A brace from man of the match Louis Colvin and further goals from Ashley Jackson, George Hoang and Scott Bailey saw the Invicta Dynamos halt their losing streak as they overcame the Bracknell Bees 5-1 in Gillingham on Saturday night.
The Mos came into the tie with just 12 skaters and 2 netminders following the midweek release of import Adam Rehak and were also without Justin Robinson, Mason Webster, Tom Long and Harrison Lillis. Bracknell numbered 15 skaters and 2 goalies – Shaun Thompson, Scott Spearing and suspended import Frantisek Bakrlik missing out. Damien King and Alexander Mettam were the starting shot stoppers.
In previous meetings with the Bees this term the Mos had lost out in overtime and then penalty shots but they still sensed the opportunity to claim a former EPL scalp and lit the lamp in just 41 seconds. George Hoang’s clearance along the left boards found Ashley Jackson charging forward and he centred for the completely unmarked Louis Colvin to turn home from right in the slot.
Bracknell were slow to get going, and suffering frequent trips to the penalty box, but eventually tested Damien King as Joshua Martin fired off the netminder’s shoulder from between the circles before Alex Barker was also denied by the goalie at close range and Ondrej Zosiak’s diving block thwarted Jared Lane’s rebound follow up. Down the other end Callum Fowler came close with a rebound attempt of his own but his backhand from the edge of the crease was just over the bar. Great link-up play from the Mos then almost resulted in a second – Zosiak’s blue line diagonal finding George Hoang close left and he passed to the middle where the on-rushing Ashley Jackson was robbed by Alexander Mettam.
Holding a one goal lead after an end to end opening frame, the Dynamos went on the charge again early in the second aided by more minor penalties on the Bees. However it was just after Callum Best had finished serving a roughing minor that the hosts doubled their lead – Louis Colvin’s pass sending Ashley Jackson into the final third with only Harvey Stead standing in his way and the Mos forward side stepped the D-man before dispatching high into the top far corner for 2-0 at 25.10.
The Bees should have answered instantly when the puck dropped to Alex Barker at the back post, with half the net to aim at, but Damien King athletically threw himself across the crease to make up the ground when a save seemed unlikely. Bracknell’s Callum Best was then back in the box again, now for illegal equipment, and this time the Mos made the most of the man advantage. Joshua Condren initially came close after neat stickwork took him between the two defencemen to burst clear only for Alexander Mettam to deny him with the pads. However, just moments later, Mettam was arguably at fault as Louis Colvin did convert to make it 3-0. At 27.32 Ashley Jackson won an offensive faceoff and Colvin swept at net from wide left with the puck sneaking through the pads of the goalie for the three goal cushion.
Callum Best tried to cut into the now sizeable deficit with a shot to the top corner from the left circle however Damien King gloved his effort expertly before Sebastian Downing broke clear down the other end but was unable to force beyond Alexander Mettam. At 34.28 Alex Barker bought himself time in the penalty box on a slashing call and the Mos notched their fourth of the night, their second on the powerplay. Ashley Jackson’s pass from the left boards found George Hoang on the inside edge of the right circle and he roofed over the shoulder of Mettam for his first in a Dynamos jersey at 35.02.
A 4-0 deficit saw the Bees opt to replace Mettam with Daniel Milton but the new shot stopper was beaten in minutes as Scott Bailey made it five at 37.31. Arran Strawson’s pass from the boards really should have been picked off centre ice but Alex Barker’s half-hearted interception saw Bailey gather possession, stick handle around defenceman Tom Avery to reach the crease and flick over Milton on the backhand for 5-0. Having been the hero, Bailey then bought himself 12 minutes out of the tie after a check on Jared Lane that was deemed to be to the head.
In the final frame Callum Best continued to force Damien King into sharp glove saves whilst Callum Fowler’s pace saw him escape the Bracknell defence but he was unable to force beyond Daniel Milton at point blank range. The Mos were now largely content to hold on to their sizeable edge with the Bees unable to find a way beyond the in form King.
Tempers finally flared late on in the tie as Brandon Webster delivered a heavy hit on Jan Bendik that was later assessed as checking to the head though the referee’s arm remained down at the time. Bendik immediately took issue with the challenge and both parties ditched their gloves and helmet – Webster enthusiastically throwing punches and landing one but ultimately losing his balance through over exuberance before either party really took blows.
After the restart the Bees finally tallied a goal to deny Damien King the shutout that he really deserved – Tom Avery’s diagonal finding Callum Best in the right circle and he swept low through the 5-hole to claim what would ultimately be a consolation strike.
So it was an emphatic win for the Dynamos who upset the odds to bring an end to a seven game losing streak against one of the league’s former EPL sides and with only 14 players. Each man gave his all in an excellent team performance that was sure to please Head Coach Kevin Parrish and reward the supporters for their backing over recent weeks. Man of the match awards went to Louis Colvin of the Mos and Tom Avery of Bracknell.
Written by Paul Bennett.