Buffalo Come Up Trumps as Lions Fall in Basingstoke

Lee Valley couldn’t match the previous week’s heroics against Oxford as their woes away from home continued in Hampshire. Missing were Max Gerstein and Theo Abban. Making his senior début was junior player Jordan Turner, while George Alley came into goal for his first start of the season.

First Period: Basingstoke started the stronger, making the most of their large ice pad and cycling well from their own end. The Lions were beginning to leave gaps in neutral ice and after creating a few chances, the Buffalo were 1-0 up after a 2-1 broke from the Lions’ corner and Simon Beere (8:29, assists Sutton & Wheeler) slotted in at Alley’s near post. The possession didn’t change much and Basingstoke started to stretch the visitors more and more, eventually Alex Sampford (10:19, assists Pitts & Tambellini) scored from a similar angle after good work in the corners. This sparked the Lions into life and the visitors began to work their way back into the game with James Hepburn, Romanas Fedotovas  and Richard Hodge working well to force good saves from Chris Edwards in the Buffalo net. No goals came of it though and the stanza ended 2-0 to Basingstoke.

Second Period: Lee Valley didn’t do themselves any favours at the start of the period, first James Hatfull was penalised for roughing and following that, the Lions were given a penalty for too many men on the ice. It was on the proceeding powerplay that Basingstoke capitalised. David Collins (23:40, assist Pitts)  tipped a shot from the blue line to put the Buffalo 3-0 up. Despite pressure from the visitors, it was sloppy marking in the neutral zone that allowed Alex Sampford (28:17, unassisted) to breakaway 1-on-1 against Alley and the forward dispatched his chance, making it 4-0. The Lions were having the majority possession from there and were working the home goalie hard. The Line of Nick Alley, Bailey Wooton and Joe Berry created several chances in one shift, including a shot from young defenceman Jarvis Mewett that just stuck under Edwards’ right pad. The pressure finally paid off as Richard Hodge (35:18, assist Hepburn) was left open in front of net and pulled one back for Lee Valley, who ended the period with their tails up, but they couldn’t convert any more chances and it ended 4-1 to the home side.

Third Period: The Lions started the period as they had ended the second, creating chances but not being able to convert them. Both sides then exchanged attempts on goal but both goalies held firm and it wasn’t until Nick Alley was penalised for slashing that Basingstoke got their 5th, Simon Beere (52:37, assists Wheeler & Dollin)  sneaking behind the Lions’ defence on the powerplay to tip another blue line shot. This didn’t disparage the Lions though, they continued to attack and eventually out-shot the hosts in the period, but for Edwards in goal. Basingstoke killed the game off when Lee Valley failed to clear their zone, leaving the Buffalo to go 3-on-1. Alley saved well from the initial cross-ice play but Neil Leary (55:46, assists Beere & Sutton) was left unopposed to poke the rebound home, making it 6-1 and the game didn’t really produce anything after that.

Lee Valley travel to Swindon NIHL Wildcats next Saturday, hoping to get back to winning ways immediately.

Period Scores: Basingstoke 2-0/2-1/2-0 Lee Valley
Shots on Goal: 27 on Edwards (Basingstoke), 33 on Alley (Lee Valley)
Penalties in Minutes: Basingstoke 4-27 Lee ValleyScorers: Basingstoke – Simon Beere (2+1), Alex Sampford (2+0), Mark Pitts, Ryan Sutton & Gareth Wheeler (0+2), Neil Leary (1+0), Francesco Tambellini & Sam Dollin (0+1).
Lee Valley – Richard Hodge (1+0), James Hepburn (0+1)
Man of the Match: Basingstoke – Simon Beere, Lee Valley – Richard Hodge

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