Lee Valley were looking continue their good form from the end of 2013 with a win in Essex against a Chelmsford Warriors side, who’d beaten the Lions in the dying moments of their previous encounter early in the season. Missing from the line up were George Alley, Max Gerstein, Gennadi Yufit, Graham Lewis, Phillip Carson, Jarvis Mewett and Bailey Wootton.
First Period: The Lions got off to a slow start and Chelmsford were on the scoreboard early on, when Thomas Wilson (2:45, assist Brown) scored the first goal. The Warriors then doubled their lead thanks to Courtney Grant (9:06, assists Woodford and Staples). This was the boost the visitors needed and Joe Berry (12:39, assists Peach and Ball) reduced the lead, before Nick Alley (18:16, assists Hatfull and Gosling) tied proceedings up just before the end of the period.
Second Period: It was the Lions’ turn to strike early when Theo Abban (22:13, assist Alley) knocked in from his old junior line mate Nick Alley to put the visitors ahead. Just under three minutes later, though, the hosts were back on level terms, Gary Brown (25:05, assist Woodford) with the goal. James Hatfull (33:10, assists Cave and Peach) knocked the Lions ahead to make it 4-3 but Chelmsford responded quickly and made sure the game stayed tied in the third when Sean Easton (35:23 assists Brown and Woodford) scored.
Third Period: Despite being hugely outnumbered, the Lions’ resolve, which has come on hugely in recent games, held up and the fruitful line of James Hepburn, Richard Hodge and Romanas Fedotovas finally got on the scoreboard. Fedotovas (40:28, assists Hepburn and Hodge) put the visitors ahead, and although Thomas Wilson (43:24, unassisted) went in alone to equalise for Chelmsford, Lee Valley pulled away when Richard Hodge (48:18 assists Hepburn and Fedotovas) got the go-ahead goal. A tense final 10 minutes followed but it was the Lions who pulled through, Theo Abban (58:03, assist Hodge) putting the exclamation point on a fine win against the second-placed Warriors.
The win is Lee Valley’s 4th in the last 6 games and sees the Lions move up one place to 7th in NIHL Division 2, only one place behind local rivals Haringey Racers.
Period Scores: Chelmsford 2-2/2-2/1-3 Lee Valley
Shots on Goal: 33 on Long (CMS), 36 on Mallet (LVL)
Penalties in Minutes: Chelmsford 4-4 Lee Valley
Scorers: Lee Valley – Richard Hodge (1+2), Theo Abban (2+0), James Hatfull, Romanas Fedotovas & Nick Alley (1+1), James Hepburn & Adam Peach (0+2), Joe Berry (1+0) Ashlee Cave & Jack Ball (0+1)
Chelmsford – Gary Brown (1+2), Stephen Woodford (0+3), Thomas Wilson (2+0), Sean Easton & Courtney Grant (1+0), Daniel Staples (0+1)
Man of the Match: Richard Hodge
This Saturday sees the visit of bottom side Invicta Mustangs in the teams’ first meeting of the season. Face-off is at 5:30pm.