Looking to get over the disappointment of the previous week’s derby loss to Haringey. Lee Valley welcomed Bristol Pitbulls to Lea Bridge Road for the first time in two years, in the NIHL 2 Cup.
Lions welcomed back Jordan Turner, who was returning from injury. Absent for the Lions were Robin Young, Ben Duffy & Ben Gillingham.
Bristol arrived with a full squad of 22 players including former London Racer & Swindon Wildcat Richie Hargreaves.
1st Period: Bristol started the stronger of the two sides, punishing loose passes from the home side and keeping them pinned down in their own zone. After a spell of pressure Giovanni Rafaelli (6:01 assist Giacomo Rafaelli), found space in the Lions’ slot to score. Just a couple of minutes later and Christopher Moore (9:20, assist Zach Dolphin) had doubled the Pitbulls’ lead. This spurred the Lions into action, the line of James & Matt Hepburn and Jordan Turner were starting to create chances. In the latter stages of the period, Nick Alley sent a long pass to Ross Sin-Hidge, who drew two defenders and found Matt Hepburn (16:37, assists Sin-Hidge, Alley). A couple of minutes later and the Lions were even, A loose shot from Simon Geldart (18:32, assists Glover, Aiken) trickled through Andy Leckie to close the period 2-2.
2nd Period: Lee Valley begun the period with much more urgency, taking more time to control the puck in Bristol’s zone. After creating a host of rebound opportunities, Chris Fox (27:26, unassisted) pounced on a loose puck to give the Lions the lead. Lee Valley continued with their pressure but when they were penalised for Too Many Men on the Ice, Bristol capitalised with a long shot from Giovanni Rafaelli (PP goal 34:35, assists Mcfarlane, R Hargreaves) beating James Andrew, keeping the score tied going into the third.
3rd Period: This was a much tighter affair, both teams were having spells of dominance but early on, with Matthew Hepburn sitting for High Sticks, Grant Richardson (PP goal 43:47, assists Giocomo Rafaelli, Moore) walked out of the corner and pinged a shot in off of James Andrew’s helmet. Both teams were pressing for a crucial goal but a turnover at the Bristol blue line allowed Ryan Mcfarlane (53:38, assist R Hargreaves) to break free to double the Pitbulls’ lead. Lee Valley came close on several occasions to pulling one back. A powerplay opportunity late in the game gave the Lions a chance, they pulled Andrew in the last 30 seconds but to no avail and Bristol left East London with two points.
Lions 3-5 Bristol.
Period Scores: 2-2/1-1/0-2
Shots on Goal: Lions 33-46 Bristol (15-20/8-15/10-11)
Penalties in Minutes: Lions 6-6 Bristol
Scorers: Lee Valley – Chris Fox, Matthew Hepburn & Simon Geldart (1+0), Henry Aiken, Oliver Glover, Nick Alley & Ross Sin-Hidge (0+1)
Bristol – Giovanni Rafaelli (2+0), Ryan Mcfarlane & Christopher Moore (1+1), Giacomo Rafaelli & Richard Hargreaves (0+2), Grant Richardson (1+0), Zach Dolphin (0+1)
Goaltending: Lee Valley – James Andrew 46 shots/5 goals 89.13%
Bristol – Andrwe Leckie 33 shots/3 goals 90.91%
Lee Valley now have a week off before a double header with Slough (away Saturday 22/10) and Invicta (home Sunday 23/10).
Face off against Invicta is at 5:30pm.
Ticket and travel information can be found in the ‘Game Day’ section of our website.