A hat-trick from Nicky Lewis helped the Invicta Dynamos return to winning ways on Sunday as they overcame Streatham IHC 7-4 in the NIHL Southern Cup despite losing Damien King and Tommy Ralph to injury and having James Richardson play on wounded.
With Taylor and Bailey Wootton, Callum Fowler and Steve Osman already absent with various injuries the Dynamos were up against it as they looked to prevent a third consecutive defeat but they faced a Streatham side struggling for form with just two wins in seven fixtures. Neither side were necessarily favourites then but Streatham did themselves few favours early on as they repeatedly fell afoul of the referee’s whistle. Jack Tarczycki and James Warman went to the box within 9 seconds of each other giving the Mos a lengthy spell of 5-on-3 and the hosts gratefully utilised the advantage with the opening goal coming at 09.33. Arran Strawson’s pass from the left wing found Adam Rehak in the right circle and he lashed inside the near top corner to break the deadlock early on. To make matters worse for the visitors Nick Chinn was dispatched to the box with a minor penalty at the time of the goal which meant the Dynamos powerplay continued and so did the scoring. At 10.26 Ondrej Zosiak’s blue line drive bounced off the backboards to Ashley Jackson close right and his play to the back post was thumped over the line by Adam McNicoll left of the target. Come 11.11 the Mos added a third – this time Nicky Lewis going solo as he picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, skipped between two Streatham players and around another before lifting over the shoulder of Euan King on the backhand from point blank range. When the numbers finally evened up the Redhawks replied – 13.21 the moment when James Warman’s shot from distance looped up off the pads of Damien King before being swatted down over the line by the high stick of Michal Oravec. The Slovak’s stick was undoubtedly above the crossbar but the officials allowed the strike making it 3-1. Callum Best was then unlucky not to cut further into the deficit with an effort from close left that struck the foot of the far post before bouncing to safety leaving the hosts two up with 20 minutes gone.
The second period began in a nightmare fashion for the Dynamos – netminder Damien King twisting awkwardly as he attempted to make a save causing a muscle pull or tear that left him unable to continue. James Richardson stepped in for just his second NIHL berth, and what was likely to be a baptism of fire, and started well with by turning away Adam Wood’s shot from point blank range. However penalty trouble saw him beaten by a Streatham powerplay at 26.58 – Wood’s effort from the slot finding the post before Sean Scarbrough followed up to make it 3-2. At 31.57 the Mos then suffered yet more injury woe – Callum Best going in for a hit on Tommy Ralph that resulted in a knee-on-knee collision and saw the home defenceman out of the remainder of the game whilst Best went unpunished. The resilient Mos fought on though and, after Richardson got a well placed shoulder behind a Steve Fisher drive, they tallied their fourth to lead 4-2. At 35.27 Adam Rehak’s shot from the high slot was turned away by Euan King but Nicky Lewis followed up close right for his second of the night. That extra edge would last less than two minutes – Streatham answering at 37.13 as Michal Oravec found Best in front from behind the net and Best tucked a shot under the pads of Richardson to make it 4-3 at the break.
In the final frame ill-discipline continued to be the undoing of the visitors and when Christopher Wiggins sat for tripping the Dynamos tallied to extend their lead to 5-3. At 42.15 Ashley Jackson found Adam Rehak left of the target and he stick handled around the attempted interception of Euan King before sweeping over the line on the backhand. Further injury trouble then threatened to derail the hosts as Wiggins bundled Jarvis Mewett onto netminder James Richardson causing him to fall awkwardly and damage his leg. With no further goalie options available Richardson bravely packed his pad with ice and played on barely able to move his right knee. Thankfully the Mos added to their lead at 49.28 – Arran Strawson firing into the pads from distance before Rehak collected the rebound, feigned a shot and fed Nicky Lewis at the back post who completed his hat-trick. The lack of defence seemingly enraged Streatham’s goalie Euan King who then removed himself from the tie placing Stefan Nubert between the sticks. At 52.34 Nubert watched on as the Redhawks pulled one back – Michal Oravec shooting past Richardson on his crocked side from the right circle whilst Elliott Dewey sat a hooking minor. Any comeback hopes were quashed instantly though as the Dynamos tallied the last of the night at 53.44 – Rehak’s shot from the left boards being tipped at the near post by Haydn Wootton to seal the 7-4 Southern Cup win.
So it was a euphoric victory for the Mos who overcame a hat-trick of injury woes to return to winning ways with a spirited display. Nicky Lewis led from the front with a hat-trick but even he would not have denied netminder James Richardson his man of the match honours with the shot stopper saving numerous attempts on goal and playing through the pain barrier to stand between the pipes. Defenceman James Warman took the spoils for a Streatham side who will reflect on a largely scrappy display and an opportunity missed.
Written by Paul Bennett.