michael Crosse (23:30, assisted Gillingham and Simon Geldart) scored on the powerplay to give the Lions a 5-4 lead. Just 35 seconds later, Berry was involved in an altercation with Ross Sin-Hidge that saw the Huskies forward tossed from the game with a match penalty for headbutting, and Sin-Hidge sitting two minutes for roughing. On the resulting 4-on-4 passage of play, Perry Whitlock (24:35, assisted Woodford and Osborne) made the score 5-5 with a laser beam from the blue line. And while both sides were still down to four men, Geldart (25:44, assisted Brown) made it 6-5 to Lee Valley after Grut made a good stop to deny Brown but could not prevent Geldart tucking in the rebound.

The scoring for the period did not stop there. The Lions could not score on the three minute powerplay opportunity after Sin-Hidge left the box and, just two seconds after Haringey’s penalty had expired, Woodford (29:07, unassisted) completed his hat trick leveling the scores at 6-6. There was yet another goal to come in the period as Woodford (37:05, assisted Jones and Appleby) scored his fourth of the evening to see the Huskies head into the second intermission with a 7-6 advantage.

3rd Period: After eight goals in the 1st period and a five goal 2nd period, the last period of the game would see just two goals being scored. The Lions tied the score at 7-7 midway through the period, Duffy (49:12, unassisted) completing his hat trick on the powerplay with Woodford in the box. However Haringey were to have the last laugh, Park (52:07, assisted Clayton) completing the scoring with just under eight minutes to go. The Lions threw everything they had at the Huskies in the closing stages, including pulling netminder Andrew for an extra attacker, but could not find that eighth goal that they needed.

As the final buzzer sounded, the Huskies skated off with an 8-7 victory after a thrilling game. The Lions could take several positives from the game, however, with the short-benched side showing great character to score seven goals and push Haringey right to the very end. Man of the match for the Lions was the impressive Ross Sin-Hidge, who took many shifts both up front and on the blue line and created many chances. Four goal man Woodford took the award for the Huskies.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Haringey Huskies 8-7 Lee Valley Lions

Period Scores: 4-4/3-2/1-1

Shots: Haringey 37-41 Lee Valley (14-16/9-12/14-13)

Penalty Minutes: Haringey 43-8 Lee Valley

Scorers: Haringey – Stephen Woodford (4+1), Sam Park (2+1), Daniel Clayton (1+2), Stuart Appleby (0+3), Lewis Jones (0+2), Perry Whitlock (1+0), Bryn Griffiths (0+1), Ben Osborne (0+1)

Lee Valley – Ben Duffy (3+0), Simon Geldart (1+1), Chris Fox (1+1), Ben Gillingham (0+2), Matt Brown (0+2), Oliver Glover (1+0), Michael Crosse (1+0)

Goaltenders: Haringey – Jussi Lynch Grut (60:00 played, 41 shots/7 goals against)

Lee Valley – James Andrew (58:50 played, 37 shots/8 goals against)

Man of the Match – Ross Sin-Hidge (Lee Valley), Stephen Woodford (Haringey)

The Lions look to bounce back first home game of the season is against the Bracknell Hornets on Sunday 17th September.
Face off is at 5:30pm at Lee Valley Ice Centre.

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