EIHA statement on the return of hockey 2020/21

“The phased approach back into ice hockey will be dictated by government advice on the resumption of indoor physical activity and this guidance to assist clubs in planning a return to play.  Ice rinks were given permission to re-open in England from 1 August.  We can now move to Phase 2 of our Return to Play plan from 1 August.” 

As soon as we know when training/trials can start back up at Lee Valley we’ll post the info here.

Edit: On 31 July the UK government stated that ice rinks in England cannot re-open before 15 August, so plans to re-start hockey will now be delayed.  Lee Valley Ice Centre has said that it will having a phased re-opening from 17 August and you can read more about its plans here.

EIHA Return to Play plan

URGENT: Support the proposal for a new twin-ice facility at Lee Valley

In order to preserve ice hockey at Lee Valley it’s essential that everyone tells Waltham Forest Council that they support the proposed twin-ice facility as soon as possible.  If the proposal isn’t passed then it is likely the existing rink won’t be sustained for much longer and hockey/skating at Lee Valley will be lost forever.  Please tell the council what a new rink will mean to you by sending an email to dmconsultations@walthamforest.gov.uk, quoting Application ID 194162.  Here’s a template you can use:

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to you as a [user of /visitor to] Lee Valley Ice Centre and I support plans to replace this vital community asset.  [I/my family] use the ice centre [insert whatever reason – ice hockey, skating, children’s skating etc] on a [regular/frequent/occasional] basis.  A new ice centre would allow me to… [insert a couple of lines on what a new ice centre means to you].

If Lee Valley Ice Centre could not be replaced and had to close it would [insert a few lines what the impact of losing the venue would be on you].

Best wishes

[Insert name]

   

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.