Comeback of the season? Well it possibly was for the Invicta Dynamos in Cardiff on Saturday night as they came back from 4-1 down to win 11-5 in the Welsh capital.
The Mos made the long trip to Wales without the injured trio of Mark Williams, Kieron Jones and Arran Strawson whilst Gregor McAllan was icing for the Mustangs. They were however able to recall Joe Stephenson from injury to give them 16 skaters with Grandy-Smith starting in the net.
The Mos started reasonably well with Dale Buckland and Luke Thirkettle both putting shots on the Cardiff goal but with 3 minutes of the game gone it was still goalless. There were also signs that things were going to get feisty with Samuel Bryant and Juraj Huska both having a push at each other when leaving the ice. They duo have history after Huska was suspended following the Mos last visit to Cardiff for an incident with Bryant following a review of video evidence.
It was Cardiff who took the lead when Jordan Powell seized on a Cernych assist and drifted past the blue line before thundering a shot past Grandy-Smith on 05:29. It was soon 2-0 – a sloppy giveaway by the Mos saw Dell lose possession on 7:57 and Cardiff scoring through Josh Haslam unassisted.
The Dynamos were desperate to get back into the game and Ryan Morgan had an opportunity saved by netminder Scanlan before, moments later, Davis drove a shot which was pushed away by the netminder with Stedman just beaten to the rebound. Import Banovský then evaded a challenge and chased down the Cardiff goal but instead of shooting he elected to pass to Dell and the incoming shot was blocked by surrounding defenders.
Cardiff then had two consecutive powerplays – 11:46 when Tom Davis received a 2 minute tripping penalty and again on 13:50 for too many Invicta players on the ice. The Kent side were punished on the second – at 14:35 Carter Lloyd netted assisted by Powell to make it 3-0. The visitors then finally got on the scoreboard through Banovský on 18:04 after Dell had an attempt blocked. The Mos celebrations were short-lived however with Cardiff going 4-1 up just ten seconds later with Chris Fox scoring aided by Chris Adams on 18:04.
The 2nd period got underway with the Dynamos swapping Owen Rider for Zachary Grandy-Smith in the net and a minute into the period it was 4-2 with Huska dancing his way around the mouth of the Cardiff net to tap the puck home – assisted by Tom Davis.
Then followed the goal of the game – Banovský showing magic after racing onto a pass by Giles and rounding challenges before roofing into the net after cutting in from the right to cut the deficit to 4-3 on 22:39. Following the strike Cardiff immediately called a timeout.
Mos almost got level with efforts from Stedman and Banovský but it was soon 4-4 when Owen Dell tapped home on 25:59. Dell then remarkably put the Mos in front (4-5) with Banovský and Farrell the creators on 28:15. Banovský was untouchable at times and he almost scored again when he started an attack and had options to either shoot or pass to Farrell – he elected to shoot and missed by an inch. Giles also registered a shot which was padded away and Dell got close on the rebound.
With chances also going begging for Huska and Redmond it was no surprise to see Invicta lead 6-4 on a Ben Smith roughing powerplay with Huska claiming his second goal of the night on 36:34 assisted by Leone. Tempers then got the better of Iwan Davies on 38:52 when he took a swipe at the back of the head of Brandon Webster with the pair dropping the gloves and Webster winning the tussle with ease – both players getting 2+2 penalty minutes for fighting.
A hat-trick goal came for Huska almost immediately after as the Slovak took a pass from Leone and sent the puck through a defender’s legs before striking into the net on 39:37. On 39:47 it was 4-8 – A hat-trick for Banovský who scored unassisted to finish an unbelievable period.
The final frame started with Invicta striking a ninth goal – Ryan Giles, assisted by Farrell beating Scanlan on 41:46. The Mos almost made it double figures when Banovský passed from the Mos’ red circle to Dell on the halfway line but Dell was unable to convert for a hat-trick. The Mos did get a tenth goal however on 46:33 – Scanlan saving a shot with Huska on hand to tap the puck into an empty net – assists falling to Redmond and Lillis.
After the restart Banovský hit a wonderful pass from behind his own net to Webster which cut out 3 Cardiff players but Webster was denied by Scanlan when placing a shot at goal. A consolation strike for Cardiff was scored on 49:15 by Ruslan Cernych and they also had a goal washed out after appearing to handle the puck into the Invicta’ net. Owen Rider didn’t have much to do, facing 17 shots in total but when Kasjanovs was through on his own with only the young netminder to beat Rider pulled out a spectacular save to keep Cardiff out.
On 52:38 Ryan Giles received a 5 minutes plus game penalty for slashing although the long penalty kill was made easier for Invicta when on 52:59 Davies was penalised for tripping Huska. The last goal of the game then came when Huska and Davis fed Leone to make it 5-11 on 59:03. On 59:33 Dale Buckland was given two penalty minutes for slashing and 10 minutes for misconduct although it made no difference to what was an unforgettable comeback for the Mos.
Cardiff Points: J. Powell 1+2, CJ. Lloyd 1+1, C. Adams 0+1, R. Cernych, C. Fox 1+0, J. Haslam
Invicta Points: C. Redmond 0+1, T. Davis 0+2, O. Dell 2+0, A. Leone 1+2, E. Farrell 0+2, H. Lillis 0+1, J. Huska 4+1, R. Giles 1+2, T. Banovský 3+1
Cardiff: B. Scanlan – 81.36% (59 shots /11 goals)
Invicta: Z. Grandy-Smith – 55.56% (9 shots /4 goals), O. Rider – 94.12% (17 shots /1 goals)
Man of the match:
Cardiff: Iwan Davies
Invicta: Tomas Banovsky
Written by Lee Allen.