Lee Valley Lions 4 Basingstoke Buffalo 8

Tied at 4-4 late in the second period, the Lions surrendered 4 unanswered goals and despite some positives, ended the season with another loss.
Outshot 48-32, the Lions fought hard to try and get their first point of the season and very much had Basingstoke in their sights before a power play goal and penalty shot – both harsh – allowed Buffalo to get the edge.
Basingstoke lead after 3.01 but it was tied at 10.03 when a backhand pass from Michael Crosse set up Theo Abban who slammed in the goal. But Basingstoke scored two quick goals to take a 3-1 first period, netting at 18.28 and 18.52.
The Lions, as seems to have happened frequently this season, had an excellent second period. A James Joseph pass found Crosse in a deep position but a neat turn on the boards sent the youngster away to score at 21.40 before a similar effort from James Gosling who also skated from his own half and finished brilliantly, breaking out after a James Hatfull assist at 23.08.
Basingstoke went ahead again at 26.29 but Richard Hodge pulled it level again – assists from Scott Beeson and Crosse just over a minute later.
But two bits of misfortune turned the game Basingstoke’s way before the period was up. A marginal ‘too many men’ penalty allowed a power play goal in the thirty first minute and then a penalty shot was awarded which meant it was 6-4 going into the final period.
Two more for Basingstoke at 50.10 & 55.21 put the game out of reach although Hodge, Crosse and Fox all went close it wasn’t to be.
So the season ends with a home defeat to a good Basingstoke side, but yet again, as in the past few matches, the Lions finding the back of the net before running out of steam in the third. Some positives to note, and close in a number of games to breaking their duck, but the small squad reach the end of a difficult campaign.
Theo Abban
Michael Crosse 1+2
Theo Abban 1+0
Richard Hodge 1+0
James Gosling 1+0
James Hatfull 0+1
Scott Beeson 0+1
James Joseph 0+1
N/M Aaron Mallet 48 shots

Chelmsford Warriors 11 Lee Valley Lions 8

Heading into the final period with a 6-5 lead, the Lions couldn’t hold on and conceded six goals in the final session going down to another defeat. The squad have just one last chance to get a point this season when they face Basingstoke at home on Saturday.
Coached on this occasion by Eddie Joseph, the Lions went to Chelmsford once again short on numbers and were 2-0 down by the ninth minute. But when Chris Fox latched into a Michael Crosse pass to fire in at 9.36 the Lions were on the scoresheet.
Starting net minder Ruth Catell made some good stops but was beaten again after 16.46 and the period ended 3-1 to the home team.
Scott Beeson scored Lions’ second after 6.44 of the second, assisted by the pick of the Lions defence Jack Ball, and then James Hatfull shot in on the power play. Warriors scored twice to restore their lead but then two goals in ten seconds made it 5 each, Richard Hodge from Beeson on the power play, then Adam Peach assisted by Theo Abban at 33.30. Once again on the power play at 36.04 the Lions struck to take the lead when Callum Heath shot in from a pass from James Gosling and the Lions had the rare feeling of going into the final period in the lead.
But two goals in the opening minute and a half restored the edge to Chelmsford who were quick and were able to skate with three lines and looked likely to exploit a tiring Lions squad with just 11 skaters.
Warriors scored again at 43.37 but the Lions still fought back with Abban finishing off from Crosse and Peach at 44.05 and James Joseph setting up Heath for another at 50.42 on the power play.
But it was the Warriors who had the best of the closing stages scoring three more to ease away from the Lions to finish 11-8 winners in a game which you felt the Lions could have won, although they were again well outshot 32-65.
So it comes down to the final game of the season at home to Basingstoke at the Lee Valley Ice Centre on Saturday, face off at 17.15.

Lee Valley Lions 4 Swindon 8

The Lions scored first and at the start of the third period had it back to 3-4 but eventually went down to Swindon in the first of two weekend matches. The Lions travel to Chelmsford on Sunday for a 18.00 face off.

Lions Break Scoring Duck but Go Down to Bristol

The Lions put in one of their best, and certainly their most determined, display of the season, breaking their three game scoreless streak, before going down 8-4 to Bristol.
In the game played at Basingstoke due to the closure of the Bristol rink, the Lions arrived without seven players so acting coach Ian Prince had to improvise. Captain James Hatfull played at left wing alongside Scott Beeson and Michael Crosse, with the other forward line linking Adam Peach, Phil Carson and Callum Heath. The defence was made up of James Joseph, Jack Ball, James Gosling, Alan Go and young Jarvis Mewitt. Aaron Mallet was in goal and was once again kept busy in a first period which saw Bristol score four goals, and it may have been more if not for some good stops from the Lee Valley number 1.
But despite the lack of numbers and the four goal deficit, the Lions fought back well in the second period hitting the post and going inches wide on several occasions before Peach found Heath to slot in the first from the right of the crease at 29.58. Bristol struck back right away to make it 5-1 before Peach netted himself with a shot on 38 minutes. Crosse, Beeson and Carson all went close before the teams skated off with the score 5-2.
The Lions continued the fight back in the third with Crosse and Beeson combining nicely to create a number of chances including a shot from Joseph that went just over the bar and several scrambles around the Bristol net. Then Beeson connected with a Gosling pass to score at 48.05 when skating in from the right.
The Lions were unlucky to concede a goal on a bad deflection but Beeson scored again at 53.09 after good work from Carson and Bristol were unable to take victory for granted until the very last minutes.
Outshot 64/29 the short staffed Lions were bound to tire and Bristol added two late goals to make it an 8-4 score line which doesn’t do justice to the Lions’ spirit and determination.
Aaron Mallet took the man of the match and for the players that made the game, some very encouraging signs to take into the weekend double header with Swindon and Chelmsford.