Callum Fowler marked his return to the SilverBlades with a hat-trick on Sunday night as he helped power the Dynamos to a 7-1 victory over the London Raiders in their final outing of 2015.
In the last game before Christmas supporters packed out the SilverBlades and were treated to a frantic opening frame – the Mos lighting the lamp as early 06.44 as the Raiders fell afoul of the referee’s whistle. Mark Robinson sat for hooking as Steve Osman and Callum Fowler carved open the London back line with a neat interchange before Fowler fired in at the back post for 1-0. Nicky Lewis and Jacob Ranson were both then kept at bay by Michael Gray who might have expected a rest bite when the hosts saw Connor Redmond sent to the box for tripping midway through. Not so – the Raiders’ shot stopper leaving the crease to play a puck in the corner and then hung out to dry as Liam Chong mis-controlled allowing Fowler to seize possession and roof home from the slot at 09.44. Gray would have to be at his best to prevent a 2-0 edge from becoming three – Steve Osman in on net and shooting low to the far corner but the goalie saving well with an inspired quick glove stop. Having been under pressure for the majority of the frame, the Raiders then finished strongly – Marek Nahlik seeing his shot to the 5-hole from close right stopped by Damien King and Mason Webster unlucky as his back post finish came off the post to leave his team trailing by a pair.
The second frame lacked the polish of the first with both teams a little wasteful – Eriks Ozollapa turning over from between the circles and Sam Roberts losing control when one-on-one with the goalie early on. London then saw a four minute powerplay go the way of the bin as they failed to make the most of minors to Ozollapa and Andy Henderson and they would be on the receiving end themselves at 34.12 as tempers finally flared. Liam Chong’s check on Joshua Condren was high and unnecessary – the Mos’ forward not even in possession of the puck and caught unaware with a hit to the neck. Condren was down for some time whilst an enraged Baxter stopped just short of dropping the gloves in response. London alternate captain Chong was tossed from the tie with a match penalty for interference and would complain of play acting but Condren played no further part in the game and Chong had only himself to blame for checking a player without the puck. When the action restarted the Mos made use of the five minute powerplay – Connor Redmond’s pass to the back stick from the left boards tucked between the legs of Michael Gray by Ondrej Zosiak at 37.39 to make it 3-0. A fourth would follow swiftly at 38.12 – Callum Fowler teeing up Eriks Ozollapa for a shot from the right and Steve Osman in prime position to tuck home the rebound close left that secure the considerable lead.
In the final frame the Raiders were resilient despite their deficit and Frankie Harvey did everything but equalise as his shot from close left hit the underside of the bar and bounced the wrong side of the line for the London forward. The visitors would get their reward at 47.18 though – Marek Nahlik sweeping out from behind the net to Mason Webster in the slot and he roofed over Damien King to make it 4-1. However all that work was swiftly undone – David Oliver off to the box for hooking and 49.52 the moment when Nicky Lewis went solo – skating down the left wing, across net and launching into the top near corner for a powerplay goal that made it 5-1. A sixth would immediately follow – Callum Fowler’s flick finding Steve Osman in the left circle and the forward continuing his hot streak by rifling beyond Michael Gray for a five goal edge. Inevitably the Raiders were frustrated and that showed at 53.17 – Mason Webster and Harrison Lillis slashing away in front of the Mos net before the sticks were dropped and punches thrown. Webster immediately claimed the upper hand landing a blow before his counterpart could drop the gloves ahead of the swift wrestle towards the ice. It was at this point Eriks Ozollapa offered out Tom Davis after the London man had hit him with the end of his stick a fortnight ago but the Raiders’ captain had none of it and retreated to the bench. When the action restarted the Mos claimed the last of the night – Ozollapa, Osman and Fowler combining to carve open the visitors again and Fowler left with a close range tap-in to complete the hat-trick at 56.32. However despite the game nearly at an end the score settling was not – a tangle with Jack Lee and a slash from the forward prompting the often hot headed Michael Gray to jump his man from behind and throw the punches. Unable to defend himself Lee hit the ice swiftly but Gray continued to land blows until pulled away by the linesman. Each received 2+2 but with 16 seconds on the clock it only served to heighten the atmosphere inside the SilverBlades.
So it was a 7-1 win for the Dynamos in an enthralling game that definitely entertained the sizeable crowd. With the return of Fowler the Mos were far more incisive in their attacking play whilst Nicky Lewis looked to be back to his best having returned from injury. Man of the match awards went to youngster Sebastian Downing of the Raiders whilst hat-trick hero Callum Fowler took the spoils for the hosts.
Written by Paul Bennett.