The Invicta Dynamos cruised to a comfortable 6-1 win over the Cardiff NIHL Devils as goals from Steve Osman (2), Eriks Ozollapa, Joshua Condren, Bailey Wootton and Ondrej Zosiak sealed two league points at the SilverBlades on Saturday night.
In their previous meeting the Mos made hard work of the Devils but an early goal this time around instantly settled the nerves – netminder Michael Crisp doing well to deny a barrage of point blank attempts but powerless to stop Steve Osman from close left at 02.43. Cardiff then nearly answered immediately but the crossbar would frustrate Luke Merrick in the slot to keep the hosts 1-0 up. It was one of very few threatening moments from the visitors in the first as the Dynamos commanded the opening exchanges – Steve Osman escaping on the breakaway but firing the wrong side of the upright midway through. Eriks Ozollapa then broke clear of the Devils’ defence but his shot to the top near corner from close left was turned around the post by Crisp. The hosts were then on the receiving end of a five minute powerplay as Luke Merrick’s very low check saw a knee-on-knee collision with Joshua Condren – Condren down injured for some time and Merrick given an early shower with a match penalty that was later downgraded to game. With the man advantage the hosts added their second – Jacob Ranson finding Elliott Dewey on the blue line whose pass to the right circle was thundered into the top far corner of the net with a one-timer by Ozollapa at 17.26.
The second frame saw a slow start – Harrison Lillis coming closest to the next goal having battled out of the right corner and swept towards the far post on the backhand where Michael Crisp blocked his path. In fact it took until 29.09 for the next strike – Thomas Stuart-Dant in the box for holding as Joshua Condren escaped a check along the right boards and skated towards goal before roofing over the shoulder of the netminder from close range for 3-0. At 34.06 the Devils mustered a reply – a rare attack seeing Jack Randall centre from the right boards and Stuart-Dant diverting up over Damien King with one touch to cut the deficit to 3-1. However, just as the Cardiff bench were geeing themselves up for a comeback the Mos dealt an immediate blow to their new found enthusiasm – Jacob Ranson claiming the puck in the final third and stick handling around goalie Michael Crisp before teeing up Bailey Wootton for the simple back post finish at 34.23. Their lead would be 5-1 by the break – the visitors a man short again when Ranson found Eriks Ozollapa against the left boards and his sweeping pass across the crease was poked over the line by the on-rushing Steve Osman at 37.04.
In the final frame an early holding penalty on Jacob Ranson allowed the Devils to start brightly – Thomas Stuart-Dant’s wrist shot from close left palmed around the post by Damien King who also had to deny Kieran Latchford from the blue line and Samual Bryant’s point blank follow up. The Mos then upped the ante – hefty hits by Eriks Ozollapa and Bailey Wootton raising the temperature inside the SilverBlades that almost reached boiling point when Ozollapa caught his man on the turn and checked Stuart-Dant into the plexi from behind. The Cardiff man responded by chopping the Latvian down from the rear with a stick to the skates and several shoves as he spoiled for a fight but, after an exchange of words, the gloves stayed on and both players made their way to the penalty box. Ozollapa saw his night at an end with 2+10 for checking from behind whilst Stuart-Dant sat just two for cross checking. On his return he got the scrap he’d been looking for – Brad Gutridge getting some attention after challenging netminder Michael Crisp for a loose puck and Jack Lee racing in to take on Stuart-Dant after his earlier clash with teammate Ozollapa. The two wrestled for a good minute behind the Cardiff goal, Lee undoubtedly connecting with more blows but the Cardiff man landing on top when the bout finally came to an end for a hard fought draw. When the action restarted Steve Osman could have had a hat-trick but his breakaway effort was straight at the mid-riff of Michael Crisp whilst Harrison Lillis saw a backhand wrister from close left bounce to safety off of the shoulder of the netminder. Eventually a sixth goal would come – 59.15 the moment when, from behind the goal line, Conor Redmond picked out Ondrej Zosiak in the slot and the Slovak found the top far corner to seal the 6-1 victory.
So it was a comfortable win for the Mos who were cruising until the game was brought to life in the third. Having made hard work of Cardiff just three weeks before the Dynamos had more than enough in the tank to take down their Welsh opponents this time around – the Devils offering little in attack and unable to find the resilience of their previous visit. Man of the match awards went to goalie Michael Crisp of the visitors and Steve Osman of the hosts.
Written by Paul Bennett