The Invicta Dynamos got back to winning ways on Saturday night as efforts from Jacob Ranson, Joshua Condren and Steve Osman secured a 3-1 win on the road at London Raiders in the NIHL South Division 1.
The Mos made the short journey into London minus a few with Grant Baxter, Bailey Wootton, Damien Welch and Adam McNicoll all unavailable. The first period started with early penalties on the Raiders as Bailey Chittock and Rio Grinell-Parke both made visits to the penalty box in the opening minutes. Even though Invicta didn’t take advantage of either powerplay they did come close as Andrew Henderson, Ondrej Zosiak and Eriks Ozollapa all fired warning shots. It was slightly against the run of play then when London took the lead on 11.54 – Tom Davis cutting in from the left to shoot past Damien King with Michal Oravec claiming the assist. Shortly after netminder Michael Gray would then preserve that edge as he denied Zosiak the equaliser on 14 minutes and the period looked to be closing with the Raiders set to return to the changing room one up. However, with just 14 seconds of the frame remaining, Zosiak picked out Nicky Lewis who fired to the crease for Jacob Ranson to touch home beyond the diving Gray to make it 1-1.
The second period was initially a tight affair until Josh Condren put the Dynamos 2-1 ahead on 23.31. Conor Redmond played the puck into the stick of Condren who shimmied to the left and curled his shot over the shoulder of Michael Gray and into the net to put the visitors in front. London were then down to three skaters for a brief period after Frankie Harvey slashed Damien King from behind and Michal Oravec hooked Josh Condren, but Invicta were unable to capitalise on the two man advantage. The Raiders would then suffer the same fate as the penalties went against the Mos – Nicky Lewis caught holding and Jacob Ranson holding an opponent’s stick but, despite being against two extra skaters for almost two minutes, the Invicta defence and Damien King kept the hosts at bay. Tempers finally flared on 37.52 – Tom Davis deliberately catching Eriks Ozollapa with the butt of his stick with a move that was missed by the officials. The outraged Ozollapa responded with a cross check to Davis seconds later before landing on the Raiders captain – the Latvian getting a match ban and early shower for his moment of retaliation.
With the third period all to play for it was another tense affair. The Dynamos had to defend another 5-on-3 penalty early in the period but nothing was going to beat Damien King with the shot stopper in excellent form. At the other end, home netminder Michael Gray had to be alert to prevent David Oliver scoring what could have been a comical own goal on 45 minutes. Gray was not to be so fortunate soon after – Steve Osman dancing through the Raiders defence with ease and shooting at the nemintder – the puck hitting the goalie and looping up into the net for a shorthanded strike that made it 3-1. King then produced the save of the match in the 51st minute to preserve that lead – forming a star shape to keep a frustrated Marek Nahlik at bay. Despite numerous penalties the Mos then held firm to wrap-up two vital league points.
So it was a return to winning ways for the Mos and it was no surprise that Damien King took the man of the match beers for the visitors – producing a 96.30% save percentage having faced 27 shots and only being defeated once. Tom Davis was the pick of the home performers and took the accolade for London though few in the away camp were impressed by his clash with import Eriks Ozollapa that left the Latvian sitting out Sunday’s home clash with the Oxford City Stars.
Written by Lee Allen.