The Lee Valley Lions took their first point of the season in Bracknell on Saturday, losing a tight game against the Wasps in a penalty shootout after 65 minutes of hockey couldn’t separate the two sides.
Sunday’s home game against the league-leading Haringey Huskies didn’t go so well, as the Lions fell to a 14-1 defeat in their second game in as many days.
Saturday – Bracknell Wasps 5-4 Lee Valley Lions (after penalty shots – 28/09/2019)
First Period: In Bracknell on Saturday, the Lions slipped to a 3-0 deficit after only 14 minutes of play as the Wasps struck thrice through Casey Cornwall, Oliver Reeves and Scott Anda. The score would remain this way until the first intermission, with the Lions looking to get back into the game in the second period.
Second Period: And they definitely managed to achieve this goal, impressively bringing the game back to 3-3 by the end of the second frame.
Forward Ross Sin-Hidge (24:48, assisted Jordan Sullivan and James Joseph), playing his first Lions game in over a year after spending last season at Haringey, was the first to strike as he got the score back to 1-3 in the 25th minute, before Joe Miller (25:25, assisted Richie Pickering and Charlie Nichols) struck just 37 seconds later to narrow it further to 2-3.
The Lions then went on the powerplay in the 39th minute, and it was Hong Kong international forward Jordan Ho (38:31, assisted Sin-Hidge) who scored the game-tying goal, making the scoreline 3-3 at the end of two periods.
The Lions were also helped by some outstanding saves from netminder James Andrew, who faced 14 shots in the second period without conceding.
Third Period: Things would get even better for the Lions in the eighth minute of the third period as Ho (47:38, assisted Sullivan and Lewis Blore) struck again for his second goal of the game, again on the powerplay, to put the East London side 4-3 up.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Joshua Sherrington equalised for the Wasps a minute later, also on the powerplay.
There was to be no more scoring in regulation time, so the Lions secured a point heading into five minutes of overtime. There were also no goals in overtime, so penalty shots would determine the winner of the game – and it was the Wasps who came out on top, taking the extra point and winning the game 5-4.
Sunday – Lee Valley Lions 1-14 Haringey Huskies (29/09/2019)
The Lions went into their second game in as many days on Sunday, welcoming league leaders Haringey to Lee Valley Ice Centre.
First Period: The Huskies showed their quality in the first period, racing into a 5-0 lead thanks to goals from James Pentecost, Matthew Hepburn, Stephen Woodford, Stuart Appleby and Mark Robinson.
Second Period: As the game wore on, the Lions became visibly more tired as their fresher opponents turned on the style and led 10-0 after the second period. Goals in the second frame for the Huskies came through Pentecost, Appleby, Woodford, Luke Martin-Digby and Liam Watson.
Third Period: The Huskies took an 11-0 lead early in the third period as Joseph Willingham scored a shorthanded marker, before Joe Berry (46:47, assisted Ho and Sin-Hidge) finally gave the Lions fans something to cheer about in the 47th minute, batting the puck out of the air baseball style to score a powerplay goal, with assists coming from Jordan Ho and Ross Sin-Hidge.
But the ruthless Huskies weren’t done there, as they added three more goals before the end of the game – Woodford, Pentecost and Lee Mercer completing the scoring.
It was very much a weekend of two halves for the Lions – with an impressive display on Saturday leading to their first point of the season, before being brought back down to earth by Haringey on Sunday.
The Lions are in Cup action this upcoming Saturday 5th October, as they welcome the Invicta Mustangs to Lee Valley Ice Centre. Faceoff will be at 17:30.