Lions off the Mark After Devilishly Close Draw

Lee Valley travelled to the Welsh capital looking pick up their first win of the season, coming within a whisker of victory. Missing Nick Alley and any juniors playing up, the Lions were looking to get a result against a side who has historically been a bogey team.

First Period: An energetic Cardiff side caused problems early on, constant movement from the Devils’ forwards had the Lions caught heavy footed. It was the men from across the Severn who were first to score, when Zak Shanahan slotted in from close range (2:22, assists Monaghan and Latchford). The hosts continued to create chances and their speed was keeping the Lions at bay, the period ended 1-0.

Second Period: Having been spurred on from the team talk, Lee Valley came out much more focused, taking neutral ice turnovers and making their own chances. It wasn’t long before they were on level terms. Romanas Fedotovas fed a waiting Joe berry (27:44) in the slot, snapping a one timer into the bottom corner of Ross Miller’s net, to tie the game. Despite the pressure mounting on the Devils’ net, it was they who scored next, with the Lions failing to capitalise on a penalty to Jack Randall. A turnover in their own zone left Matthew Downward to skate in unopposed, reclaiming the lead. As momentum started to swing towards Lee Valley, more chances came the way of the visitors. They finally got a deserved second when Theo Abban (36:10, assist Hodge) crashed to the Cardiff net to again equalise, the Lions going close but unable to expand on their score.

Third Period: Despite the high shot count against them, and an injury to Max Gerstein, it was the visitors who made the better chances in front of net as Cardiff were reduced to limited breakaway’s, instead of building the play. A solo effort from Joe Berry saw him set up Ben Osbourne who could only send his shot over the bar but, chances like this were becoming more frequent for the Lions. As the game began to draw to a close, both teams went agonisingly close to finding a game winner. Aaron Mallet saving low on a 2-on-1 and Miller in the Cardiff net snaring the Lions on an open net. It seemed fitting that such an end to end game should end a draw however, the Pride of East London will take a lift from the game, their first point since February of 2012 when they defeated Invicta Mustangs.

The Lions look to kick on next week as the Wightlink (Isle of Wight) Tigers come to the den. Lee Valley will take heart from a disciplined performance and hopefully claim their first win of the campaign.

Period Scores: Cardiff 1-0/1-2/0-0 Lee Valley
Shots on Goal: On Miller (Cardiff) 31, on Mallet (LVL) 41
Penalties in Minutes Cardiff 8-4 Lee Valley
MoM: Theo Abban (LVL) Cardiff Unknown

Photos from the game are available here.