Lions Put in Spirited Performance in Haringey Defeat

Lee Valley Lions 4-12 Haringey Huskies (09/02/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions took on the league-leading Haringey Huskies last Sunday, in what was the fifth meeting between the two sides this season.

And while the Lions once again came out on the losing side, they were at least able to put in a spirited performance – particularly in the second period of the game.

The Lions were missing three of their top six scorers for this game, with Jordan Ho, Ross Sin-Hidge, and Joe Berry all absent. Also unavailable were netminder Naomi Healey, defencemen Tom Baptist and Richie Pickering, and forwards Leonie Charles and Lewis Blore.

The East London side were able to hand a club debut to 16-year-old forward Rowan Champney, while defenceman Joe Gibson made his home debut. James Andrew once again started in net.

First Period: The Lions came out well in the opening period, frustrating the league leaders early on and only allowing one goal against in the first 13 minutes, as Joe Willingham made it 1-0 for the visitors.

As the period went on, the Huskies started to show their dominance and were able to score three times in the last seven minutes of the period; goals from former Lions captain Nick Alley, James Pentecost, and Willingham with his second of the evening put the Huskies 4-0 up at the first intermission.

The Lions weren’t without their chances in the opening period, as Harry Sage came close to tipping in a shot from Oscar Kally before newcomer Rowan Champney had a couple of good opportunities, but Matthew Brown stood tall in the Huskies net to keep the Lions at bay.

Second Period: The middle period started off well for the home side, as they got the deficit back to 1-4 early on through Robert Cole’s 11th goal of the season (22:38) in just his 13th game for the club. It was an unassisted goal as the forward pounced on a Haringey defensive giveaway to slot the puck past Brown.

The Lions weren’t able to keep the Huskies off the scoresheet for long though, as goals from Stephen Woodford and a second of the night for Pentecost gave the visitors a 6-1 lead just after the halfway mark of the game.

However, it was Lions forward Cole (33:20) who got the score back to 2-6 with his second of the evening, this time with an assist from Simon Jones, with the goal coming in the 34th minute.

The final three and a half minutes of the middle period were full of action; firstly Woodford scored his second goal of the game to put the Huskies 7-2 up, before Lions forward Ben Margerison scored his first two goals for the club just nine seconds apart to suddenly bring the scoreline back to a more manageable 7-4. Assists on Margerison’s first strike (39:37) went to Oscar Kally and Vinny Ferrara; while the helpers on his second tally (39:46) went to Daniel Tamasauskas and Harry Sage.

Margerison’s two quickfire goals meant the Lions won the second period by a scoreline of 4-3, and went into the final period with the hope that they could get back into the game.

Third Period: Sadly for the hosts, the Huskies turned on the style in the final period and showed why they are leading the league this season. Firstly Pentecost completed his hat-trick in the 46th minute, before Stuart Appleby scored two minutes later to make it 9-2.

Then it was the turn of Leo Saoncella, newly-signed by the Huskies from the Streatham Hawks on transfer deadline day, to score twice within the space of 36 seconds which increased the Haringey lead to 11-2.

And finally it was Appleby who put an exclamation point on the game as he took advantage of a tired Lions defence to score the Huskies’ 12th and last goal in the 57th minute, with the final score being 12-4 in favour of Haringey as the final buzzer sounded.

Man of the Match for the Lions was Ben Margerison after scoring his first two goals for the club, while Haringey forward Saoncella picked up the same award after achieving the very same feat.

The Lions are back in action at home this coming Sunday 16th February, as they welcome the Invicta Mustangs to Lee Valley Ice Centre. Faceoff will be at 17:30.

Lions Defeated in Cup Action at Alexandra Palace

Haringey Huskies 10-3 Lee Valley Lions (01/02/2019 – NIHL South 2 Cup)

The Lee Valley Lions continued their NIHL South 2 Cup campaign last Saturday as they made the short trip to Alexandra Palace to face the Haringey Huskies.

The Huskies are currently leading NIHL South East 2 (Wilkinson), and showed their quality as they ultimately came away with a 10-3 victory over the visiting Lions.

First Period: The Lions, who were missing several of their top scorers including Jordan Ho, Jordan Sullivan and Ross Sin-Hidge, struggled early on as they conceded three goals in the opening ten minutes through Lee Mercer, Stuart Appleby and James Pentecost. The first two goals were powerplay markers, while Pentecost scored shorthanded.

The visitors did get a goal back in the 12th minute as Vinny Ferrara (11:43, assisted Ben Margerison and Robert Cole) cut the deficit to 3-1 with his fifth goal of the season.

But it was all downhill from there for the Lions, as they conceded three more goals in the opening period through Nick Alley, Tom Avery and Appleby, going into the first intermission 6-1 down.

Second Period: The Lions swapped netminders in the first break, with Naomi Healey coming into net in place of James Andrew, but Healey was unable to stop the Huskies taking a 7-1 lead in the 24th minute through Pentecost.

The visitors scored their second goal of the game to cut the deficit to 7-2 in the 28th minute though as Robert Cole (27:37, assisted Joe Berry) grabbed his ninth of the campaign.

There was to be only one more goal in the middle period, with Nick Alley’s shorthander giving the Huskies an 8-2 lead going into the final period.

Third Period: The Huskies came out very quickly at the start of the final period and took a 9-2 lead through Joseph Willingham after just 13 seconds, and reached double figures in the 46th minute as Mercer got his second of the game.

There was drama in the 54th and 55th minutes as first Luke Martin-Digby (Haringey) and Harry Sage (Lee Valley), and then Nick Alley (Haringey) and Harry O’Brien (Lee Valley) were all penalised for two separate fights.

There would be only one more goal in the game and it went the way of the Lions, Tyrone Wells (59:49, assisted Joe Miller) making it 10-3 with just 11 seconds left in what was a tough game for the Lions on the road.

The East London side will look to bounce back this coming Sunday 9th February, as they face the same opponents for the second game in a row. This time it will be a league game, with the Lions playing at home.

Faceoff at Lee Valley Ice Centre will be at 17:30.

Lions Shut Out by High-Flying Phantoms

Lee Valley Lions 0-9 Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms (26/01/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions had a night to forget on Sunday as they fell 9-0 at home to the high-flying Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms – a result that moved the visitors up to joint-leaders in the NIHL South East 2 (Wilkinson) league standings.

The Lions were missing three of their top five scorers – Jordan Ho, Jordan Sullivan and Ross Sin-Hidge all missed out – as well as defenceman Tom Baptist. Starting in goal was James Andrew, backed up by Naomi Healey.

First Period: The visitors got off to the best possible start in the opening period, taking the lead in the very first minute as Jordan Liddell surprised the Lions with an early goal.

The hosts had chances to get back into the game early, with defenceman Oscar Kally taking a good blueline shot which drew a save from Phantoms goaltender Luke Clark, before forward Joe Berry got a breakaway chance but couldn’t find a way past Clark.

Peterborough punished the Lions for their lack of scoring with two more goals of their own inside the ten minutes, first through CallumMedcalf and then Polish import forward Michal Magiera, to lead 3-0.

And despite some big saves from James Andrew in the Lions net, and a good chance for Lee Valley defenceman Richie Pickering, the home side went into the first break 0-4 down as Jack Sansby scored with just 47 seconds left in the opening period.

Second Period: The Lions ran into penalty trouble in the middle period, and were punished by the ruthless Phantoms as they scored three powerplay markers. First it was Magiera who grabbed his second of the game with a 5-on-3 advantage, before Benjamin Crowson and Robert McDonald both scored regular 5-on-4 powerplay goals to give the visitors a big 7-0 lead.

The home side did have the puck in the net once in the second period, as Harry Sage fired into an empty net following good work from Tyrone Wells to pressure Phantoms netminder Clark into a mistake, but the goal was ruled out for offside with Wells still in the zone as Sage took his shot from outside.

And right on the 40:00 mark at the end of the period, the Phantoms scored a buzzer-beater to take an 8-0 lead into the second break, Kenny Bavin getting the goal.

Third Period: The Lions swapped netminders for the third period, with Naomi Healey replacing James Andrew between the pipes.

It was a quieter game scoring-wise in the final period, with the Phantoms only able to add one goal through Storm Lister to take their lead up to 9-0.

There was rising tension in the game though, with some hard hits flying in from both sides, and in the 52nd minute both Lions defenceman Oscar Kally and Phantoms forward Michal Magiera sat two minutes each for roughing.

There were not too many incidents in the game after that though, with the game petering out towards the end and the Phantoms taking a comfortable 9-0 win as the final buzzer sounded.

It was an impressive performance from the Phantoms as they showed why they are one of three teams, along with Haringey and Invicta, who currently top the league with 22 points.

Man of the Match for the Lions was forward Tyrone Wells after a hard-working performance, while 16-year-old Benjamin Crowson took home the award for the visitors.

The Lions are back in action on the road this coming Sunday 1st February, as they face a tough trip to joint-league leaders Haringey. Faceoff at Alexandra Palace will be at 17:30.

Lions Lose Another Tight One in Bracknell

Bracknell Wasps 5-3 Lee Valley Lions (18/01/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions went down their second tight 5-3 defeat in a row on Saturday afternoon, as they narrowly missed out on victory against the Bracknell Wasps.

The Lions had gone down 5-4 in a penalty shootout on the road in Bracknell back in September for what was their only point of the season to date, so were hoping to take their first win of the season against the same opponents – a feat they came close to accomplishing.

Lee Valley were missing goaltender Naomi Healey; defenceman Daniel Tamasauskas, James O’Brien and Tom Baptist; and forwards Joe Berry, Ross Sin-Hidge and Joe Miller for the game in Berkshire. Starting in net was James Andrew.

First Period: The visitors took the lead early in the opening period, as top scorer Jordan Ho – who had missed the previous weekend’s 5-3 home defeat to Streatham – bagged his 16th goal of the season in his 16th game for the Lions. The assist on the goal came from Vinnie Ferrara.

It didn’t take long for the Wasps to equalise however, with James Eldridge making it 1-1 in the ninth minute. And as the home side put the pressure on later in the period, the Lions took two penalties – Robert Cole and Jordan Sullivan sitting two minutes for holding and a late hit respectively – but both the penalties were killed off, meaning that the teams went into the first intermission locked at 1-1.

Second Period: The middle period was cagey to start off with, with both sides unable to create clear-cut chances and mostly cancelling each other out. The Lions did get an opportunity on the powerplay as Wasps forward Craig Cowell sat two minutes for roughing, but couldn’t take advantage of it.

However the Lions did take advantage of their next powerplay – with Wasps captain Liam Poulson in the box for tripping, Lions trio Vinnie Ferrara, Jordan Ho and Jordan Sullivan combined for a well-worked powerplay goal which was finished off by Ferrara.

Once again though, the Lions didn’t keep the lead for long; back to back penalties against Ferrara and Richie Pickering gave the Wasps almost four continuous minutes of powerplay time, with Danny Hughes making the most of it to equalise at 2-2 in the 36th minute. This would also be the score at the end of the second period.

Third Period: The Lions took the lead for the third time in the game at the 1:22 mark of the final period, Robert Cole finishing past Wasps goalie Aaron Burton with assists from James Joseph and Tyrone Wells.

But this lead lasted just 70 seconds, with the Wasps equalising through Hughes who grabbed his second goal of the game. The tide would then turn in the 46th minute when James Eldridge capitalised on a Lions defensive breakdown to score his second of the game, putting his side in the lead for the very first time at 4-3.

The visitors threw everything they had at the Wasps for the remainder of the game as they searched for an equalising goal, but were unable to get that crucial fourth goal. And it was the Wasps who would put the icing on the cake with just under three minutes left, as Joshua Sherrington finished off a quick counter to give the Wasps a 5-3 win.

It was a frustrating game for the Lions, who played well for most of the game and took the lead three times, only to see it slip away into their second 5-3 defeat in six days.

The Lions are back in action at home this coming Sunday 26th January, as they host Peterborough at Lee Valley Ice Centre. Faceoff will be at 17:30.

Lions Suffer Narrow Streatham Defeat

Lee Valley Lions 3-5 Streatham Hawks (12/01/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions went down to a narrow 5-3 home defeat against the Streatham Hawks last Sunday, in their first home game of 2020.

The Lions were missing top goalscorer Jordan Ho for the game, as well as forward Ross Sin-Hidge, defenceman James O’Brien, and netminder James Andrew. Defenceman Tom Baptist made his home debut for the East London side, with Naomi Healey starting in goal.

First Period: The opening period was a close one to start with, as both sides neutralised each other and struggled to create clear goalscoring opportunities. It was the away side who would open the scoring in the ninth minute however, Alec Goldstone putting the Hawks 1-0 up with an unassisted goal.

The hosts fought back though, creating several good chances before Robert Cole equalised in the 15th minute, firing home after good work from Lions forward Joe Berry behind the Streatham net.

The first period would end with the sides locked in a 1-1 tie, and Streatham leading the shots on goal 10-4.

Second Period: The middle period started off with a bang, as Lee Valley’s ex-Streatham forward Harry Sage fought with his former team-mate Daniel Botting; both received 2+2 penalty minutes for fighting.

Streatham would then go 2-1 up in the 28th minute as Goldstone scored his second goal of the night, this time with an assist from Ryan Burgess.

But after Lions forward Tyrone Wells went to the penalty box for delay of game, the home side would surprisingly equalise through Vincenzo Ferrara, who lobbed a speculative effort at the Streatham net from the halfway line only to see it squeeze in past Hawks netminder James Richardson.

There were to be no more goals in the second period, despite both sides getting chances on the powerplay. Lions defenceman Richie Pickering received 2+10 for checking from behind late in the period, meaning he would miss half of the third period; while Lions newcomer Tom Baptist left the game injured in the second period and did not return.

Third Period: The Hawks came out well to start the third period, scoring twice in the first seven minutes through Joseph Tearall and former Lions favourite Gus Zimmerman to take a 4-2 lead, assisted by Burgess and Leo Saoncella.

The hosts created several chances after this though, as they looked to get back into the game and force a positive result. But disaster would strike for the Lions as forwards Harry Sage and Lewis Blore collided in the neutral zone, leaving both down on the ice. The Hawks took advantage of the confusion and scored to make it 5-2, Leo Saoncella getting the goal in the 50th minute with assists from Burgess and Zimmerman.

That fifth goal seemed to put the game to bed, and the Hawks would have been confident of going further ahead shortly afterwards when the Lions had to kill a full two minutes of 5-on-3 time after concurrent penalties for Joe Miller and Tyrone Wells; but the Lions managed to kill off both penalties and just about stay in the game and keep the score at 5-2.

The Lions managed to get the score back to 5-3 with just 1:34 left in the game as Cole got his second goal of the game, assisted Joe Berry and Simon Jones – but there was no time left in the game for any further goals, and the home side slipped to a tight 5-3 defeat as the final buzzer sounded.

Man of the Match for the Lions was forward Harry O’Brien who impressed with his work ethic all game long, while former Lions defenceman Gus Zimmerman took home the award for the Hawks for his one goal and two assists.

The Lions are back in action away from home this coming Saturday 18th January, as they travel to Bracknell to take on the Wasps. Faceoff will be at 15:20.