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.

Valiant Lions Downed by Streatham in Pre-Season Tussle

After four and a half months of waiting, the Lee Valley Lions finally hit the ice for the first time since April, as they travelled south of the river to face NIHL South 1 side Streatham IHC in a challenge game. Streatham had strengthened significantly over the summer, with former EPL stars Adam Carr, Ryan Watt and Michael Farn all signing up for the new campaign, so the match was sure to be a stern test for head coach George Alley’s side.

The Lions were missing Simon Geldart, Ben Duffy, Lee Hounslow, Jordan Turner and Matt Brown, while netminder Brett Shepherd played for his parent club Streatham. New signings Robyn Maby and Michael Crosse featured for the Lions, as did a quintet of guest players drafted in from fellow NIHL South 2 side the Invicta Mustangs: Jake Luton, Lucy Gruber, Anthony Baskerville, Tom Dennis and Michael Stokes.

1st Period: Streatham took a while to shake off the off-season rust, and the Lions were able to contain them early on and prevent them from creating many clear cut chances. When the South Londoners did get shots on net, James Andrew was equal to the task, the Lions netminder making several stunning stops. Lions captain Nick Alley also forced Streatham netminder Matt Colclough into a save early on. As the period wore on, Streatham started to click and they finally managed to break the deadlock at 13:43, Aidan Doughty (unassisted) burying the puck past Andrew. With just over a minute to go before the intermission, Streatham doubled their advantage when Ryan Watt (18:59, unassisted) raced through on the breakaway to score. The Lions ended the period 2-0 down but could be proud of their rearguard action against a strong Streatham attack.

2nd Period: The Lions were caught napping at the start of period 2 as new Streatham captain Adam Carr (20:18, assisted Watt) sniped one past Andrew to make it 3-0. Streatham kept growing in confidence and the score was soon 5-0 with two goals within 34 seconds; with Doughty (25:26, assisted Carr and Watt) grabbing his second of the game and then the speedy Ryan Webb (26:00 assisted Jacob Ranson and Ben Paynter) backhanding one past Andrew. The Lions goalie continued to make some good stops but was powerless to stop another quick brace of goals as Doughty (36:12, assisted Carr and Watt) completed his hat trick and Carr (36:33, assisted Brendan Baird and Doughty) grabbed his second, with the goals coming just 21 seconds apart. And while Mustangs guest players Jake Luton and Anthony Baskerville linked up well and created a few chances for the Lions, they could not find a breakthrough and the East London side reached the second intermission trailing 7-0.

3rd Period: GB Women’s International netminder Robyn Maby relieved James Andrew in the Lions net to start the third period, with Streatham having already replaced Matt Colclough midway through period 2 with Brett Shepherd, who is on a two-way deal with the Lions this season. Both goalies made some good saves in the third period, with Maby showing her agility and quick reactions in net and Shepherd denying Nick Alley after good interplay with Ben Gillingham. Streatham continued to rack up the goals however, with the NIHL South 1 side now in full flow and looking dangerous on every attack. Brandon Miles (47:06, assisted Carr and Alex Sampford) made it eight before Webb (48:42, assisted Baird) scored perhaps the prettiest goal of the night as he dangled his way past the Lions defence and put the puck past Maby. Streatham hit double figures when Doughty (50:20, assisted Watt and Carr) scored on a quick counter attack to grab his fourth of the night; and the NIHL South 1 side raised the score to 11-0 when Miles (53:30, assisted Sampford) scored his second of the evening. With just six seconds left in the game, Carr (59:54, assisted Sampford) put the icing on the cake as the Streatham captain completed his hat trick as well as the scoring, with the South London side winning the game 12-0 against a Lions side that put up a valiant fight right to the end.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Streatham IHC 12-0 Lee Valley Lions

Period Scores: 2-0/5-0/5-0
Penalties: Streatham 4-2 Lee Valley
Scorers: Streatham – Adam Carr (3+4), Aidan Doughty (4+1), Ryan Watt (1+4), Alex Sampford (0+3), Brandon Miles (2+0), Ryan Webb (2+0), Brendan Baird (0+2), Ben Paynter (0+1), Jacob Ranson (0+1)
Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew (40:00 played, 48 shots/7 goals against), Robyn Maby (20:00 played, 13 shots/5 goals against)
Streatham – Matt Colclough (29:01 played, 5 shots/0 goals against), Brett Shepherd (30:59 played, 9 shots/0 goals against)

Man of the Match – James Andrew (Lee Valley), Aidan Doughty (Streatham)

The Lions kick off their NIHL South 2 campaign with a London derby away at the Haringey Huskies on Saturday 16th September, before the first home game of the season follows one day later against the Bracknell Hornets on Sunday 17th September.

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

Lions Sign GB International Maby

The Lee Valley Lions have added a third goaltender to their ranks with the addition of Great Britain Women’s International Robyn Maby.

Robyn, played for the Lions previously in 2009/10, alongside Guildford Lightning. The next season she went on to University, where she joined up with the Sheffield Shadows and earned her call up to GB. Before joining Lee Valley, Robyn was a junior at Haringey alongside current Lions Nick Alley & Chris Fox.

Recently Robyn has been living and working in China, but has been skating with the Lions in pre-season.

“After living abroad for the past three years it’s great to finally get back on the ice and be given the opportunity to lace up again for the Lions. Having a former goalie as a coach and who is enthusiastic about endorsing women in hockey is also an added bonus in my favour!

I look forward to the coming season, and being a part of the team.”

Head Coach George Alley on the newest addition to the club.

“I’ve known Robyn a long time. She’s a fantastic athlete and fiercely competitive which fits the character profile I want in this squad. She’ll be excellent competition for James (Andrew) & Brett (Shepherd).

“I’m keen to encourage more female players to integrate in the men’s leagues as there some very gifted players who are being overlooked.”

“More women’s players, particularly those in the GB set up should be given opportunities in the men’s leagues, and should be challenging themselves to step up in NIHL 2 at least! Lucy Gruber (Invicta Mustangs) & Abbie Sylvester (Chelmsford Warriors) did it last year, and Ruth Cattell was a regular here for some time.”

You Can view Robyn’s Stats in the link below.

Robyn Maby stats

Tickets are now on sale for our pre-season match on Sunday 3rd of September away to Streatham IHC. Face off is at 5:30pm in South London and tickets can be bought online at Streatham-Hockey.co.uk. Prices are £10 for adults & £6 for concessions.

You can keep up to date with the Lions over the summer on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for signing news other announcements using the hashtag #LeeValleyLions.

Jordan Turner & James Joseph Return

The Lee Valley Lions are pleased to announce their next pair of signing’s with youngster Jordan Turner and, club appearance record holder James Joseph returning for the 2017/18 season.

Former junior Turner returns for his third stint as a senior player, having made his debut in 2013/14 as an Under 18. Last year Jordan’s season was limited to 7 games by a back injury and work commitments, but the 20 year old will be looking to appear more regularly this season. In 27 games Jordan has 5 points for the Lions.

“When George phoned and was keen to get me involved again this season I was extremely happy and excited to up my game and make an impact this season. The Lions are a great bunch of lads on and off the ice and I’m looking forward to working with them and George for the upcoming season.”

Club stalwart James Joseph has been playing at Lee Valley since the original Lions were roaming, and has played in every season since the team reformed in 2005. During last season he overtook Lions’ legends Steve James, Glen Moorhouse & dad Eddie to become to club’s record appearance holder. In 218 games, James has 25 points from the Lions’ blue line.

“I’m excited to be coming back this season. We learnt some valuable lessons last year and have built on those to really move forward as team that can challenge this coming season.
I’ve seen the guys move from strength to strength on the ice in short time we’ve been under coach George’s direction and it’s good to see the team keep doing so. We’ve been playing some great hockey recently and if we continue working hard as team I think we’ll perform well with the challenges new league structure is going to bring.”

With Pre-season underway, Head Coach George Alley was pleased to add more players to his squad.

“We’ve only got a few more weeks before we go to Streatham, so I’m glad more guys are throwing their names into the hat for this season.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with Jordan since he joined the Under 18’s team I coached in 2013. He’s very responsive to advice and has a work-rate that is irreplaceable, having players like Jordan keeps a lot of senior players sharp because his work ethic is so strong. If he can get a run of games under his belt I really think he will be far more effective for us than he has done previously.

James and I go way back. I started playing the year the original Lions had folded, but Eddie and Mike Smith (former Lions owner) continued to run junior sessions, James already had a couple of years under his belt at that point and he’s been around ever since, regardless of the team’s situation or league position. What’s rare in British Ice Hockey, and London in particular is loyalty for more than a few years because the city is so fluid. We don’t have many “locals” in the team who really understand what the club has been or have grown up here, James is key to that local core you have to have in any team”.

James Joseph Stats
Jordan Turner Stats
 

Tickets are now on sale for our pre-season match on Sunday 3rd of September away to Streatham IHC. Face off is at 5:30pm in South London and tickets can be bought online at Streatham-Hockey.co.uk. Prices are £10 for adults & £6 for concessions.

You can keep up to date with the Lions over the summer on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for signing news other announcements using the hashtag #LeeValleyLions.