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 The Racers team who played the last four seasons has been replaced by the new Huskies organisation this season but, with many familiar faces in the Haringey side, the Lions were looking to claim victory in the first London derby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.


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.

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 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.

Lions Bring in Shepherd & Re-Sign Robin Young

The Lee Valley Lions are delighted to announce the signings of young goalie Brett Shepherd and experienced defence-man Robin Young for the upcoming season.

16 year old Brett joins on a two-way with London neighbours Streatham IHC, where he will split his time between Streatham’s Under 18’s, the Lions & the RedHawks this season. Last season Brett was given the opportunity to play behind Matt Colclough, whilst posting 89.2% for the club’s under 18’s and in 2015, Brett was selected to play for the South East Under 15’s.

Streatham Head Coach Jeremy Cornish spoke about the Lions’ new goalie.

“Brett is a young, up and coming goalie that I had the pleasure to get to know last season. He works extremely hard in training, challenges shooters and never gives up on a play. I look forward to seeing the progress he will make by training with us and getting action with Lee Valley this season.”

Defence-man Robin Young returns for his 3rd season as a Lion, joining originally in 2014/15. A former Chelmsford Chieftain & Romford Raider, Robin first debuted in senior hockey in 94/95, in the old BD1 against the original Lions. In his first two years as a Lion, Robin has 8 points in 33 league games from the blue line and will add vital experience this season.

“After seeing the Lions’ progress last year, I’m really excited to be coming back for another season at Lee Valley to take on the challenging new league format. Whilst family commitments may keep me from being available for every game, I hope I can still have an impact and perhaps pass on some of my experience to the younger players whenever possible.”

Head coach George Alley spoke about the new additions to the squad.

“With the market for new players being squeezed with the addition of the new clubs, I’m pleased we’ve been able to add some depth in goal, and Robin has been a key man in the dressing room the last couple of seasons.

I’ve been in talks with Jeremy about Brett’s availability and Streatham’s plans for him for a while. His junior coach at Streatham (Lions Legend Adam Goldstone) is eager for him to be exposed to the senior game as much as possible. Being only 16 he has very good composure and I’m excited about having a chance to work with him this season, and it’s vital that we have depth and competition for places, especially in goal.”

“Robin has a lot of experience in the British game and possesses great technical ability I hope we can utilise this season. He’s also a calm head ahead in the dressing room that will be crucial with the level of competition we’ll be facing this year.”

You can view both players’ stats in the links below.

Brett Shepherd Stats
Robin Young Stats

The Lions have a 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 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.

Awoyemi & Gillingham Next to Return

Lee Valley Lions are pleased to announce the returns of Sam Awoyemi & Ben Gillingham for 2017/18.

Sam graduated from the club’s junior section, where he captained the Under 18’s under Lions’ coach George Alley as well as having a spell in the Slough junior setup. Sam improved

“I’m really looking forward to this next season and I’m excited to be back playing with a great group of people. I hope this year I can step up my game and contribute more to the team.”

Ben joined the Lions halfway through 2015/16 along with Matt Hepburn, Ollie Glover & Ross Sin-Hidge. Before joining Lee Valley, Ben was apart of the Guildford junior system. His season was hampered after suffering a fractured wrist but is looking to bounce back this season.

“Absolutely elated to be back playing for the lions this year. Last season was disappointing for me personally with injuries so I’m looking to hit the ground running this time round. Lee valley has the best changing room ethos of any team I’ve been involved with and everyone works hard for each other and the badge. Couldn’t see myself playing senior hockey anywhere else and especially looking forward to a few new away games this year.”

George Alley on the new signings.

“Both players had a tough time with injuries last year, Sam hurt his knee around Christmas and Ben Fractured his wrist quite early on in the season, when both players returned we’d forged a few combinations that made it difficult for them to get regular ice. 

I’ve worked with Sam for a few years and his improvement has been fantastic. He takes in every bit of information given to him and his technical play has come on so much, particularly his stick handling. The commitment he’s shown to improving himself away from the rink should be rewarded”

“Ben is very popular amongst the dressing room. He has boundless energy on the ice and given time, and an injury free season I’d like to see him really push on. He’s a nuisance to play against because he doesn’t stop working and I hope to see that vindicated with a few more points this season.”

You can view both players’ stats in the link below.

Sam Awoyemi Stats
Ben Gillingham Stats

The season officially starts on the 16th/17th of September, but if you want a preview of the season ahead, the Lions have a 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 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.

Hidge & Glover Sign Up for Third Seasons

The Lee Valley Lions are pleased to announce the re-signings of Ross Sin-Hidge & Ollie Glover for the 2017/18 season.

Both players joined halfway through the 2015/16 from the now defunct Haringey Racers.

Ross didn’t score any points in his first 5 games as a Lion, but in 2016/17 he was the team’s 2nd highest points scorer, notching 18 points from 17 league games (19 points from 22 games in all competitions), forming a lethal combination with Nick Alley & inline hockey teammate Lee Hounslow.

I’m excited to get back on the ice with the Lions this season. Last season was my first full season with the team are a great bunch of guys. The new league presents a fresh and needed challenge that will force us to step up and continue to build on last years improvements.”

Nottingham born Ollie Glover was an ever present during last season, missing only one league game due to concussion. An experienced marathon runner, Ollie helped the team by playing both Forward and Defence, scoring 10 points in all competitions, and putting in a lot of workman-like performances.

“I am really looking forward to the new season and very happy to be signing for the Lions again. The new league structure will make things very exciting this year.”

With the off season in full swing. Coach George Alley had this to say about the returnees.

“Both players have bought in to what the team is about. Neither are local to the club but both guys really bought in to the dressing room atmosphere and it showed in their improved performances this season.”

“Ross’ performances really stood out. At the turn of the year he really hit a purple patch and made a massive contribution to our results in the second half of the season.

He’s one of a few roller players who are transitioning in ice hockey and, I hope the way they play the game will add a new dimension to how we take the club forward.”

“Ollie was one of the most committed players throughout the year, only missed one league game and played latter stages of the season with a stress fractured leg.

In what will be a tough and demanding season on the team, having guys that will be there regardless is important to keeping the team together, and re-building it in the seasons ahead.”

You can view both players stats in the links below.

Ross Sin-Hidge stats
Ollie Glover stats

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.