The Invicta Dynamos were held in an enthralling 3-3 draw in the weekend’s second encounter against the Chelmsford Chieftains on Sunday as a double from Adam Rehak and a strike from captain Callum Fowler ensured a share of the points.
After a remarkable 8-6 win against their Essex rivals the night before, the Dynamos were looking for a repeat performance but would have to do so without injured pair Damien King and Taylor Wootton. Nathanael Williams and Lukas Zatopek were missing for the hosts. James Richardson and Sonny Phillips were the starting netminders.
Determined to make it a four point haul the Mos flew out of the traps and an early interference penalty on Alex Staples resulted in the hosts claiming a 1-0 lead on the powerplay. At 03.11 Liam Chong lost control of the puck in front of his own net under pressure from Ashley Jackson and Adam Rehak was on hand to poke through the legs of Sonny Phillips for the early edge. Darren Brown then found his way to the box for interference and the Dynamos made the extra skater count again – from behind the net Callum Fowler found Jackson right in front and, though Phillips blocked his one-timer, Rehak prodded in the rebound for 2-0 at 05.59. By now the Mos were rampant and but for the Chelmsford netminder throwing himself across his line to stop Steve Osman’s back post effort they would have been up by three. However, slowly, the visitors came into the tie and James Richardson had to be at his best to stop Danny Hammond from the left circle as well as Juraj Huska at point blank range. It was Mos forward Nicky Lewis who came closest to altering the scoreboard though – so close that the goal light came on – the skater speeding across net and firing low onto the foot of the far post with referee Richard Belfitt perfectly placed to declare no goal and allow play to continue. The final frame then ended 23 seconds prematurely when Liam Chong’s wayward shot sent the puck through the glass at the back of the rink requiring a clean up from rink maintenance.
After an ice cut the final 23 seconds of period one were played without incident but the Chieftains halved their deficit soon after the start of the second – Danny Hammond’s diagonal from the right threading the needle and finding Juraj Huska back post who roofed home with a one-timer for 2-1 at 20.36. At 27.25 Chelmsford were then level – Jake Sylvester finding Huska in the left circle and the Slovak sniper demonstrating the pinpoint finishing that has become his trademark by rifling beyond James Richardson and inside the far post for 2-2. The Mos attempted to restore their lead but Ashley Jackson’s one-timer from the slot was straight down the gut of Sonny Phillips whilst the netminder was also able to get his pads in the way of Callum Fowler’s close range drive. Danny Hammond then had time and space between the circles but he was unable to beat Richardson until 39.26 when the forward finally came out on top in the duel between the two. Huska found Hammond in the right channel and the skater’s backhand effort slipped through the grasp and legs of Richardson to put the visitors 3-2 up heading into the break.
Having seen their two goal lead not only vanquished but overturned in the second the Mos then had James Richardson’s athleticism to thank for keeping them within one as the goalie make an excellent stop from Oliver Baldock’s backhand shot. Down the other end Ondrej Zosiak’s one-timer from deep was beaten away by Sonny Phillips before Mason Webster fed Adam Rehak right in front but Phillips denied him the hat-trick with an inspired stop. As time passed by the hosts were frantically pushing for a leveller and they finally secured the breakthrough at 55.21 – Steve Osman’s backhand flick from behind the goal line finding Callum Fowler right in front and the captain reacted instinctively to convert from close range to make it 3-3. Both sides then had late chances to win it – Darren Brown robbed by Richardson from point blank left whilst Adam Rehak’s slapshot from the right wing flew to safety via the mask of goalie Phillips. It meant that, come the final buzzer, it was honours even in this first versus second encounter – a result that was probably fair.
So it was a three point weekend for the Dynamos and one that keeps them within touching distance of the league leaders. Man of the match awards went to Danny Hammond of the Chieftains, though netminder Sonny Phillips was equally worthy with 36 stops from 39 shots, whilst Ondrej Zosiak took the spoils for the hosts. The results means that Chelmsford remain first, three points ahead of the Mos with a single game in hand.
Written by Paul Bennett.