After a long holiday break, Lee Valley were looking to start 2017 with a win as they travelled to Oxford to take on Bristol Pitbulls in their penultimate NIHL 2 Cup group game. Though the Lions were already elimnated from competition, Bristol needed the win to keep themselves in contention to make the finals weekend in April.
Missing from the Lions lineup were Jay Hepburn, Chris Fox, Joe Weare, Simon Geldart & James Gosling.
1st Period: The Pitbulls started the stronger, taking advantage of some stray passes out of the Lions zone and despite some big saves from James Andrew, they capitalised early when Thomas Asprey (08:53, assists Hargreaves, Mcfarlane) found himself open to give them the lead. Lee Valley started began to grow into the game and the line of Nick Alley, Lee Hounslow & Ross Sin-Hidge had several chances but Ross Miller held strong in the Pitbulls’ goal. The game was going back and forth, with the Lions creating the majority of the chances however, it was Bristol who doubled their lead late in the period when another loose pass found Zachary Dolphin (19:20, unassisted). The period ending 2-0 to the home side.
2nd Period: Bristol again started strongest, but couldn’t break through despite some clear cut chances. The pressure led to the Lions calling a time out half way through the period, and soon after Daniel Murrells was called for Charging. The resulting Power-Play proved fruitful, when Oskar Horter (PP goal 36:03, assist Sin-Hidge) found the goal through a screen from the blue line. Despite the goal, they couldn’t maintain the pressure and score remained 2-1 going into the final stanza.
3rd period: Lions never got going in this period and Bristol were 3-1 up early on through Olly Shone (42:41, assist Josh Dolphin), and a few minutes later the same pairing had tripled the hosts’ lead when Shone (47:05, assist Josh Dolphin) pounced on a face off to score. 45 seconds later the favour was returned, Josh Dolphin (47:50 assists Olly Shone, Smith) adding Bristol’s fifth. The had lost it’s spark at this point and though Lee Valley got a few chances to reduce score, it was the Pitbulls who had the final say as Zach Dolphin (54:33, unassisted) broke away to end the game 6-1 to Bristol.
Final Score: Bristol Pitbulls 6-1 Lee Valley Lions
Period Scores: 2-0/0-1/4-0
Shots on Goal: Bristol 44-28 Lee Valley (7-13/17-7/20-8)
Penalties: Bristol 6-8 Lee Valley
Scorers: Lee Valley – Oskar Horter (1+0), Ross Sin-Hidge (0+1)
Bristol: Olly Shone (2+1), Josh Dolphin (1+2), Zach Dolphin (2+0), Thomas Asprey (1+0), Richard Hargreaves, Ryan Mcfarlane & Adrian Smith (0+1).
Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew 44 shots/6 goals, 86.36%
Bristol – Ross Miller 28 shots/1 goal, 36.43%
The Lions return to league action next week when they host Chelmsford Warriors at Lee Valley Ice Centre on Saturday 21st.
Face off is at 5:30pm
Ticket and travel information can be found in the Game Day section of our website.