Lions Well Beaten by Mustangs

Lee Valley Lions 2-9 Invicta Mustangs (16/02/2020)

After a tough home defeat against league leaders Haringey the previous weekend, the Lee Valley Lions had another difficult game to contend with on Sunday 16th February as they welcomed the Invicta Mustangs to town.

The Mustangs were hunting a victory that would put them level on points with Haringey at the top of the NIHL South East 2 (Wilkinson) standings – a victory they would comfortably take in the end.

The Lions welcomed back top scorer Jordan Ho after he missed the last three games injured, but were missing forwards Joe Berry, Ross Sin-Hidge and Vinny Ferrara, as well as defencemen Joe Gibson and Tom Baptist, for this game. James Andrew started in net for the hosts.

First Period: The first period got off to the worst possible start for the home side as forward Robert Cole went down injured in the opening stages following a collision. Cole, who had scored 11 goals in 13 games prior to this one, did not return to the ice for the remainder of the contest.

The Mustangs followed that up with an early goal as captain Thomas Dennis made it 1-0 in the 4th minute, assisted by Richard Harris. A second goal then followed in the 11th minute, as Wesley Jackson made it 2-0 for the visitors, assisted by Joseph Bliss and Jake Luton.

The home side did create several chances during the opening period, with first Jordan Sullivan and Jordan Ho combining to force Mustangs netminder Matthew Passmore to make a good save, before Simon Jones and Joe Miller did the same.

But there were to be no more goals in the first period, with Lions netminder James Andrew making 13 saves to keep the deficit at a manageable 2-0 going into the first intermission.

Second Period: The Lions came out with tons of energy in the middle period, creating numerous early chances as they looked to get back into the game. Jordan Sullivan, Charlie Nichols and Jordan Ho all had scoring opportunities, while Daniel Tamasauskas and Oscar Kally also had good attempts on the powerplay with Invicta’s Ashley Bushell sitting two penalty minutes for elbowing.

Unfortunately for the hosts, during this powerplay they would give up a goal after a defensive breakdown, as Joseph Bliss scored a shorthander to put the Mustangs 3-0 up in the 31st minute, assisted Regan O’Neil.

However the Lions didn’t let that deter them, and they got back into the game in the 33rd minute as Jordan Sullivan (32:48) finished at the back post after a delightful pass from Jordan Ho, making the score 3-1 in favour of the visitors. It was Sullivan’s second goal of the season, and was also his first home goal for the club. An additional assist went to Daniel Tamasauskas.

The period ended with the Mustangs taking a 4-1 lead with just over two minutes left before the break, as Richard Harris scored with assists from Jake Luton and Michael Stokes.

Third Period: The final period also started off well for the Mustangs, with two goals within the opening five minutes putting the game out of reach at 6-1; first it was Thomas Mallett who scored with an assist from Jack Rowland, before Jake Luton scored just over a minute later, assisted by Joseph Bliss and Jarvis Mewett.

The Lions had a few chances on the powerplay to get back into the game, but after the Mustangs successfully killed a penalty against Aaron Ferris, it was Ferris himself who latched onto a loose puck and scored an unassisted goal past James Andrew to make it 7-1 to the visitors in the 52nd minute.

The hosts were able to get a goal back in the 55th minute as 18-year-old Rowan Champney (54:31) – playing just his second game for the Lions – was fed with another beautiful pass from Jordan Ho, and buried the puck past Mustangs goalie Kieran Wyatt to reduce the deficit to 2-7. Wyatt had come into net in relief of starting netminder Matthew Passmore just a few minutes prior.

The Mustangs wrapped up the game in the last few minutes with two more goals; firstly Richard Harris scored a shorthander in the 57th minute to make it 8-2, before Harris was again on the scoresheet as he scored a penalty shot just one second before the end of the game, making the final score 9-2 in favour of the high-flying Mustangs.

Man of the Match for the Lions was Rowan Champney after scoring his first goal for the club, while Harris took home the award for the Mustangs after scoring a hat-trick.

The Lions are next in action in a double-header over the weekend of Saturday 29th February (away at Haringey)and Sunday 1st March (home to Bracknell). Both of those games will face off at 17:30.

Lions Put in Spirited Performance in Haringey Defeat

Lee Valley Lions 4-12 Haringey Huskies (09/02/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions took on the league-leading Haringey Huskies last Sunday, in what was the fifth meeting between the two sides this season.

And while the Lions once again came out on the losing side, they were at least able to put in a spirited performance – particularly in the second period of the game.

The Lions were missing three of their top six scorers for this game, with Jordan Ho, Ross Sin-Hidge, and Joe Berry all absent. Also unavailable were netminder Naomi Healey, defencemen Tom Baptist and Richie Pickering, and forwards Leonie Charles and Lewis Blore.

The East London side were able to hand a club debut to 16-year-old forward Rowan Champney, while defenceman Joe Gibson made his home debut. James Andrew once again started in net.

First Period: The Lions came out well in the opening period, frustrating the league leaders early on and only allowing one goal against in the first 13 minutes, as Joe Willingham made it 1-0 for the visitors.

As the period went on, the Huskies started to show their dominance and were able to score three times in the last seven minutes of the period; goals from former Lions captain Nick Alley, James Pentecost, and Willingham with his second of the evening put the Huskies 4-0 up at the first intermission.

The Lions weren’t without their chances in the opening period, as Harry Sage came close to tipping in a shot from Oscar Kally before newcomer Rowan Champney had a couple of good opportunities, but Matthew Brown stood tall in the Huskies net to keep the Lions at bay.

Second Period: The middle period started off well for the home side, as they got the deficit back to 1-4 early on through Robert Cole’s 11th goal of the season (22:38) in just his 13th game for the club. It was an unassisted goal as the forward pounced on a Haringey defensive giveaway to slot the puck past Brown.

The Lions weren’t able to keep the Huskies off the scoresheet for long though, as goals from Stephen Woodford and a second of the night for Pentecost gave the visitors a 6-1 lead just after the halfway mark of the game.

However, it was Lions forward Cole (33:20) who got the score back to 2-6 with his second of the evening, this time with an assist from Simon Jones, with the goal coming in the 34th minute.

The final three and a half minutes of the middle period were full of action; firstly Woodford scored his second goal of the game to put the Huskies 7-2 up, before Lions forward Ben Margerison scored his first two goals for the club just nine seconds apart to suddenly bring the scoreline back to a more manageable 7-4. Assists on Margerison’s first strike (39:37) went to Oscar Kally and Vinny Ferrara; while the helpers on his second tally (39:46) went to Daniel Tamasauskas and Harry Sage.

Margerison’s two quickfire goals meant the Lions won the second period by a scoreline of 4-3, and went into the final period with the hope that they could get back into the game.

Third Period: Sadly for the hosts, the Huskies turned on the style in the final period and showed why they are leading the league this season. Firstly Pentecost completed his hat-trick in the 46th minute, before Stuart Appleby scored two minutes later to make it 9-2.

Then it was the turn of Leo Saoncella, newly-signed by the Huskies from the Streatham Hawks on transfer deadline day, to score twice within the space of 36 seconds which increased the Haringey lead to 11-2.

And finally it was Appleby who put an exclamation point on the game as he took advantage of a tired Lions defence to score the Huskies’ 12th and last goal in the 57th minute, with the final score being 12-4 in favour of Haringey as the final buzzer sounded.

Man of the Match for the Lions was Ben Margerison after scoring his first two goals for the club, while Haringey forward Saoncella picked up the same award after achieving the very same feat.

The Lions are back in action at home this coming Sunday 16th February, as they welcome the Invicta Mustangs to Lee Valley Ice Centre. Faceoff will be at 17:30.

Lions Defeated in Cup Action at Alexandra Palace

Haringey Huskies 10-3 Lee Valley Lions (01/02/2019 – NIHL South 2 Cup)

The Lee Valley Lions continued their NIHL South 2 Cup campaign last Saturday as they made the short trip to Alexandra Palace to face the Haringey Huskies.

The Huskies are currently leading NIHL South East 2 (Wilkinson), and showed their quality as they ultimately came away with a 10-3 victory over the visiting Lions.

First Period: The Lions, who were missing several of their top scorers including Jordan Ho, Jordan Sullivan and Ross Sin-Hidge, struggled early on as they conceded three goals in the opening ten minutes through Lee Mercer, Stuart Appleby and James Pentecost. The first two goals were powerplay markers, while Pentecost scored shorthanded.

The visitors did get a goal back in the 12th minute as Vinny Ferrara (11:43, assisted Ben Margerison and Robert Cole) cut the deficit to 3-1 with his fifth goal of the season.

But it was all downhill from there for the Lions, as they conceded three more goals in the opening period through Nick Alley, Tom Avery and Appleby, going into the first intermission 6-1 down.

Second Period: The Lions swapped netminders in the first break, with Naomi Healey coming into net in place of James Andrew, but Healey was unable to stop the Huskies taking a 7-1 lead in the 24th minute through Pentecost.

The visitors scored their second goal of the game to cut the deficit to 7-2 in the 28th minute though as Robert Cole (27:37, assisted Joe Berry) grabbed his ninth of the campaign.

There was to be only one more goal in the middle period, with Nick Alley’s shorthander giving the Huskies an 8-2 lead going into the final period.

Third Period: The Huskies came out very quickly at the start of the final period and took a 9-2 lead through Joseph Willingham after just 13 seconds, and reached double figures in the 46th minute as Mercer got his second of the game.

There was drama in the 54th and 55th minutes as first Luke Martin-Digby (Haringey) and Harry Sage (Lee Valley), and then Nick Alley (Haringey) and Harry O’Brien (Lee Valley) were all penalised for two separate fights.

There would be only one more goal in the game and it went the way of the Lions, Tyrone Wells (59:49, assisted Joe Miller) making it 10-3 with just 11 seconds left in what was a tough game for the Lions on the road.

The East London side will look to bounce back this coming Sunday 9th February, as they face the same opponents for the second game in a row. This time it will be a league game, with the Lions playing at home.

Faceoff at Lee Valley Ice Centre will be at 17:30.

Lions Shut Out by High-Flying Phantoms

Lee Valley Lions 0-9 Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms (26/01/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions had a night to forget on Sunday as they fell 9-0 at home to the high-flying Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms – a result that moved the visitors up to joint-leaders in the NIHL South East 2 (Wilkinson) league standings.

The Lions were missing three of their top five scorers – Jordan Ho, Jordan Sullivan and Ross Sin-Hidge all missed out – as well as defenceman Tom Baptist. Starting in goal was James Andrew, backed up by Naomi Healey.

First Period: The visitors got off to the best possible start in the opening period, taking the lead in the very first minute as Jordan Liddell surprised the Lions with an early goal.

The hosts had chances to get back into the game early, with defenceman Oscar Kally taking a good blueline shot which drew a save from Phantoms goaltender Luke Clark, before forward Joe Berry got a breakaway chance but couldn’t find a way past Clark.

Peterborough punished the Lions for their lack of scoring with two more goals of their own inside the ten minutes, first through CallumMedcalf and then Polish import forward Michal Magiera, to lead 3-0.

And despite some big saves from James Andrew in the Lions net, and a good chance for Lee Valley defenceman Richie Pickering, the home side went into the first break 0-4 down as Jack Sansby scored with just 47 seconds left in the opening period.

Second Period: The Lions ran into penalty trouble in the middle period, and were punished by the ruthless Phantoms as they scored three powerplay markers. First it was Magiera who grabbed his second of the game with a 5-on-3 advantage, before Benjamin Crowson and Robert McDonald both scored regular 5-on-4 powerplay goals to give the visitors a big 7-0 lead.

The home side did have the puck in the net once in the second period, as Harry Sage fired into an empty net following good work from Tyrone Wells to pressure Phantoms netminder Clark into a mistake, but the goal was ruled out for offside with Wells still in the zone as Sage took his shot from outside.

And right on the 40:00 mark at the end of the period, the Phantoms scored a buzzer-beater to take an 8-0 lead into the second break, Kenny Bavin getting the goal.

Third Period: The Lions swapped netminders for the third period, with Naomi Healey replacing James Andrew between the pipes.

It was a quieter game scoring-wise in the final period, with the Phantoms only able to add one goal through Storm Lister to take their lead up to 9-0.

There was rising tension in the game though, with some hard hits flying in from both sides, and in the 52nd minute both Lions defenceman Oscar Kally and Phantoms forward Michal Magiera sat two minutes each for roughing.

There were not too many incidents in the game after that though, with the game petering out towards the end and the Phantoms taking a comfortable 9-0 win as the final buzzer sounded.

It was an impressive performance from the Phantoms as they showed why they are one of three teams, along with Haringey and Invicta, who currently top the league with 22 points.

Man of the Match for the Lions was forward Tyrone Wells after a hard-working performance, while 16-year-old Benjamin Crowson took home the award for the visitors.

The Lions are back in action on the road this coming Sunday 1st February, as they face a tough trip to joint-league leaders Haringey. Faceoff at Alexandra Palace will be at 17:30.

Lions Lose Another Tight One in Bracknell

Bracknell Wasps 5-3 Lee Valley Lions (18/01/2020)

The Lee Valley Lions went down their second tight 5-3 defeat in a row on Saturday afternoon, as they narrowly missed out on victory against the Bracknell Wasps.

The Lions had gone down 5-4 in a penalty shootout on the road in Bracknell back in September for what was their only point of the season to date, so were hoping to take their first win of the season against the same opponents – a feat they came close to accomplishing.

Lee Valley were missing goaltender Naomi Healey; defenceman Daniel Tamasauskas, James O’Brien and Tom Baptist; and forwards Joe Berry, Ross Sin-Hidge and Joe Miller for the game in Berkshire. Starting in net was James Andrew.

First Period: The visitors took the lead early in the opening period, as top scorer Jordan Ho – who had missed the previous weekend’s 5-3 home defeat to Streatham – bagged his 16th goal of the season in his 16th game for the Lions. The assist on the goal came from Vinnie Ferrara.

It didn’t take long for the Wasps to equalise however, with James Eldridge making it 1-1 in the ninth minute. And as the home side put the pressure on later in the period, the Lions took two penalties – Robert Cole and Jordan Sullivan sitting two minutes for holding and a late hit respectively – but both the penalties were killed off, meaning that the teams went into the first intermission locked at 1-1.

Second Period: The middle period was cagey to start off with, with both sides unable to create clear-cut chances and mostly cancelling each other out. The Lions did get an opportunity on the powerplay as Wasps forward Craig Cowell sat two minutes for roughing, but couldn’t take advantage of it.

However the Lions did take advantage of their next powerplay – with Wasps captain Liam Poulson in the box for tripping, Lions trio Vinnie Ferrara, Jordan Ho and Jordan Sullivan combined for a well-worked powerplay goal which was finished off by Ferrara.

Once again though, the Lions didn’t keep the lead for long; back to back penalties against Ferrara and Richie Pickering gave the Wasps almost four continuous minutes of powerplay time, with Danny Hughes making the most of it to equalise at 2-2 in the 36th minute. This would also be the score at the end of the second period.

Third Period: The Lions took the lead for the third time in the game at the 1:22 mark of the final period, Robert Cole finishing past Wasps goalie Aaron Burton with assists from James Joseph and Tyrone Wells.

But this lead lasted just 70 seconds, with the Wasps equalising through Hughes who grabbed his second goal of the game. The tide would then turn in the 46th minute when James Eldridge capitalised on a Lions defensive breakdown to score his second of the game, putting his side in the lead for the very first time at 4-3.

The visitors threw everything they had at the Wasps for the remainder of the game as they searched for an equalising goal, but were unable to get that crucial fourth goal. And it was the Wasps who would put the icing on the cake with just under three minutes left, as Joshua Sherrington finished off a quick counter to give the Wasps a 5-3 win.

It was a frustrating game for the Lions, who played well for most of the game and took the lead three times, only to see it slip away into their second 5-3 defeat in six days.

The Lions are back in action at home this coming Sunday 26th January, as they host Peterborough at Lee Valley Ice Centre. Faceoff will be at 17:30.