Conor Redmond grabbed a brace on Saturday night as the Invicta Dynamos returned to winning ways with a hard fought 6-2 win against the Cardiff NIHL Devils in the Welsh capital.
Invicta made the long trip to Wales without the services of Callum Fowler, Jack Lee, Grant Baxter and Damien Welch whilst the Wootton twins were again playing for parent club side Guilford, but it was a long overdue return for older brother Bailey following his recovery from a knee injury. With all the pre-game rituals out of the way, the game was then paused with only a minute on the clock as half the rink’s lights failed to halt the clash. However, after a break of around 10 minutes, the Mos soon took the lead – an inviting pass by Jacob Ranson finding Conor Redmond who hit a shot that off the shoulder of netminder Michael Crisp and into the net for 1-0 at 1.29. Redmond was soon in the action again on 3.57 – the Irishman winning the puck on the right and dispatching an effort beyond Crisp for his second of the evening. Minutes later Josh Condren then beat his marker and hit the post as the Dynamos pushed on threatening to disappear out of sight. At the other end Damien King had a quiet first period, saving from Samual Bryant with his legs for his best stop, though Harrison Lillis did preserve his shutout later in the period by hacking one off the line with his skate.
The second period had Invicta defending a 5-on-3 early on with both Adam McNicoll and Eriks Ozollapa in the penalty box for minor calls. However, once the Dynamos were back to full strength they pushed on and got their reward at 32 minutes – Brad Gutridge flicking the puck to Bailey Wootton who converted past Crisp for 3-0. Just a minute later Chris Hart of Cardiff was thrown in the box and Arran Strawson hit a trademark slapshot from distance to stretch that advantage to 4-0. It could have been more when Josh Condren was awarded a penalty shot having been held back when clean through but his penalty shot hit the underside of the bar and bounced out to safety. By now Cardiff were getting feisty, and with two men in the box, it was only a matter of time before the Mos gained a further goal which came on 39.14 – Harrison Lillis rifling a powerful shot into the roof of the goal for number five.
With a sizeable lead, Invicta made a sluggish start to the third period, conceding two sloppy goals scored by Jamie Hayes on 40.31 (shorthanded) and 41.10 to cut their edge to 5-2 prompting Kevin Parrish to call a timeout to refocus his troops. However it was Cardiff who lost their heads – 49.12 the moment when Kieran Latchford received 2+2 for trying to dance with Joshua Condren whilst Jamie Hayes was thrown from the game for misconduct. Invicta duly took advantage of the resulting powerplay to end the scoring – Steve Osman accepting a pass from Arran Strawson and drilling beyond Michael Crisp to seal the two points.
So it was a solid road win for the Dynamos on perhaps their last visit to the big blue tent. Two goal hero Conor Redmond picked-up the man of the match beers for the Dynamos whilst Damen King walked away with a save percentage of 95.65%.
Written by Lee Allen.