After two weekends off from game action, Lee Valley were looking to end their poor run of form against local rivals Haringey, who had taken the previous two meetings by one goal.
Lions were missing Joe Weare, Robin Young & Ben Gillingham but otherwise had a bigger squad than recent games.
Haringey arrived at Lea Bridge Road with new additions Josh Abbot and former Lion Aaron Mallet in goal.
1st Period: Both teams started off the pace, but a slower Lions side allowed the Racers clearer opportunities in the early stages of the period. James Andrew saved eleven shots but Haringey also hit the post a couple of times. Lions grew into the period after Tomas Gilheany too a penalty for interference but were unable to capitalise on the man advantage. The Lions continued to press, with a Sam Awoyemi’s effort almost reaping reward but the period ended scoreless
2nd Period: Lions again started the period slowly and a lack of awareness early on allowed Stuart Appleby (21:58, assists Whittleston, Gilheany) to score almost unnoticed by the Lions’ defence. This woke the Lions up and when Josh Abbott was penalised for Holding the Stick, they began to control the puck better and create more chances in Haringey’s zone, it was however a speculative long range shot from Simon Jones (PP goal, 25:45, unassisted) that tied the game after Mallet failed to control it. The game was very tight with both teams unable to assert themselves but then Nick Alley (32:02, assists Jones, Sin-Hidge) tipped Simon Jones’ shot from the blue line to give the Lions the lead. Ryan Payne then took a Slashing penalty but whilst trying to set up on the Racers’ blue line, the Lions’ defence turned the puck over and Josh Abbott (SH goal, 33:58, assist Minhinnick) pounced on the break to score from a 2-on-1, leaving the game finely poised at 2-2 heading into the third.
3rd Period: For the third period in a row, Lee Valley were unable to get out of the blocks quickly. First Sam Park (43:47, assists Minhinnick, Payne) gave Haringey the go-ahead goal, before their lead was doubled through Josh Abbott (47:25, assists Veares, Park) on the break. Lions began to create chances but couldn’t maintain possession and soon Haringey had their fifth when Ryan Payne (50:30, assists Abbott, Voslinsky) fired home. Lee Valley began to chase the game and reduced the lead when Oskar Horter (54:44, assist James Hepburn), but couldn’t keep control of the puck long enough to sustain pressure on the Racers’ net. In the end, it was Haringey who again left with the spoils.
Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 3-5 Haringey Racers
Period Scores: Lee Valley 0-0/2-2/1-3 Haringey
Shots on goal: Lee Valley 33-41 Haringey (9-11/14-9/10-21)
Penalties: Lee Valley 6-8 Haringey
Scorers: Lee Valley – Simon Jones (1+1), Nick Alley & Oskar Horter (1+0), James Hepburn & Ross Sin-Hidge (0+1)
Haringey – Josh Abbott (2+1), Ryan Payne & Sam Park (1+1), Nick Minhinnick (0+2), Stuart Appleby (1+0), Robert Whittleston, Robert Veares, Mark Voslinsky & Tomas Gilheany (0+1)
Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew: 41 Shots/5 goals 87.80%
Haringey – Aaron Mallet: 33 shots/3 goals 90.91%
Lee Valley are scheduled to face Slough on Saturday 26th, before league leading Peterborough Islanders make their first visit to Lea Bridge Road on Sunday 27th.
Face-off in Slough will be at 6:30pm, whilst face-off against Peterborough at Lee Valley is at 5:30pm.
Ticket and travel information can be found in the Game Day section of our website.