The Invicta Dynamos suffered a narrow 6-4 defeat to local rivals Chelmsford Chieftains in a heated encounter on Sunday night as an empty net goal from Grant Bartlett sealed the win for the visitors with just a second left in the match at Gillingham.
The Mos were missing Harrison Lillis and John Dibble which saw Zachary Grandy-Smith on netminder duty. The Chieftains were missing Gary Brown, Frankie Sabine, Sonny Phillips and Bradley Moore with Ben Clements starting in goal.
First period began and the tone of the game was set early as Anthony Leone collided with Julian Smith in the corner. Owen then Dell opened the scoring for the Dynamos when he collected the rebound from a Brandon Webster shot for 1-0 on 08:26. Dell’s goal was soon followed by another from Elliot Farrell – Clements was unable to collect a Dale Buckland shot from the blue line and Farrell took the opportunity to tuck in the rebound for 2-0 at 09:32.
Not long after Chelmsford then went searching for their first goal when Grant Bartlett attempted to take a shot but Joe Stephenson knocked the Chieftain off the puck. Dynamos’ Filip Sedivy then tried his luck from the left circle and, though Clements knocked his attempt aside, Webster collected the rebound and put it past the netminder to make it 3-0 on the 17 minute mark.
The Chieftains managed to grab their first goal of the night in reply after a scramble in front of Grandy-Smith resulted in a backhanded goal by Matt Turner for 3-1 on 19:01. A second goal for Chelmsford came quickly afterwards when Ross Brears escaped on a breakaway and sent the puck into the net with a backhand shot on 19:47 cutting the deficit to 3-2.
The Second period started with a quick goal for Chelmsford through Turner again when he sent a fast shot beyond Grandy-Smith for 3-3. The Mos were then down a man after Henry Aiken received a 2 + 10 minute penalty for boarding however, despite the puck working its way up both ends of the ice pad, the scoreline stayed at 3-3 for the remainder of the period.
The third period began with James Ayling skating beyond the Dynamos defence and attempting to get the puck past Grandy-Smith but the netminder pulled off a big save. Chelmsford then took the lead near the midway point when Darren Brown sent the puck over the netminder with a well taken effort in the 49th minute of play for 4-3.
Arran Strawson tried to level the score when he charged towards the net but Clements pulled off a good save. Sedivy then went clear on the breakaway – the Dynamos forward skated down the left wing and let off a fast shot which found the top far corner of the net to level the score at 4-4 on 57.18.
With the clock winding down and the clash heading to overtime the Dynamos tried to keep the Chieftains at bay but after another scramble in front of the net Ayling swept beyond Grandy-Smith’s leg pad for 5-4 on 59:43.
Now needing to chase the game, Leone called a timeout and Grandy-Smith did not return to the ice leaving the Invicta’ net empty. Grant Bartlett then managed to grab hold of the puck and took a shot from his own end which found the empty target to make it 6-4 on 59:59. Bartlett celebrated in front of the Dynamos fans having sealed the points for the visiting side.
Invicta Points: B. Webster 1+1, J. Stedman 0+1, O. Dell 1+0, Z. Grandy-Smith 0+1, J. Stephenson 0+2, E. Farrell 1+0, D. Buckland 0+1, A. Strawson 0+1, F. Sedivy 1+1
Chelmsford Points: C. Bartlett 1+0, G. Bartlett 0+3, D. Brown 1+1, R. Brears 1+1, B. Clements 0+1, A. Jakopin 0+1, M. Turner 2+0, J. Ayling 1+1
Invicta: Z. Grandy-Smith (Dynamos) – 90.20% (51 shots / 5 goals), Empty net — (1 shot / 1 goal)
Chelmsford: B. Clements (Chelmsford) – 92.59% (54 shots / 4 goals)
Man of the Match:
Invicta: Elliot Farrell
Chelmsford: Matt Turner
Written by Hannah Lawrence