The Invicta Dynamos extended their winning start to the season with a 5-3 league victory against Solent Devils on Saturday night inspired by an Ashley Jackson hat-trick.
Having won their three opening fixtures, the Kent side went into the game as hot favourites against their south coast opponents who arrived in Gillingham short of numbers. As for the Dynamos, they took to the ice without injured duo Steve Osman and Taylor Wootton, whilst neither Harrison Lillis or Anthony Baskerville were available for selection.
With a fifteen minute delay to face off due to traffic problems, it was little wonder that the game was slow to get going, but it burst into life in the fourth minute when Josh Condren set up Ashley Jackson to score his first of the night. The advantage was doubled in the 15th minute as Adam Rehak raced down the ice and despite a decent save from Sam Calder, Mason Webster was on hand to turn the puck home. Any hope that the game was to go only one way was put to bed in the 18th minute when Richard Facey was given too much time and space to slot past Damien King with the Dynamos netminder stranded.
The second period was only 58 seconds old when the Dynamos restored their two goal advantage, with captain Callum Fowler rounding off a great move from Jackson and Condren despite suffering with a wrist injury picked up the weekend before. If there was any doubt as to which team would be taking the points, it was settled in the 29th minute as Jackson claimed his second of the night, beating his man before unleashing a powerful drive into the top right corner of the night. With the Dynamos now in the ascendancy, the game started to become a little more fractious with the Devils side looking to rough things up, but the home team went in at the second break 4-1 to the good.
The final period was just less than two minutes old when Solent clawed their way back into the game with Mitchell Murray beating King from range. Moments later and both Facey and Webster were trading blows after a coming together that saw the pair sitting the game out for roughing penalties. Webster claimed the moral victory, but suffered a few punches to the face in the process. Finally the game was wrapped up and Jackson claimed his hat-trick with a contender for goal of the season, letting rip from distance, leaving Calder grasping thin air. Adam Rehak’s night came to an abrupt end in the 49th minute as he picked up a 2+10 minute penalty for roughing as he didn’t take too kindly to some personal attention from Hugo Tibbitts. The visitors made full use of a resulting powerplay in the 53rd minute as Matthew Lawday beat King, but it was just to be a consolation as the Dynamos clung on in the final few minutes for a victory that sent them to the top of the league.
Ashley Jackson was rightly awarded the man of the match for the home side, whilst Richard Facey took it for the visitors.
Written by Steve Wolfe