After as stunning comeback victory in Gillingham the week before, Lee Valley were looking to tie the series between themselves and Invicta Mustangs in the final meeting between the two sides.
Returning to the Lions’ side were Captain Nick Alley, James Gosling, Jordan Turner & Oskar Horter. Missing were Chris Fox, Matt Hepburn, Ronnie O’Connor, Sam Awoyemi & Lee Hounslow.
1st Period: The game started at a slow pace with neither team really able to grab control, chances were fairly even with Lee Valley killing an Invicta Power-play when Ollie Glover was called for slashing. As the period wore down the Lions began create more chances against Matt Passmore in the Mustangs’ goal, finally good work from the corner saw Ross Sin-Hidge (16:36, assist Alley) bundle home to get Lee Valley the lead going into the 2nd.
2nd Period: Lee Valley got off to the best possible start when a quick break from their zone saw Hidge return the favour and Nick Alley (21:45, assists Sin-Hidge, Jones) buried the puck for a 2-0 lead. Despite the lead, the Lions’ discipline was waning and a hit from Nick Alley saw him called for Charging. The resulting power-play was the opportunity Invicta needed and Kwame Holt (PP goal 27:22, assists Tyrell, Laming) halved the lead. Invicta now had a grip on the game and put contstant pressure on the Lions, who hadn’t learnt their lesson and saw both Simon Geldart & James Hepburn penalised. Invicta capitalised on both Power-plays, first on the 5-on-3 through Tom Dennis (PP goal 34:06, assist Luton), and despite a timeout being called, after Geldart returned to play Jake Luton (PP goal 35:02, assists Dennis, Laming) gave the visitors the lead. Back to full strength now and Lee Valley began to grind their way back into the game with some big hits being made in the Invicta zone, James Hepburn then chased the puck down behind the Invicta goal and found Nick Alley, who in turn found Ross Sin-Hidge (39:54, assists Alley, Hepburn) to tie the game going into the 3rd.
3rd Period: Although they had the better of this period. Lee Valley struggled to creat clear cut opportunities, not getting to any rebounds or finding Passmore in their way. Instead, it was Invicta again who got their noses in front when a turnover at the Invicta blue line aloowed Jake Luton (50:04, unassisted) to race away to score. The Mustangs soon doubled their lead after a clearance bounced awkwardly in front of the Lions’ defence and Artyom Grzibovskis (51:03, assist Dennis) punished the hosts for their error. Lee Valley attempted to mount a comeback but couldn’t create the chances need to pull the lead back. Invicta ended the game as winners, bringing an end to the Lions’ recent winning streak.
*Please note, some stats vary from those on the offical game sheet
Final Score: Lee Valley Lions 3-5 Invicta Mustangs
Period Scores: 1-0/2-3/0.2
Shots: Lee Valley 27-46 Invicta (11-13/8-15/8-18)
Penalties: Lee Valley 10-10
Scorers: Lee Valley – Ross Sin-Hidge (2+1), Nick Alley (1+2), James Hepburn & Simon Jones (0+1)
Invicta – Jake Luton (2+1), Thomas Dennis (1+2), James Laming (0+2), Kwame Holt & Artyom Grzibovskis (1+0), Kyle Tyrell
Goaltenders: Lee Valley – James Andrew 46 shots/5 goals, 89.13%
Invicta – Matthew Passmore 27 shots/3 goals, 88.89%
Man of the Match – James Hepburn
Next Saturday (11/03) sees the first league visit of leaders Peterborough.
Face off is at 5:30pm
Ticket and travel information can be found in the Game Day section of our website.