Lions Outclassed by Hornets

It was a tough night at the office for the Lions against Bracknell (Photo: Tori Rigby)

The Lee Valley Lions faced a stiff test on Sunday night, playing host to the Bracknell Hornets. The Hornets were flying high in fourth place in the standings, while the Lions were still searching for their first win of the season.

The Lions were unable to call on the services of Joe Miller, Gus Zimmerman, Ben Gillingham, Jordan Sullivan, Joe Weare or Jack Ball for this game, but handed a debut to defenceman Jake Wadge. This gave them 13 skaters, with Steve Grout starting in goal and James Andrew backing up.

The Hornets travelled to Lee Valley with 15 skaters plus netminders Will Sanderson and Rory Edwards. The Bracknell side featured many players who have previously played at a higher level, so looked sure to give the Lions a very tough game.

First Period – The Lions unfortunately slipped back into an old habit of conceding a goal very early in the game, as the Hornets went 1-0 up after just 38 seconds; Daniel Clayton (0:38, assisted Josh Ealey-Newman and Ben Ealey-Newman) slotting past Grout after good build-up play from the Ealey-Newman brothers. Lions fans would have been forgiven for expecting an onslaught to follow, but instead in the next few minutes of the game the home side were able to stabilise themselves and create a few chances of their own which Sanderson in the Hornets net could turn away.

At the other end. Bracknell captain Jack Tarczycki then hit the pipes twice in quick succession with hard slapshots as the Hornets started to exert their authority on the game. However the Lions were able to tie the score up just after the five minute mark, Michael Jacobs (5:14, assisted Nicky Brathwaite) getting his second goal in as many games after scoring his first of the season last week in Cardiff.

For the next five minutes following the opening goal, the Lions gave a good account of themselves and kept the score at 1-1, until the Hornets went back into the lead just past the 10 minute mark; Steve Fisher (10:19, assisted Harvey Hind-Pitcher) putting them back in front. Worse was to follow for the Lions shortly after as starting netminder Steve Grout took a puck to the helmet and had to leave the ice, to be replaced by James Andrew. And shortly after Andrew had come into the net, the Hornets extended their lead to 3-1 through J. Ealey-Newman (13:25, assisted B. Ealey-Newman and Connor Hutchison) with Lions forward Nicky Brathwaite in the box for tripping.

A flurry of Hornets goals then followed to extend the score to 6-1, with B. Ealey-Newman (14:12, assisted J. Ealey-Newman and Matt Jordan)J. Ealey-Newman (16:21, assisted Conor Sheehan) and Liam Rasmussen (19:34, assisted Fisher and Tarczycki) all doing the damage. However there was still time in the period for the Lions to get one back, Czech forward Tom Hnilica (19:51, assisted Ollie Glover and Michael Jacobs) sniping past Sanderson for his fourth goal of the season to get the score back to 6-2 at the end of period one.

Second Period – The Hornets swapped netminders to begin the second period, with 16-year-old Rory Edwards replacing Sanderson between the pipes. And he was called into action in the first few minutes of the period as the Lions looked to get back in the game, stopping chances from Nicky Brathwaite and Simon Jones to keep the Lions at bay.

The Hornets then effectively put the game to bed in the 27th minute with a spell of three goals within 35 seconds; Jakub Fojtik (26:12, assisted Hutchison and Luke Jackson)Fojtik again (26:35, assisted William Stead) and Fisher (26:47, assisted Rasmussen and Jordan) increasing the score to 9-2. The Hornets then could have extended the lead even further – James O’Brien brought down a Bracknell forward on the breakaway and a penalty shot was awarded – but James Andrew denied Steve Fisher on the subsequent penalty shot.

However the Hornets did grab the tenth goal just after the half hour mark, Fojtik (30:03, assisted Hind-Pitcher and Stead) completing his hat-trick, before Rasmussen (31:47, assisted Fisher and Cameron Barker) made it 11-2 soon afterwards. The Lions tried to create some chances, with Jacobs coming close to his second of the game but being denied by Edwards, before the Hornets rounded out the scoring for the second period as B. Ealey-Newman (38:44, unassisted) made it 12-2.

Third Period – The final period of the game was really a question of whether the Hornets would dial it back against their tiring opponents – but this question was answered with an emphatic “no” just 56 seconds into the period as J. Ealey-Newman (40:56, assisted Fojtik) made it an unlucky 13 for the Lions and completed his hat-trick too. The Lions still pressured the away side, looking to score a few goals and get some pride back in the game – Joe Berry went close on two separate occasions but both times he was denied by Edwards in the Hornets net.

However as the period went on, the Lions got more and more tired, while the Hornets showed all of their skill and speed on the puck as they punished their opponents with a flurry of goals. B. Ealey-Newman, Clayton (x2), Fojtik, J. Ealey-Newman, Stead and Tarczycki all netted between the 46th and 57th minutes to push the score up to 20-2, with almost every Hornets attack seemingly leading to a goal as they turned on the style.

Despite the hugely one-sided scoreline, the Lions still tried their best to at least get a goal or two back; Tom Hnilica came closest with an accurate shot but Edwards in the Hornets net stood firm once again. The away side completed their scoring in the final minute of the game as Tomas Gilheany (59:03, assisted Fisher) made it 21-2; but there was still time for the Lions to give their fans something to cheer as Yasin Sridhar – usually a defenceman but deployed as a forward in this game – grabbed his first goal for the Lions (59:59, assisted Glover and Brathwaite) with a buzzer-beater right at the end of the game.

Michael Jacobs took home the Man of the Match award for the Lions after being involved in all three goals (he picked up one goal and two assists), while the Hornets’ 16-year-old netminder Rory Edwards took home the award for the visitors having only been beaten right at the end of the game.

A night to forget for a Lions side that is still finding chemistry and adding new players to the roster, as they were outclassed by a Hornets side that showed why they are eleven places above the Lions in the league. The Lions will now regroup and look to take something from next weekend’s two away games in Haringey and Romford.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 3-21 Bracknell Hornets

Period Scores: 2-6/0-6/1-9

Shots: Lee Valley Lions 19-73 Bracknell Hornets (7-25/5-23/7-25)

Penalty Minutes: Lee Valley Lions 8-4 Bracknell Hornets

Scorers: Lee Valley – Michael Jacobs 1+2, Ollie Glover 0+2, Tom Hnilica 1+0, Yasin Sridhar 1+0, Nicky Brathwaite 0+1
Bracknell – Steve Fisher 2+5, Josh Ealey-Newman 4+2, Jakub Fojtik 4+2, Ben Ealey-Newman 3+2, William Stead 1+4, Daniel Clayton 3+1, Connor Hutchison 0+4, Liam Rasmussen 2+1, Jack Tarczycki 1+2, Tomas Gilheany 1+1, Luke Jackson 0+2, Matt Jordan 0+2, Harvey Hind-Pitcher 0+2, Cameron Barker 0+1, Conor Sheehan 0+1

Goaltenders: Lee Valley – Steve Grout (13:12 played, 13 shots/2 goals against); James Andrew (46:48 played, 60 shots/19 goals against)
Bracknell – Will Sanderson (20:00 played, 7 shots/2 goals against); Rory Edwards (40:00 played. 12 shots/1 goal against)

Man of the Match – Michael Jacobs (Lee Valley), Rory Edwards (Bracknell)

The Lee Valley Lions play two away games this upcoming weekend: on Saturday 10th November we visit Alexandra Palace to face Haringey, while on Sunday we travel to the Sapphire in Romford to take on the NIHL2 Raiders. Faceoff for both games will be 17:30.

Spirited Lions Downed in Cardiff

The Lions put in a spirited performance on the road in Cardiff, ultimately going down 10-2. (Photo: Laura Eaketts)

Following an improved showing at home against Haringey the previous weekend, the Lee Valley Lions were looking to continue that upturn in form on Sunday as they travelled to Cardiff to take on the Fire.

It would be no easy task however, with several players unavailable for the long Sunday night trip to south Wales; the likes of Ben Gillingham, Joe Berry, Richard Hodge, Joshua Irish, Joe Weare and Jack Ball were unable to make the trip and thus the Lions arrived in the Welsh capital rather short-benched. However the visitors did hand a debut to new signing Gus Zimmerman, who joins the club after a number of years playing university hockey for the Imperial Devils.

The Fire dressed 18 skaters as well as starting netminder James Whiting and back-up – and player-coach – Chris Douglas.

First Period – Just like against Haringey last week, the Lions came out strong defensively to begin the game and did not concede an early goal, which has been an issue in several games this season. They did take a few minor penalties in the early stages – Joe Trotter, Michael Jacobs and Simon Jones all taking trips to the penalty box in the first ten minutes – but they were able to kill all of these penalties off with James Andrew making some great saves in the Lions net.

It took the hosts just over 17 minutes to finally grab their first goal, which came through Lewis Stevens (17:08, assisted Chris Fox) with the assist coming through former Lions forward Chris Fox. And the hosts doubled their advantage when Tom Hnilica took the visitors’ fourth penalty of the game late on in the first period, Stephen Deacon (19:16, assisted Jordan Powell and Alan Armour) making it 2-0 on the powerplay. There was to be no more scoring in the period, with the Lions heading into the break only two goals down and still very much in the game.

Second Period – The Lions’ cause wasn’t helped at the start of the second period when netminder James Andrew was involved in a collision with a Cardiff forward. He was able to continue but it seemed to put him off his game in the early stages of the period, with the visitors striking three times within the first five minutes to take a 5-0 lead; firstly Samual Bryant (20:46, assisted Tamas Elias and Jackson Price) scored just 46 seconds into the period, before Elliott Murdoch (22:06, assisted Cameron Basnett and Viktor Langseth) and Jackson Price (23:48, assisted Ross Wilkinson) grabbed two more in quick succession.

The visitors were able to calm the game down after this – and despite the tired legs that were starting to creep in, the Lions stayed disciplined and did not take a single penalty in the period, making some good defensive plays while Andrew continued to make some top saves as well. Eventually Cardiff’s pressure and larger bench came to the fore however, as they scored three more goals to put the game to bed; Elias (29:05, assisted Bryant and Price), Stevens (32:04, assisted Deacon and Powell) and Morgan Evans (37:09, assisted Price and Phil Manny) doing the damage.

The Lions did have something to celebrate late in the period though as they scored their first goal of the game, Tom Hnilica (38:27, assisted Michael Jacobs and Gus Zimmerman) finishing past James Whiting after nice build-up play with Jacobs and newcomer Zimmerman. There was to be no further scoring in the period, with the Lions trailing 8-1 after two.

Third Period – The Lions came out quickly at the start of period three and got another goal back just 39 seconds in, Michael Jacobs (40:39, assisted Zummerman and Hnilica) scoring his first goal of the season – and indeed his first for the club since the 2008-09 season – after more good build-up play between the trio of Jacobs, Hnilica and Zimmerman.

Soon afterwards, Zimmerman would take a 2+10 for boarding, which put Cardiff on the powerplay and allowed them to score their ninth goal of the evening through Bryant (42:55, assisted Price and Wilkinson) to go 9-2 up. Four minutes later, they reached double figures through Joe Morris (46:10, assisted Price) and it looked like the score might ramp up in the latter stages.

But despite the short bench, the Lions fought hard right until the final whistle, defending well and creating a few chances of their own as the time ticked down. The home side were unable to score any more goals in the last 14 minutes of the game, with the visitors holding firm and keeping the score at 10-2.

There was a scary moment late in the game when Cardiff’s Ross Wilkinson needed medical attention after a mid-ice collision; however he was able to make it back out onto the ice for the post-match handshakes following the final buzzer.

The match ended 10-2 to the home side, with the Lions giving a good account of themselves and playing with an impressive team spirit. Despite having the shortest bench of any away game so far this season, the Lions kept the scoreline at a respectable level – it was the smallest number of goals they have conceded in an away game so far this campaign – and the visitors also managed to score two goals on the road for only the second time this season. There is still a lot of work for the Lions to do – but the season is yet young, and signs of improvement are there.

Netminder James Andrew took home the Man of the Match award for the Lions after making 67 saves in the game, while the trio of Jacobs-Hnilica-Zimmerman also impressed for the visitors with some great chemistry. The Lions will now look to build further on the last few performances when they host Bracknell next Sunday.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Cardiff Fire 10-2 Lee Valley Lions

Period Scores: 2-0/6-1/2-1

Shots: Cardiff Fire 77-19 Lee Valley Lions (28-4/25-6/24-9)

Penalty Minutes: Cardiff Fire 12-20 Lee Valley Lions

Scorers: Cardiff – Jackson Price 1+4, Samual Bryant 2+1, Jordan Powell 0+3, Lewis Stevens 2+0, Stephen Deacon 1+1, Tamas Elias 1+1, Ross Wilkinson 0+2, Joe Morris 1+0, Elliott Murdoch 1+0, Morgan Evans 1+0, Alan Armour 0+1, Cameron Basnett 0+1, Phil Manny 0+1, Viktor Langseth 0+1, Chris Fox 0+1

Lee Valley – Tom Hnilica 1+1, Michael Jacobs 1+1, Gus Zimmerman 0+2

Goaltenders: Cardiff – James Whiting (60:00 played, 19 shots/2 goals against)

Lee Valley – James Andrew (60:00 played, 77 shots/10 goals against)

Man of the Match – James Andrew (Lee Valley)

The Lee Valley Lions are back in action this upcoming Sunday 4th November, as the Bracknell Hornets visit the Den. Faceoff will be at 17:30.

Lions Shut Out at Home by Mustangs

The Lee Valley Lions welcomed the Invicta Mustangs to the Den last weekend, with both sides hoping to take their first win of the season.

The Lions hoped to ice a larger line-up than they had managed in the three games to date, but were without Richard Hodge, Jack Ball, Joshua Irish and Joe Trotter, leaving them with 13 skaters. Steve Grout started in the Lions net.

The Mustangs also brought along 13 skaters – including former Lions defenceman Jarvis Mewett – as well as netminder Matthew Passmore.

1st Period: The Mustangs got off to a good start in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead through Tom Dennis (2:36, unassisted) in the third minute, after a tight angle shot found its way past Grout. The visitors were then able to kill off a kneeing penalty against Jarvis Mewett, and the Lions were able to do the same after receiving a bench penalty for too many men.

Invicta then added a second goal in the 13th minute, Bradley Gutridge (12:59, assisted Aaron Ferris) finishing nicely past Grout after nice build-up play with Aaron Ferris. And they extended that lead a few minutes later as Thomas Mallett (16:43, assisted Regan O’Neil) fired a hard shot into the net past Grout.

The Lions came alive a bit towards the end of the period, with Joe Berry and Michael Jacobs linking up nicely and creating a few chances, but Matthew Passmore in the Mustangs net stood tall – and the score was 3-0 to the visitors at the end of period one.

2nd Period: Just a minute into the second period, there was a break in play as young Lions defenceman James O’Brien took a puck to the mouth and needed to be helped off the ice. Coupled with fellow defenceman Joe Weare not returning to the game after period one due to injury, this put the home side down to 11 skaters for the rest of the night.

However, losing O’Brien and Weare initially seemed to fire the Lions up – they created many chances in the second period, with Berry and Jacobs again creating numerous opportunities, and Czech forward Tom Hnilica also testing Matthew Passmore on several occasions. The Mustangs goalie was on red hot form, and kept out everything that the Lions threw at him – albeit also having some luck when Berry rang one off the pipes with Passmore beaten.

It was against the run of play that the Mustangs scored their fourth of the night, Aaron Ferris (33:57, assisted Luke Thirkettle and O’Neil) finishing past Grout in amongst all the Lions pressure. There was still time in the period for the Lions to create a few more opportunities, with Ben Gillingham also being robbed by Passmore, but frustratingly for the home side no goals came in the second period, as they trailed 4-0 going into the third.

3rd Period: The energy that the Lions had found in the second period seemed to evaporate in the third; a combination of tired legs and frustration as not being able to beat the Mustangs keeper seemed to get to the home side. The Lions conceded just 47 seconds into the final period, Gutridge (40:47, assisted Ferris and Dennis) getting his second of the night and extending the visitors’ lead to 5-0.

And things wouldn’t get much better from there on, with the Mustangs adding four more goals before the night was over to give a lop-sided look to the scoreline; first Mewett (52:50, unassisted) made it 6-0 against his former side before Ferris completed his hat-trick on the night, with goals coming at 54:31 (unassisted) and 55:02 (assisted Anthony Baskerville).

The Lions were also unable to take advantage of two powerplay chances – including a 2+10 for boarding against Connor Tourish Pike – with the Mustangs defence and again goalie Passmore doing enough to keep the home side at bay. The last goal came with just 1:17 left in the game as Thirkettle (58:43) completed the scoring with an unassisted goal to make it 9-0 to the Mustangs.

As the final buzzer sounded, the Lions had lost their fourth game on the bounce and are still searching for their first victory of the season. Another frustrating night for the East London side, as they were not able to convert their chances at one end and lost their shape at the back towards the end of the game too. Man of the Match for the Lions was player-coach James Joseph who had a strong evening on the blueline, while Mustangs goalie Matthew Passmore took the award for the visitors.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 0-9 Invicta Mustangs

Period Scores: 0-3/0-1/0-5

Shots: Lee Valley Lions 31-83 Invicta Mustangs (10-33/16-14/7-34)

Penalty Minutes: Lee Valley Lions 4-18 Invicta Mustangs

Scorers: Invicta – Aaron Ferris 3+2, Bradley Gutridge 2+0, Tom Dennis 1+1, Luke Thirkettle 1+1, Regan O’Neil 0+2, Thomas Mallett 1+0, Jarvis Mewett 1+0, Anthony Baskerville 0+1

Goaltenders: Lee Valley – Steve Grout (60:00 played, 83 shots/9 goals against)

Invicta – Matthew Passmore (60:00 played, 31 shots/0 goals against)

Man of the Match – James Joseph (Lee Valley), Matthew Passmore (Invicta)

The Lions’ next game is away to the Solent Devils this upcoming Saturday the 13th of October. Faceoff in Gosport will be at 5pm.

Lions Pay the Penalty in Pitbulls Defeat

Two weeks after their third overtime loss of the season against Slough, the Lions travelled to Oxford to take on the Bristol Pitbulls, hoping to go one better and finally win a game this campaign. The Pitbulls had won the reverse fixture 11-1 earlier in the season, however, so this looked to be another tough task for the East London side.

The Lions handed a debut to defenceman Matt Jackson, the third player to join the Lions from the MK Cyclones rec team this season after Tom Hurley and Ashley West. Missing from the Lions lineup were Ben Duffy, Robyn Maby, Ben Gillingham, Ross Sin-Hidge, Jordan Turner and Michael Crosse, giving them 16 skaters. Young netminder Brett Shepherd once again got the start with James Andrew backing up. The Pitbulls also iced 16 skaters, while Ross Miller started in net ahead of Andrew Leckie.

1st Period: The Lions started the first period with good intensity, getting in the Pitbulls’ faces and not allowing them time to settle on the puck. The away side were rewarded with the first goal as captain Nick Alley (6:08, assisted Chris Fox and Ashley Earll) followed up on a rebound from an Ashley Earll shot and put the puck past Miller for a 1-0 Lions lead. It was Alley’s 13th goal of the season, while the assist on the goal was also the first Lions point for former Invicta Mustangs defenceman Earll. It didn’t take long for the Pitbulls to equalise however, Bristol also getting a goal from their captain as Olly Shone (7:39, assisted Tom Egerton) buried past Shepherd in the Lions net to level the scores. It was Shone’s 150th career goal in Pitbulls colours.

As the period wore on, the Pitbulls put more and more shots on Shepherd – but the young netminder stood firm and did not concede any more goals in the opening stanza. At the other end, the Lions would take the lead with just under two minutes to play until the intermission, Matt Brown (18:03, assisted Simon Jones) putting a speculative shot on the Pitbulls net that found its way past Miller. It was the former Haringey Racers forward’s sixth goal of the season. This put Lee Valley 2-1 up, a lead they would hold until the first period break despite Shepherd facing 23 shots to Miller’s 13 in the period.

2nd Period: While the first period was an impressive one for the Lions, they came totally unstuck in the second. A tripping penalty against Daniel Tamasauskas just six seconds into the period put the Pitbulls on the powerplay, and they duly converted through Adrian Smith (21:44, assisted Grant Richardson and Jordan Jefferies) to level the scores at two. And, when Nick Alley sat for slashing just a few minutes later, the Pitbulls again converted on the man advantage as they took the lead through Logan Prince (23:57, assisted Olly Shone and Josh Galea).

And things would go from bad to worse for the Lions between the 31st and 38th minutes, as they conceded three further goals. Olly Shone (30:49, assisted Jamie Newton) made it 4-2 in the 31st minute before Josh Dolphin (35:16, assisted Prince and Jefferies) increased the lead to 5-2, five minutes later. And skipper Olly Shone (37:37, assisted Ryan McFarlane and Macaulay Coppock) completed his hat-trick with just over two minutes left in the period to make it 6-2 to the Pitbulls.

Late in the period, Nick Alley was shunted into Pitbulls goaltender Miller by a Bristol defenceman. This led to a fight between Lions forward Chris Fox and Pitbulls blueliner Sam Shone, who both received 2+2+2 for their troubles. Miller was injured on the play and was replaced by Andrew Leckie in the net for the remainder of the game. There would be no more drama in the remaining 1:40 of the second frame, with the Pitbulls taking a 6-2 lead into the final period having outshot the Lions 18-11.

3rd Period: The third period saw the Lions try everything they could to claw back the deficit, but the visitors were unable to find their way past replacement netminder Leckie’s defences. And the Lions weren’t helped by taking two more penalties just as they looked to build momentum; a bench penalty for an icing infringement was followed by two minutes for tripping against Ollie Glover. While the Lions were able to kill these two penalties, valuable minutes were lost from the game. Meanwhile the disciplined Pitbulls gave up just one powerplay in the whole game as Jordan Jefferies sat two for tripping at 55:01, but Bristol killed that penalty and also saw out the game as the final buzzer sounded with the score at 6-2. The Pitbulls edged the shot count 13-12 in the tight, goalless final period.

It was a tale of what might have been for the Lions. They were leading coming into the second period, but two early penalties saw them go behind in the game, and they never quite recovered from that. Bristol for their part were disciplined and made the most of their chances, skating off with a comfortable win despite only being on top for one of the three periods. Man of the Match for the Lions was defenceman Simon Jones, while captain and hat-trick hero Olly Shone took home the award for the Pitbulls.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Bristol Pitbulls 6-2 Lee Valley Lions

Period Scores: 1-2/5-0/0-0

Shots: Bristol Pitbulls 54-36 Lee Valley Lions (23-13/18-11/13-12)

Penalty Minutes: Bristol Pitbulls 8-14 Lee Valley Lions

Scorers – Bristol: Olly Shone (3+1), Logan Prince (1+1), Jordan Jefferies (0+2), Adrian Smith (1+0), Josh Dolphin (1+0), Jamie Newton (0+1), Josh Galea (0+1), Macaulay Coppock (0+1), Tom Egerton (0+1), Grant Richardson (0+1), Ryan McFarlane (0+1)

Scorers – Lee Valley: Nick Alley (1+0), Matt Brown (1+0), Ashley Earll (0+1), Chris Fox (0+1), Simon Jones (0+1)

Goaltenders – Bristol: Ross Miller (38:20 played, 23 shots/2 goals against), Andrew Leckie (21:40 played, 13 shots/0 goals against)

Goaltenders – Lee Valley: Brett Shepherd (60:00 played, 54 shots/6 goals against)

Man of the Match: Simon Jones (Lee Valley), Olly Shone (Bristol)

The Lee Valley Lions are next in action at home to the Oxford City Stars on Saturday the 17th February. Faceoff is at 5:30pm.

You can keep up to date with the Lions on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LeeValleyLions.

Lions’ Discipline Falters in Chelmsford Loss

After three straight games with new champions Peterborough, the Lions travelled to last season’s league winners Chelmsford Warriors. The previous meeting in January saw the Lions pick up a 6-4 win but Chelmsford were going strong and had qualified for the playoffs.

Lee Valley arrived in the county town of Essex missing Jordan Turner, Ben Gillingham & James Gosling. However, Daniel Tamasauskas made his 2nd appearance for the side in as many weeks.

1st Period: Both sides created chances early as neither team got a foothold, it took a turnover on the Warriors’ blue line to break the deadlock, Brandon Webster (7:34, unassisted) scoring a breakaway goal. Lee Valley responded well, putting Billy Cook in the Chelmsford goal under pressure but their eagerness to get an equaliser boiled over, first Henry Aiken took a boarding penalty, then Matt Hepburn was called for charging. The Lions killed both penalties and then finally got the equaliser when a quick breakout allowed Lee Hounslow (17:34, assists Sin-Hidge, Alley) to race down the right hand side and rifle a wrist shot past Cook, tying the game going into the 2nd.

2nd Period: Lee Valley had the perfect start to the period when Chris Fox (20:49, assist Matt Hepburn) managed to find the net from a tight angle to give the Lions the lead. Had it not been for a couple of close chances and bad bounces, the Lee Valley could’ve doubled their lead but didn’t get the break they needed, and then the Lions’ discipline began to let them down. First Oskar Horter was called for Cross Checking then Henry Aiken was given 10 minutes for illegal equipment. With two D in the box, Chelmsford took their chance when Thomas Wilson (PP goal 33:44, assist Brears). Chelmsford then continued to put pressure on James Andrew’s goal but couldn’t score thanks to some dogged defending, a blocked shot from Nick Alley and a couple of near misses. Lions called a timeout to stem the flow of the Warriors attack, and saw out the period to keep it tied.

3rd Period: Lions’ discipline improved but they were reduced to long range shots on Cook and Chelmsford were keeping better possession of the puck. The visitors got an opportunity to add to their tally when Gary Brown was called for holding, after hitting Cook with a barrage of shots, Chelmsford managed to break free and Ross Brears (SH goal 50:17, assist Campbell) was on hand to nudge the Warriors ahead. Lions killed their only penalty of the period but another Chelmsford goal followed as Lee Valley began to tire, George Gell (53:34, assist Wicks) doubling the home side’s lead. Chelmsford had the final say in the game when Ross Brears (58:23, assists Brown, Dervish) put the result to bed.

GAME STATS

Final Score: Chelmsford Warriors 5-2 Lee Valley Lions

Period Scores: 1-1/1-1/3-0
Shots: Chelmsford 48-42 Lee Valley (16-13/15-15/17-14)
Penalties: Chelmsford 10-20 Lee Valley
Scorers: Lee Valley – Lee Hounslow & Chris Fox (1+0), Nick Alley, Ross Sin-Hidge & Matt Hepburn (0+1)
Chelmsford – Ross Brears (2+1), Thomas Wilson, Brandon Webster & George Gell (1+0), Donald Campbell, Elliot Dervish, Jonathan Wicks & Gary Brown (0+1)
Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew 48 shots/5 goals,  89.58%
Chelmsford – Billy Cook 42 shots/2 goals, 95.24%

Man of the Match: James Andrew

The Lions next fixture sees them renew acquaintances with local rivals Haringey Racers this Saturday (25/03) at Alexandra Palace. 

Face off is at 5:30pm

You can follow the Lions on Facebook & Twitter with #LeeValleyLions for up to date news and live scores.