A Bailey Wootton double and a goal from Steve Osman were not enough to prevent the Invicta Dynamos slipping to a narrow 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Oxford City Stars in a feisty battle at Oxpens Road on Sunday.
The Dynamos welcomed back the suspended duo of Mason Webster and Harrison Lillis to give them 13 skaters for the trip to Oxfordshire.
The first period was a fast paced affair with both netminders earning plaudits. The Stars’ Alan Green, forever a menace when he faces the Mos, had John Dibble busy in the Dynamos goal within the opening minutes. Both teams then went close within a few seconds of each other not long after – Adam McNicoll seeing his blue line slapshot saved by Tom Annetts which had the Stars racing forward at the opposite end where Dibble had to be quick to deny dangerman Jaroslav Cesky. Annetts would go on to prevent Scott Bailey and Adam Rehak in quick succession with the import demonstrating he would be a danger all night to the home defence. A Cesky tripping penalty then gave the Dynamos a man advantage on the powerplay and, although Taylor Wootton and McNicoll would register shots, the Mos failed to take advantage –the Stars also going close on the shorthand. The hosts finally opened the scoring on 17.14 – Dax Hedges beating Dibble to light the lamp with assists going the way of Hallam Wilson and Michael Whillock. Cesky would again call the netminder into action shortly before the buzzer but he was unable to double his team’s lead and the side’s returned to the changing rooms separated by a goal.
The second period had the fans enjoying 5 goals. The Mos came out of the blocks flying and were soon rewarded with an equalising strike through Steve Osman on 22.45 which came from great build-up play involving Bailey Wootton and Scott Bailey. Just over a minute later the visitors then sneaked ahead – Bailey Wootton continuing his good form by converting past Tom Annetts for 1-2 on 23.54 after Osman and Mason Webster linked-up to play the forward in for his goal. With the Stars looking shocked a timeout was called straight after but the coach’s talk came to nothing with the Mos tallying again on 24.49 – Webster putting the travelling side two goals ahead with Osman assisting again. Despite the two goal deficit Alan Green was still being a constant threat for the Dynamos D-men and when he beat Harrison Lillis on 27.37 he raced clear with only Dibble to beat and made no mistake to peg the score back to 2-3. A Bailey Wootton roughing penalty was successfully defended near the halfway mark but only for the Mos to concede straight after returning to full strength – Matt Jordan made no mistake on 29.50 when he beat the goalie to restore parity at 3-3. Once again both netminders were busy as the period played out to set-up a tight final period.
The Stars started the brighter in the 3rd frame and produced their 4th goal of the night courtesy of Dominic Hopkins on 40.53 – Jaroslav Cesky and Ben Paynter assisting. Adam Rehak came close to cancelling the advantage whilst shorthanded in the 43rd minute as Bailey Wootton was serving a cross checking penalty but Tom Annetts preserved his team’s lead. A brief coming together between Jake Florey and Mason Webster in the 46th minute was separated by the officials but it was a sign of what was to come later in the game. With Alan Green serving a slashing penalty on 46.22 the Mos had the opportunity to claw a goal back but instead conceded to a Jesse Lye goal on 48.22 to trail 5-3. Tempers continued to boil – Adam Rehak’s hit on Josh Oliver was avenged by Annetts in quick succession. A few minutes later Rehak and Oliver then came to blows – the Dynamos import securing a convincing win. With the game now into the final minute there was still time to squeeze in three more fights – Mason Webster and Dax Hedges trading punches by the dozen to get all the fans in the arena on their feet. Seconds after Webster and Hedges were put in the penalty box Bailey Wootton and Ben Paynter traded blows from the resulting face-off as did Harrison Lillis and Michael Whillock. Referee William Hewitt giving all players 2+2 minutes for roughing, with Webster getting an extra 10 minutes for misconduct.
So it was a defeat on the road for the Dynamos despite outshooting the Stars by 33 to 31 shots. Bailey Wootton claimed the man of the match award for the visitors for his two goals and one assist – Dominic Hopkins was also the recipient of beers for his single goal and assist for the Stars.
Written by Lee Allen.