A first win of the season slipped out of the hands of the Invicta Dynamos on Sunday night despite a gargantuan effort as the Swindon Wildcats scored two goals in the final period to take a 2-1 victory from Planet Ice, Gillingham.
The Dynamos were missing Edmund Piacka after his departure from the club during the week and Owen Dell, who was in Switzerland for the roller hockey European Championships. The Wildcats were without Adam Harding, Floyd Taylor, Michael Crisp and Toms Rutkis.
After a one minute silence for Remembrance Day, Conor Morris started in net for the Dynamos while Remy Marr started for the Wildcats.
A physical start to the game saw Louis Colvin steal the puck from Jan Kostal and skate into the Wildcats zone. Ryan Giles then tested Marr with a wrist shot but the netminder caught it.
Wildcats gained possession of the puck until Arran Strawson met with Edgar Bebris and the two collided. Strawson got up and then defended the goal by sliding to knock away the puck while taking out Bebris and another Wildcat in the process.
Both teams scrambled for a goal. The Dynamos got the puck in front of the Swindon net, Anthony Leone took a shot at Marr which bounced off his pads and Matt Foord smacked the puck on the rebound which sent it behind Marr and into the net giving the Dynamos the lead 1-0. The atmosphere of the rink exploded as the fans celebrated the goal.
The Wildcats fought back but Morris saved each of their 19 opening frame shots. The end of the first period saw the Dynamos leading 1-0. The fans cheered as for the first time this season the Dynamos led the game at the end of the period.
The second period started with a wrist shot from Colvin which Marr saved. The first penalty of the game then came on Callum Best who received two minutes for holding. The Dynamos were uneasy during the penalty kill and remained in their zone the entire two minutes but managed to kill the spell. Morris made a massive glove save as he grabbed the puck out of the air as the oncoming Wildcat tried to score.
Best was called for another two minute penalty soon after, this time for interference. The Dynamos were not short-handed for long as Wildcats Chris Jones received a pair for tripping. The 4 on 4 play saw the Wildcats dominate but the Dynamos killed their penalty. Maxim Birbraer gave the hosts a 5 on 3 chance as he sat two minutes for cross checking however nothing was gained and the Mos were back to a 4 on 4 with Harrison Lillis was called for charging.
Morris was barged by Sam Bullas which caused the Dynamos net to be thrown off. After a small shove from Morris on Bullas the game continued. The goalie saved an incoming shot from Bullas with his mask but the netminder shook off the shot and continued. The buzzer marked the end of the second period and the Dynamos still had the lead 1-0.
Joe Allen with a powerful wrist shot started the third period. The game remained physical as Lillis hip checked Eliot Randall into the boards. Jake Steadman was left alone with Marr and took the shot but the netminder saved.
Swindon then finally put themselves on the scoreboard as Loris Taylor tipped the puck over Morris’ pad. The score 1-1.
Leone and Bullas collided in the Wildcats zone and both parties ended up on the ice. Both teams were more physical in the last 10 minutes of the third as players competed for the late winner. Morris performed a miracle save as he stopped the puck with his pads, then by sliding on his side and finally covered with his glove.
Swindon received a penalty shot late on with Ondrej Zosiak called for interference as the Wildcats player tripped over the defenceman’s stick. Chris Jones took the penalty and managed to get it past Morris, which gave them the lead 2-1 with only four minutes remaining of the game.
Dynamos battled in the Wildcats zone with shots from Leone, Foord and Andy Munroe but none managed to find the back of the net. Dynamos played and fought as a team and the fans recognised their efforts with chants and cheers until the very end. The win slipped out of their fingers as Swindon won the game with their last gasp penalty shot.
Invicta: Matt Foord 1+0, Anthony Leone 0+1, Louis Colvin 0+1.
Swindon: Loris Taylor 1+0, Eliot Randall 0+1, Chris Jones 1+0 (Penalty shot)
Written by Hannah Lawrence.