Lions Back on the Ice for Tryout Sessions

With the UK government relaxing restrictions on indoor sports, the Lee Valley Lions are now able to resume with our usual off-season open tryout sessions.

The tryout sessions will take place every Tuesday evening from 8.15pm, with a £10 charge towards ice time.

These sessions will run up to and including Tuesday 22nd June, with Lee Valley Ice Centre closing its doors for refurbishment on Sunday 27th June.
After this point, the Lions are looking to relocate the sessions to another location, which is yet to be determined.

If you would like to participate in one of the sessions, you must have EIHA-approved insurance in place, which can be obtained here for British trained players.
Unfortunately we will not be able to invite non-British trained players to these sessions, due to the length of time required to get this insurance sorted.

Any prospective player wishing to attend the sessions must also contact our General Manager, Eddie Joseph, on 07958 743680 at least four days beforehand.
This is so that you can be made aware of the ice rink’s COVID-19 protocols, and to ensure insurance is in place.

Lions Season Ends With Heated Defeat

Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms 6-1 Lee Valley Lions (14/03/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions travelled to Peterborough on Saturday 14th March for what was expected to be their penultimate game of the season. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, it ultimately turned out to be their last game of the 2019-20 campaign.

The Lions were low on numbers for the trip to Peterborough, as defencemen Thomas Baptist, Simon Jones and Richie Pickering were missing, as well as forwards Leonie Charles, Joe Berry, Robert Cole, Jordan Sullivan and Vinny Ferrara.

Naomi Healey got the start in net ahead of James Andrew, who was backing up.

First Period: The hosts got off to a perfect start as Polish forward Michal Magiera made it 1-0 to the Phantoms with just 55 seconds gone in the game. And Magiera would go on to score two more goals in the opening ten minutes to seal a rather quick hat-trick – the last of his three goals coming exactly at the 10:00 mark to put the Phantoms 3-0 up midway through the period. That third goal was also a short-handed goal, with Peterborough’s Kieran Raynor sitting two minutes for interference.

The home side added a fourth goal in the 18th minute as Shaun Yardley scored a powerplay marker; but the Lions got back into the game with just 18 seconds left in the period through a powerplay goal of their own. It was Hong Kong international forward Jordan Ho (19:42, assisted Daniel Tamasauskas) who scored his 18th goal of the season, getting the deficit back to 4-1 at the end of the first period.

Second Period: The Phantoms went 5-1 up early in the second period through Kieran Raynor, putting the puck past James Andrew – who had replaced Naomi Healey in the Lions net in the first intermission – with 1:25 gone in the period.

There were to be no more goals in the middle period though, as Andrew made 18 saves and his opposite number Luke Clark made nine to keep the scoreline at 5-1.

However, after the officials had already handed out 34 penalty minutes in the first period including two 10-minute misconducts, the tension rose further in the game during the second period as a further 28 penalty minutes were handed out, including two further 10-minute misconducts – this was a sign of what was to come in the final period.

Third Period: There was to be only one goal in the third period as well, with Phantoms captain Kenny Bavin grabbing a powerplay goal to put his side 6-1 up. James Andrew stopped the Phantoms’ other 12 shots in the period, while Phantoms goalie Luke Clark had 19 saves to make as the Lions peppered the home net with shot after shot.

But it was the penalty minutes, rather than the goals, that continued to rise as the game wore on. In the first 17 minutes of the last period, there were a further 30 penalty minutes handed out, including incitement and fighting penalties against Peterborough’s Jack Sansby, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Lee Valley’s Harry Sage.

The game had already been heated, and things escalated completely in the 57th minute when an incident involving players from both teams led to the game being abandoned. Over 300 penalty minutes were handed out by the officials for the incident – 286 of them to the Phantoms and 28 to the Lions – as the game finished with Peterborough winning by a 6-1 scoreline.

Sadly with the news from the EIHA that all hockey until the end of May has been cancelled, this game brought the curtain down on the Lions’ 2019-20 season, with next weekend’s planned season finale against Streatham now not going ahead.

The Lee Valley Lions would like to thank everyone associated with the team for their efforts and support this season – see you all next season!

EIHA Statement: Board meeting confirms competitive hockey cancelled through May 31

Ice Hockey UK, English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) and Scottish Ice Hockey (SIH) have met to confirm all competitive activity sanctioned by the EIHA and SIH up to and including 31st May 2020 is cancelled from Tuesday 17th March 2020 with a further statement on 1st May 2020 for all competitive activities after 31st May 2020.

All leagues operated by the EIHA and SIH will be amended over the next 48 hours to complete standings for the 2019/20 season.

Training may continue subject to current government advice. Internal communications will be sent in due course to clubs.

More information will follow regarding those who have purchased tickets to end-of-season events.

This means that the Lee Valley Lions’ planned last game of the season, away to the Streatham Hawks on March 21st, will now not go ahead.

Narrow Road Defeat Ends Lions Cup Season

Bristol Pitbulls 4-2 Lee Valley Lions (NIHL South 2 Cup – 07/03/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions ended their NIHL South 2 Cup campaign on the road last Saturday, as they travelled to Oxford to take on the Bristol Pitbulls. It would prove to be a frustratingly tight defeat for the East London side.

The Lions were missing a host of players for the game; with forwards Leonie Charles, Robert Cole, Joe Berry, Lewis Blore, Charlie Nichols, Joe Miller and Ben Margerison all unavailable, as well as defencemen James Joseph, Richie Pickering and Tom Baptist. Getting the start in net for the Lions was James Andrew.

First Period: The opening period was a close one in terms of shots on goal, with the Lions out-shooting the Pitbulls 13-12. But it was Bristol who opened the scoring in the seventh minute, as Zachary Dolphin grabbed the opening goal of the game.

There was to be no more scoring action until right at the end of the period. Bristol’s Jordan Jefferies and Lions duo Tyrone Wells and Harry Sage all went to the penalty box with just five seconds left before the interval, giving the Pitbulls a powerplay. They converted this with a goal right at the buzzer to go 2-0 up, with Zachary Dolphin getting his second of the night.

Second Period: The Pitbulls dominated the shot count in the second period, but found Lions netminder James Andrew on top form as he turned away almost everything he faced.

It was the visitors who scored the first goal of the middle period, as Rowan Champney (35:16, assisted Ross Sin-Hidge and Simon Jones) grabbed a powerplay goal in the 36th minute with Pitbulls’ Liam O’Connell in the penalty box for roughing.

Unfortunately for the Lions, the Pitbulls fired back with two quick goals of their own to go 4-1 up heading into the second intermission. Firstly it was Giovanni Raffaelli who scored just 43 seconds after the Lions’ opening goal; and then it was the other Dolphin, Joshua, who made it 4-1 just 42 seconds later.

Third Period: The final period was a quiet one in terms of shots and goal, with the Lions scoring the only goal of the period through Jordan Sullivan (48:40, assisted Jordan Ho and Daniel Tamasauskas).

The Lions had two powerplay opportunities in the period but couldn’t make them count, as the Pitbulls held onto their lead right up until the final buzzer to end the Cup campaign for both sides.

The final score was 4-2 to Bristol, with the Pitbulls topping the shots 41-26. Man of the Match for the Lions was netminder James Andrew for his 37 saves.

The Lions have two more league games to come this season, the first of which is in Peterborough this upcoming Saturday 14th March against the Phantoms. Faceoff will be at 7pm.

Double Defeat for Lions

It was another difficult weekend for the Lee Valley Lions last time out as they slipped to two more defeats; firstly on the road to league leaders Haringey, and then at home 24 hours later against Bracknell.

Saturday 29/02/2020 – Haringey Huskies 11-1 Lee Valley Lions

The Lions were missing forwards Robert Cole, Joe Berry, Lewis Blore and Charlie Nichols for Saturday’s trip to Alexandra Palace, as well as defencemen Richie Pickering, Daniel Tamasauskas, Tom Baptist and Oscar Kally. Starting in net for the Lions was James Andrew, while Harry Sage – usually a forward – would play on defence for this game.

First Period: The high-flying Huskies started the game off well, with import defenceman Gheorghe Dragomir scoring the opening goal of the game just two and a half minutes in. But both the Lions defence, and netminder James Andrew, stood firm for the next 14 minutes to keep the deficit at 1-0.

The Huskies did manage to score two more goals before the opening period ended though; firstly former Lions captain James Hepburn, and then Dragomir with his second of the game, put the Huskies 3-0 up after the first period, having outshot the Lions 15-5.

Second Period: It was the visiting Lions who scored first in the middle period as Harry O’Brien (23:43, assisted Vinny Ferrara and Simon Jones) slot the puck past Huskies netminder Ruth Cattell – another former Lions player – after good build-up play from Ferrara and Jones. It was a first goal in Lions colours for the younger of the O’Brien brothers.

The Huskies fired back, however, scoring three goals to lead 6-1 at the midway point of the game; those goals came through James Pentecost and two from captain Stephen Woodford (one of those on the powerplay).

The Lions swapped netminders at this point, with Naomi Healey replacing Andrew between the pipes, but she couldn’t stop the Huskies putting up two more goals to go into the second break 8-1 up; this time the goals came through Luke Martin-Digby and yet another former Lions player Gus Zimmerman.

Third Period: The Lions’ tiredness and low numbers on defence were showing by the third period, and they were unable to muster much in the way of dangerous offence, while the Huskies scored twice more through former Lions captain Nick Alley, and Dragomir who completed a hat-trick, to lead 10-1.

The last ten minutes of the game were rather quiet scoring-wise, but there was a fight between Haringey’s Martin-Digby and the Lions’ Sage in the closing stages.

Martin-Digby received 2+2+2 for the fight, while Sage received 2+2; but instead of taking advantage of the resulting powerplay, the Lions instead gave the puck away to Woodford, who scored a shorthanded goal to complete his own hat-trick and give the Huskies an 11-1 win.

Man of the Match for the Lions was Harry O’Brien, as the 18-year-old was rewarded for scoring his first goal for the club.

Sunday 01/03/2020 – Lee Valley Lions 4-8 Bracknell Wasps

The Lions hoped for a better result 24 hours later at Lee Valley Ice Centre, as they welcomed a Bracknell side against whom they had suffered two tight away losses this season, as well as one heavy home loss.

The home side were able to ice a full roster of 20 skaters, with only Oscar Kally, Joe Berry and Robert Cole missing out. James Andrew once again started in goal.

First Period: The opening period was a tight one, with both sides pushing for goals but netminders James Andrew (Lions) and Rory Edwards (Bracknell) making some strong saves to keep the scoreline goalless.

The Lions successfully killed minor penalties against Tyrone Wells and Harry Sage, while the Wasps also killed a penalty of their own – meaning both sides went into the first intermission locked in a 0-0 deadlock. The hosts narrowly edged the shots 10-9 in the period.

Second Period: The middle period got off to a bad start for the hosts, as first Wasps player-coach Danny Hughes and then Ben Edwards scored to give the visitors a 2-0 lead in the 27th minute.

The Lions were not perturbed by this though, and got back into the game through a lovely finish at the back post by Joseph Gibson (28:55, assisted Rowan Champney) following a slick pass from Rowan Champney. It was former Streatham defenceman Gibson’s first goal for the East London club.

The scoreline was then 2-2 in the 33rd minute as Ross Sin-Hidge (32:12, assisted Jordan Ho and Daniel Tamasauskas) scored on the powerplay. It was Sin-Hidge’s first goal since November, having only returned to action the previous night against Haringey after missing nine games through injury.

Things all went a bit wrong for the Lions in the next three minutes though, as they shipped three goals through Ben Edwards (x2) and James Eldridge to give the Wasps a 5-2 lead.

There was time for one more Lions goal before the break though, and it was Jordan Ho (37:39, assisted Sin-Hidge) who scored his 17th goal of the season to bring the deficit back to 5-3 heading into the final period.

Third Period: And the last period would start out very well for the Lions as Sin-Hidge (41:04) scored an unassisted goal just 1:04 after the break, his second marker of the game bringing the deficit back to 4-5 and giving the Lions hope that they could come back.

Sadly for the home side – those hopes started to fade away as first Scott Anda and then Ciaran Norris scored for the Wasps, giving them a 7-4 lead with just over ten minutes to play in the game.

And try as they might, the Lions just couldn’t solve the riddle of Rory Edwards in the Wasps net, eventually giving up an eighth and final goal just two and a half minutes from time as Hughes made it 8-4 to the Wasps – condemning the Lions to defeat in their last home game of the season.

Joseph Gibson took home the Man of the Match award for the Lions after scoring his first goal for the club as well as putting in a solid defensive effort.

The Lions are next in action on the road on Saturday 7th March 2020, as they visit Oxford Ice Rink to take on the Bristol Pitbulls in their final Cup game of the season. Faceoff in Oxford will be 17:15.