A hat-trick from Brandon Webster and further goals from Juraj Huska, Anthony Leone and Ashley Jackson saw a shortbenched Invicta Dynamos bring an end to a frustrating run of form with a road win against the Milton Keynes Thunder on Saturday.
The Dynamos saw a shortbench shortened further as it was revealed Tomas Banovsky sustained a hand injury the previous weekend that will now see him sit out two weeks leaving a squad of just 13. The Thunder iced a team of 18. Ben Clements started for the visitors whilst 16 year old Vincent Graziano was his opposite number.
The opening period saw both sides have chances but neither were able to light the lamp with each netminder making saves to keep the score at 0-0.
In the second period the goals then came quickly – the first at 21.28 as Brandon Webster squeezed a shot through traffic and beyond Vincent Graziano from the inside edge of the left circle for the 1-0 lead. Harrison Lillis and Ashley Jackson claimed the assists. The Thunder hit back quickly though – at 26.30 they made the most of an interference penalty on Henry Aiken as Alexander Whyte beat Ben Clements from tight right to make it 1-1 on the powerplay.
Despite the setback the visitors were now proving the more dangerous in front of net and they added two more before the buzzer to carry a 3-1 lead into the break. The first of the pair came at 32.54 – Ashley Jackson finding Juraj Huska between the circles and the Slovak lashing home beyond Vincent Graziano to retake the lead. The second followed at 39.48 – Anthony Leone going on a mazy solo skate up the ice, skipping left around his marker and then sending a wrist shot low into the bottom far corner for the two goal cushion.
In the final period the Thunder struck twice in the opening nine minutes to restore parity. At 46.40 – a too many men penalty allowed the hosts space for Alex Whyte to force home from right in front after being found by Tom Carlon. Whyte then completed his hat-trick at 48.11 – Carlon’s shot given up for the rebound and Whyte fastest to react right in front to tie the game at 3-3.
The Mos gave up another penalty for too many men immediately after and the game looked to be getting away from them but the visitors regrouped, killed the penalty and then went back on the attack. At 50.38 they secured their reward – Brandon Webster claiming his second of the night with an excellent goal that saw him skate down the right channel, skip inside beyond the attempted diving interception of the defenceman and firing in high over the netminder for 4-3. At 51.56 Webster was then charging to goal again but was brought down Henri Kohvakka resulting in a penalty shot. Webster approached from the right, shifted to centre and then rifled beyond Vincent Graziano to complete his hat-trick and make it 5-3.
Towards the end of the game the shortbenched Mos then lost a man – Karl Lennon racing back towards his goal with a Thunder forward and the two becoming entangled before collapsing to the ice. Lennon rose to his feet with a nasty cut to the head that was bleeding heavily and would later require stitches. He was also given a penalty for hooking.
Once the Dynamos had killed the penalty they then added their sixth of the night to all but seal the win. At 58.26 Brandon Webster was again involved as he charged down the right, beating two before centring for Ashley Jackson to fire in from close right. The Thunder replied at 59.39 as the on-rushing Hayden Hagger drilled in a one-timer from the high slot but it would prove nothing more than a consolation with the visitors holding out for their first win in ten.
Man of the match awards went to Ashley Jackson and Alexander Whyte though Brandon Webster was the standout performer on the night.