The end of the season was upon us and the Lions travelled to Slough, knowing that victory for either side would result in the other team finishing bottom of the league. Lee Valley hadn’t lost against their opponents all season, but the Jets in their tiny temporary rink had hit a purple patch with big wins over Haringey, Chelmsford and a surprising draw with champions Peterborough.
Lions welcomed back James Andrew from illness but were missing Oskar Horter, Ronnie O’Connor, Lee Hounslow, James Gosling, Ben Duffy and Daniel Tamasauskas.
1st Period: Although the conditions were against the Lions, they were first to score when a penalty to Slough’s Timo Lindgren allowed Nick Alley (PP goal 3:02, assist Sin-Hidge) to score off a face off in the Slough zone. Lions were controlling the play but with Nick Alley in the penalty box, it was the Jets who equalised through Chris Hocquigny (PP goal 8:09, assists Lindgren, Darmanin). The game was being played in the Jets’ zone but the home team were dangerous on the counter, James Andrew and Matthew Smital were both making important saves to keep the game tied at 1-1 at the end of the period.
2nd Period: Both sides were creating chances but Lions were dominating the possession at this point but Smital was keeping the Jets in the match. The lack of goals started to get to the Lions and with the small rink creating more opportunities for hits, both teams took three penalties each in the first 10 minutes. Neither side could capitalise on their powerplays, and the period ended with both teams scrapping in frustration. The score still 1-1.
3rd Period: Like the first period, the Lions got off to a quick start and Nick Alley (43:40, assist Aiken) ripped a wrist shot in off the crossbar to take the lead, but Slough equalised only 30 seconds later through Jamie Chandler (44:10, assist Martin-Digby). Both teams were going back and forth but both goalies were holding strong, but space finally opened up when Sam Awoyemi and Slough’s Charlie Dobbins both sat for Roughing. Slough called a timeout but with both sides at 4-on-4, James Hepburn (51:42, assist Matt Hepburn) got the Lions’ third goal. The action was mostly in the Jets’ zone but Smital continued to keep the hosts in the game, with two minutes left Lee Valley called a timeout and stemmed any chance Slough had of equalising, closing the game out for their 6th win of the season.
Final Score: Slough Jets 2-3 Lee Valley Lions
Period Score: 1-1/0-0/1-2
Shots: Slough 43-63 Lee Valley (14-22/11-20/18-21)
Penalties: Slough 20-24 Lee Valley
Scorers: Lee Valley – Nick Alley (2+0), James Hepburn (1+0), Ross Sin-Hidge, Henry Aiken & Matt Hepburn (0+1)
Slough – Jamie Chandler & Chris Hocquigny (1+0), Nathan Darmanin, Timo Lindgren & Luke Martin-Digby (0+1)
Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew 43 shots/2 goals, 95.35%
Slough – Matthew Smital 63 shots/3 goals, 95.24%
Man of the Match: Simon Geldart
With the season now finished, the Lee Valley Lions would like to thank the players and those who have supported us throughout the season.
Thank you again for following us this season and we’ll see you in September.