Lions Season Ends With Heated Defeat

Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms 6-1 Lee Valley Lions (14/03/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions travelled to Peterborough on Saturday 14th March for what was expected to be their penultimate game of the season. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, it ultimately turned out to be their last game of the 2019-20 campaign.

The Lions were low on numbers for the trip to Peterborough, as defencemen Thomas Baptist, Simon Jones and Richie Pickering were missing, as well as forwards Leonie Charles, Joe Berry, Robert Cole, Jordan Sullivan and Vinny Ferrara.

Naomi Healey got the start in net ahead of James Andrew, who was backing up.

First Period: The hosts got off to a perfect start as Polish forward Michal Magiera made it 1-0 to the Phantoms with just 55 seconds gone in the game. And Magiera would go on to score two more goals in the opening ten minutes to seal a rather quick hat-trick – the last of his three goals coming exactly at the 10:00 mark to put the Phantoms 3-0 up midway through the period. That third goal was also a short-handed goal, with Peterborough’s Kieran Raynor sitting two minutes for interference.

The home side added a fourth goal in the 18th minute as Shaun Yardley scored a powerplay marker; but the Lions got back into the game with just 18 seconds left in the period through a powerplay goal of their own. It was Hong Kong international forward Jordan Ho (19:42, assisted Daniel Tamasauskas) who scored his 18th goal of the season, getting the deficit back to 4-1 at the end of the first period.

Second Period: The Phantoms went 5-1 up early in the second period through Kieran Raynor, putting the puck past James Andrew – who had replaced Naomi Healey in the Lions net in the first intermission – with 1:25 gone in the period.

There were to be no more goals in the middle period though, as Andrew made 18 saves and his opposite number Luke Clark made nine to keep the scoreline at 5-1.

However, after the officials had already handed out 34 penalty minutes in the first period including two 10-minute misconducts, the tension rose further in the game during the second period as a further 28 penalty minutes were handed out, including two further 10-minute misconducts – this was a sign of what was to come in the final period.

Third Period: There was to be only one goal in the third period as well, with Phantoms captain Kenny Bavin grabbing a powerplay goal to put his side 6-1 up. James Andrew stopped the Phantoms’ other 12 shots in the period, while Phantoms goalie Luke Clark had 19 saves to make as the Lions peppered the home net with shot after shot.

But it was the penalty minutes, rather than the goals, that continued to rise as the game wore on. In the first 17 minutes of the last period, there were a further 30 penalty minutes handed out, including incitement and fighting penalties against Peterborough’s Jack Sansby, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Lee Valley’s Harry Sage.

The game had already been heated, and things escalated completely in the 57th minute when an incident involving players from both teams led to the game being abandoned. Over 300 penalty minutes were handed out by the officials for the incident – 286 of them to the Phantoms and 28 to the Lions – as the game finished with Peterborough winning by a 6-1 scoreline.

Sadly with the news from the EIHA that all hockey until the end of May has been cancelled, this game brought the curtain down on the Lions’ 2019-20 season, with next weekend’s planned season finale against Streatham now not going ahead.

The Lee Valley Lions would like to thank everyone associated with the team for their efforts and support this season – see you all next season!