Jack Lee’s opener set the Invicta Dynamos on their way on Sunday night as seven goals from seven different scorers saw the team cruise to a comfortable 7-0 victory over the London Raiders in the NIHL Southeast Trophy.
With the Southeast Trophy already placed on a mantel piece in Chelmsford, it came as no surprise that the tie lacked the intensity of recent meetings between the two teams with neither side in top gear during the first. Michal Oravec was London’s biggest threat with a couple of early tests for Damien King but it was the hosts that would get the breakthrough – 05.14 the moment when Bailey Wooton’s pass from the left wing was poked beyond Ryan Bainborough at the near post by forward Jack Lee. Callum Fowler then fired into the shoulder of the netminder whilst King had to palm wide an Oravec effort down the other end to keep the score at 1-0. Both teams then fell afoul of the referee’s whistle as they traded penalties for large parts of the frame but it was not until the Raiders suffered a double whammy as Marek Nahlik and Mason Webster were both sent to the box that a second goal would come. Just seconds after Webster had left the ice for a fairly dangerous hit on Elliott Dewey that had propelled the d-man into the boards face first, Callum Fowlert rounded the back of the net before finding Eriks Ozollapa alone in front and he did the rest for 2-0 at 19.29.
In the second frame the Mos continued to have the better of the chances but were still short of their best – Adam McNicoll coming closest to a third as he redirected Callum Fowler’s pass onto the pads of Ryan Bainborough from the edge of the crease. Fowler then had a breakaway opportunity soon after but when attempting an effort worthy of an NHL’s skills competition he lost both control of the puck and the chance to score. London’s goalie was in the thick of the action for much of the frame and stood up to the task resiliently although dropping Steve Osman’s drive almost proved costly as Conor Redmond raced in for the rebound. He then had the post to thank for keeping the deficit to just a pair as Eriks Ozollapa struck the foot of the upright from inside the right circle. Eventually the breakthrough would come at 39.14 – Ondrej Zosiak’s blue line drive diverted right in front by Redmond leaving Ryan Bainborough a helpless spectator and the score at 3-0 heading into the last.
The final period saw a delayed start and the wait was soon explained when London’s Tom Davis came out of the changing room donning the goalie pads – Ryan Bainborough ending his involvement after injury. Davis would have expected a baptism of fire but the Mos were tentative in front of goal and left him untested for much of the first half of the frame. To his credit he impressed when first called upon – flashing the glove at speed to rob Steve Osman in the slot and producing perhaps the save of the night to applause from all around the rink. Joshua Condren then struck the bar before Davis’ resistance was over at 48.58 – a swift counter involving Eriks Ozollapa and Callum Fowler seeing a crisp interchange before an easy back post tap in for Fowler to make it 4-0. Midway through came the only flash point of the night – Mason Webster and Condren squaring up briefly before Condren was then slashed to the leg straight from the next faceoff by Marek Nahlik – Nahlik receiving two minutes for slashing and Condren a pair for supposedly diving. Now 4-on-4 it was the Mos who made better use of the extra space – Callum Fowler pulling back to Arran Strawson on the blue line and the defenceman dispatching a pile driver into the top near corner for five. The healthy lead prompted the hosts to switch netminders with Glen Rodbourne replacing Damien King and Rodbourne watched on as the Dynamos claimed a sixth at 53.14. Brad Gutridge flicked the puck back to Adam McNicoll in the left circle and he fired beyond Tom Davis for 6-0. By 54.24 it was then 7-0 – Elliott Dewey’s shot from distance rebounding off the netminder’s pads and Jacob Ranson fastest to react by tallying on the spin from close left for the last of the night. Down the other end Rodbourne was called into action by Rio Grinnell-Parke but he stood firm to preserve the home side’s shutout and seal an emphatic win.
So it as a victory albeit one where the final score was meaningless but the win allows the team to head into the following weekend’s cup semi-finals with momentum on their side. Man of the match awards went to Damien Welch of the Dynamos whilst Tom Davis was the obvious pick for the visitors following his netminder heroics.
Written by Paul Bennett