The Lee Valley Lions are delighted to announce the return of last year’s most improved player, goaltender James Andrew and young defenceman Daniel Tamasauskas.
Peterborough native Andrew joined the Lions from London University Dragons last season initially as cover, but ended up playing the whole season with the team. A former Peterborough junior, James took a 10 year break from the sport before taking it up again with the Dragons where he first met coach George Alley.
In his first full season in senior ice hockey, James finished with a save percentage 89.01% and finished in the league’s Top 10 goalies.
“It was an honour to be awarded most improved player last season, we had a tough start, but we found our stride and began proving our worth in the latter half of the season against some tough opponents – I almost felt it was over too soon!
I’m excited to be back between the pipes for the Lions next season. I can’t wait to get back out there and show my gratitude to George and the team for their support and patience. The competition will be tougher this season, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
18 year old, Lithuanian born Daniel takes his first steps into senior hockey, stepping up from the Under 18’s, whom he captained to the league title last season. Having made his debut against Peterborough at home late last season, the 6’7 defenceman made an impression on the team and coach in his window of opportunity with some physical and hard working performances.
“I am extremely happy and excited to be playing for the Lions. Training up with the team last season and playing the last 3 games I really felt like the guys took me under their wing helping me develop my game on the ice, I feel privileged to be playing for the Lions. I’m looking forward to playing with my new teammates next season and having a successful season with the new league structure.”
Coach George Alley had this to say about his latest signings.
“Having these two players return is key to our building for the future. Both players made their debuts in difficult circumstances and both of them came out of it with flying colours, as well as praise and compliment from their teammates.
“James was only supposed to play the first month of last season, but ended up seeing out the year with us.
He was new to league hockey and even though it took him a few games to adjust, he proved himself to be a very good goalie in that league and his improvement was phenomenal over the course of the season.
With new teams in the league, the quality of the shots he’ll face will go up again but I think he’s more than capable of adapting, and in the long run thriving as we take on what will be a huge challenge.”
“Daniel stepped up when we had a few injuries last season, he made his debut having already played a game in Swindon with the 18’s the same day, which shows how eager he was to take his chance. I’d worked with Daniel in the Under 18’s a couple of seasons before, and I was pleasantly surprised with how well he adapted to men’s hockey.
He’s a very hard working player and with time, I think he’ll grow into a very important part of the team.”
You can view both players’ stats in the links below.