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.

Lions Well Beaten by Mustangs

Lee Valley Lions 2-9 Invicta Mustangs (16/02/2020)

After a tough home defeat against league leaders Haringey the previous weekend, the Lee Valley Lions had another difficult game to contend with on Sunday 16th February as they welcomed the Invicta Mustangs to town.

The Mustangs were hunting a victory that would put them level on points with Haringey at the top of the NIHL South East 2 (Wilkinson) standings – a victory they would comfortably take in the end.

The Lions welcomed back top scorer Jordan Ho after he missed the last three games injured, but were missing forwards Joe Berry, Ross Sin-Hidge and Vinny Ferrara, as well as defencemen Joe Gibson and Tom Baptist, for this game. James Andrew started in net for the hosts.

First Period: The first period got off to the worst possible start for the home side as forward Robert Cole went down injured in the opening stages following a collision. Cole, who had scored 11 goals in 13 games prior to this one, did not return to the ice for the remainder of the contest.

The Mustangs followed that up with an early goal as captain Thomas Dennis made it 1-0 in the 4th minute, assisted by Richard Harris. A second goal then followed in the 11th minute, as Wesley Jackson made it 2-0 for the visitors, assisted by Joseph Bliss and Jake Luton.

The home side did create several chances during the opening period, with first Jordan Sullivan and Jordan Ho combining to force Mustangs netminder Matthew Passmore to make a good save, before Simon Jones and Joe Miller did the same.

But there were to be no more goals in the first period, with Lions netminder James Andrew making 13 saves to keep the deficit at a manageable 2-0 going into the first intermission.

Second Period: The Lions came out with tons of energy in the middle period, creating numerous early chances as they looked to get back into the game. Jordan Sullivan, Charlie Nichols and Jordan Ho all had scoring opportunities, while Daniel Tamasauskas and Oscar Kally also had good attempts on the powerplay with Invicta’s Ashley Bushell sitting two penalty minutes for elbowing.

Unfortunately for the hosts, during this powerplay they would give up a goal after a defensive breakdown, as Joseph Bliss scored a shorthander to put the Mustangs 3-0 up in the 31st minute, assisted Regan O’Neil.

However the Lions didn’t let that deter them, and they got back into the game in the 33rd minute as Jordan Sullivan (32:48) finished at the back post after a delightful pass from Jordan Ho, making the score 3-1 in favour of the visitors. It was Sullivan’s second goal of the season, and was also his first home goal for the club. An additional assist went to Daniel Tamasauskas.

The period ended with the Mustangs taking a 4-1 lead with just over two minutes left before the break, as Richard Harris scored with assists from Jake Luton and Michael Stokes.

Third Period: The final period also started off well for the Mustangs, with two goals within the opening five minutes putting the game out of reach at 6-1; first it was Thomas Mallett who scored with an assist from Jack Rowland, before Jake Luton scored just over a minute later, assisted by Joseph Bliss and Jarvis Mewett.

The Lions had a few chances on the powerplay to get back into the game, but after the Mustangs successfully killed a penalty against Aaron Ferris, it was Ferris himself who latched onto a loose puck and scored an unassisted goal past James Andrew to make it 7-1 to the visitors in the 52nd minute.

The hosts were able to get a goal back in the 55th minute as 18-year-old Rowan Champney (54:31) – playing just his second game for the Lions – was fed with another beautiful pass from Jordan Ho, and buried the puck past Mustangs goalie Kieran Wyatt to reduce the deficit to 2-7. Wyatt had come into net in relief of starting netminder Matthew Passmore just a few minutes prior.

The Mustangs wrapped up the game in the last few minutes with two more goals; firstly Richard Harris scored a shorthander in the 57th minute to make it 8-2, before Harris was again on the scoresheet as he scored a penalty shot just one second before the end of the game, making the final score 9-2 in favour of the high-flying Mustangs.

Man of the Match for the Lions was Rowan Champney after scoring his first goal for the club, while Harris took home the award for the Mustangs after scoring a hat-trick.

The Lions are next in action in a double-header over the weekend of Saturday 29th February (away at Haringey)and Sunday 1st March (home to Bracknell). Both of those games will face off at 17:30.

Lions Put in Spirited Performance in Haringey Defeat

Lee Valley Lions 4-12 Haringey Huskies (09/02/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions took on the league-leading Haringey Huskies last Sunday, in what was the fifth meeting between the two sides this season.

And while the Lions once again came out on the losing side, they were at least able to put in a spirited performance – particularly in the second period of the game.

The Lions were missing three of their top six scorers for this game, with Jordan Ho, Ross Sin-Hidge, and Joe Berry all absent. Also unavailable were netminder Naomi Healey, defencemen Tom Baptist and Richie Pickering, and forwards Leonie Charles and Lewis Blore.

The East London side were able to hand a club debut to 16-year-old forward Rowan Champney, while defenceman Joe Gibson made his home debut. James Andrew once again started in net.

First Period: The Lions came out well in the opening period, frustrating the league leaders early on and only allowing one goal against in the first 13 minutes, as Joe Willingham made it 1-0 for the visitors.

As the period went on, the Huskies started to show their dominance and were able to score three times in the last seven minutes of the period; goals from former Lions captain Nick Alley, James Pentecost, and Willingham with his second of the evening put the Huskies 4-0 up at the first intermission.

The Lions weren’t without their chances in the opening period, as Harry Sage came close to tipping in a shot from Oscar Kally before newcomer Rowan Champney had a couple of good opportunities, but Matthew Brown stood tall in the Huskies net to keep the Lions at bay.

Second Period: The middle period started off well for the home side, as they got the deficit back to 1-4 early on through Robert Cole’s 11th goal of the season (22:38) in just his 13th game for the club. It was an unassisted goal as the forward pounced on a Haringey defensive giveaway to slot the puck past Brown.

The Lions weren’t able to keep the Huskies off the scoresheet for long though, as goals from Stephen Woodford and a second of the night for Pentecost gave the visitors a 6-1 lead just after the halfway mark of the game.

However, it was Lions forward Cole (33:20) who got the score back to 2-6 with his second of the evening, this time with an assist from Simon Jones, with the goal coming in the 34th minute.

The final three and a half minutes of the middle period were full of action; firstly Woodford scored his second goal of the game to put the Huskies 7-2 up, before Lions forward Ben Margerison scored his first two goals for the club just nine seconds apart to suddenly bring the scoreline back to a more manageable 7-4. Assists on Margerison’s first strike (39:37) went to Oscar Kally and Vinny Ferrara; while the helpers on his second tally (39:46) went to Daniel Tamasauskas and Harry Sage.

Margerison’s two quickfire goals meant the Lions won the second period by a scoreline of 4-3, and went into the final period with the hope that they could get back into the game.

Third Period: Sadly for the hosts, the Huskies turned on the style in the final period and showed why they are leading the league this season. Firstly Pentecost completed his hat-trick in the 46th minute, before Stuart Appleby scored two minutes later to make it 9-2.

Then it was the turn of Leo Saoncella, newly-signed by the Huskies from the Streatham Hawks on transfer deadline day, to score twice within the space of 36 seconds which increased the Haringey lead to 11-2.

And finally it was Appleby who put an exclamation point on the game as he took advantage of a tired Lions defence to score the Huskies’ 12th and last goal in the 57th minute, with the final score being 12-4 in favour of Haringey as the final buzzer sounded.

Man of the Match for the Lions was Ben Margerison after scoring his first two goals for the club, while Haringey forward Saoncella picked up the same award after achieving the very same feat.

The Lions are back in action at home this coming Sunday 16th February, as they welcome the Invicta Mustangs to Lee Valley Ice Centre. Faceoff will be at 17:30.

Lions Defeated in Cup Action at Alexandra Palace

Haringey Huskies 10-3 Lee Valley Lions (01/02/2019 – NIHL South 2 Cup)

The Lee Valley Lions continued their NIHL South 2 Cup campaign last Saturday as they made the short trip to Alexandra Palace to face the Haringey Huskies.

The Huskies are currently leading NIHL South East 2 (Wilkinson), and showed their quality as they ultimately came away with a 10-3 victory over the visiting Lions.

First Period: The Lions, who were missing several of their top scorers including Jordan Ho, Jordan Sullivan and Ross Sin-Hidge, struggled early on as they conceded three goals in the opening ten minutes through Lee Mercer, Stuart Appleby and James Pentecost. The first two goals were powerplay markers, while Pentecost scored shorthanded.

The visitors did get a goal back in the 12th minute as Vinny Ferrara (11:43, assisted Ben Margerison and Robert Cole) cut the deficit to 3-1 with his fifth goal of the season.

But it was all downhill from there for the Lions, as they conceded three more goals in the opening period through Nick Alley, Tom Avery and Appleby, going into the first intermission 6-1 down.

Second Period: The Lions swapped netminders in the first break, with Naomi Healey coming into net in place of James Andrew, but Healey was unable to stop the Huskies taking a 7-1 lead in the 24th minute through Pentecost.

The visitors scored their second goal of the game to cut the deficit to 7-2 in the 28th minute though as Robert Cole (27:37, assisted Joe Berry) grabbed his ninth of the campaign.

There was to be only one more goal in the middle period, with Nick Alley’s shorthander giving the Huskies an 8-2 lead going into the final period.

Third Period: The Huskies came out very quickly at the start of the final period and took a 9-2 lead through Joseph Willingham after just 13 seconds, and reached double figures in the 46th minute as Mercer got his second of the game.

There was drama in the 54th and 55th minutes as first Luke Martin-Digby (Haringey) and Harry Sage (Lee Valley), and then Nick Alley (Haringey) and Harry O’Brien (Lee Valley) were all penalised for two separate fights.

There would be only one more goal in the game and it went the way of the Lions, Tyrone Wells (59:49, assisted Joe Miller) making it 10-3 with just 11 seconds left in what was a tough game for the Lions on the road.

The East London side will look to bounce back this coming Sunday 9th February, as they face the same opponents for the second game in a row. This time it will be a league game, with the Lions playing at home.

Faceoff at Lee Valley Ice Centre will be at 17:30.

Lions Shut Out by High-Flying Phantoms

Lee Valley Lions 0-9 Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms (26/01/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions had a night to forget on Sunday as they fell 9-0 at home to the high-flying Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms – a result that moved the visitors up to joint-leaders in the NIHL South East 2 (Wilkinson) league standings.

The Lions were missing three of their top five scorers – Jordan Ho, Jordan Sullivan and Ross Sin-Hidge all missed out – as well as defenceman Tom Baptist. Starting in goal was James Andrew, backed up by Naomi Healey.

First Period: The visitors got off to the best possible start in the opening period, taking the lead in the very first minute as Jordan Liddell surprised the Lions with an early goal.

The hosts had chances to get back into the game early, with defenceman Oscar Kally taking a good blueline shot which drew a save from Phantoms goaltender Luke Clark, before forward Joe Berry got a breakaway chance but couldn’t find a way past Clark.

Peterborough punished the Lions for their lack of scoring with two more goals of their own inside the ten minutes, first through CallumMedcalf and then Polish import forward Michal Magiera, to lead 3-0.

And despite some big saves from James Andrew in the Lions net, and a good chance for Lee Valley defenceman Richie Pickering, the home side went into the first break 0-4 down as Jack Sansby scored with just 47 seconds left in the opening period.

Second Period: The Lions ran into penalty trouble in the middle period, and were punished by the ruthless Phantoms as they scored three powerplay markers. First it was Magiera who grabbed his second of the game with a 5-on-3 advantage, before Benjamin Crowson and Robert McDonald both scored regular 5-on-4 powerplay goals to give the visitors a big 7-0 lead.

The home side did have the puck in the net once in the second period, as Harry Sage fired into an empty net following good work from Tyrone Wells to pressure Phantoms netminder Clark into a mistake, but the goal was ruled out for offside with Wells still in the zone as Sage took his shot from outside.

And right on the 40:00 mark at the end of the period, the Phantoms scored a buzzer-beater to take an 8-0 lead into the second break, Kenny Bavin getting the goal.

Third Period: The Lions swapped netminders for the third period, with Naomi Healey replacing James Andrew between the pipes.

It was a quieter game scoring-wise in the final period, with the Phantoms only able to add one goal through Storm Lister to take their lead up to 9-0.

There was rising tension in the game though, with some hard hits flying in from both sides, and in the 52nd minute both Lions defenceman Oscar Kally and Phantoms forward Michal Magiera sat two minutes each for roughing.

There were not too many incidents in the game after that though, with the game petering out towards the end and the Phantoms taking a comfortable 9-0 win as the final buzzer sounded.

It was an impressive performance from the Phantoms as they showed why they are one of three teams, along with Haringey and Invicta, who currently top the league with 22 points.

Man of the Match for the Lions was forward Tyrone Wells after a hard-working performance, while 16-year-old Benjamin Crowson took home the award for the visitors.

The Lions are back in action on the road this coming Sunday 1st February, as they face a tough trip to joint-league leaders Haringey. Faceoff at Alexandra Palace will be at 17:30.