4 goals from Adam Rehak saw the Invicta Dynamos set up a playoff semi-final date with Streatham after the Mos overcame the Milton Keynes Thunder 6-5 in Buckinghamshire to win the quarterfinal 9-6 on aggregate.
The Mos travelled without injured captain Callum Fowler who joined all three Woottons, Adam McNicoll and James Richardson on the ‘not icing’ list.
Despite having brought a 3-1 lead into the second leg the Dynamos started the brighter of the two sides – home netminder David Wride saving from both Tommy Ralph and Nicky Lewis early into the game. The in-form Scott Bailey then continued where he had left off the previous night by opening the scoring in the 8th minute – the Thunder were trying to kill a 5-on-3 powerplay following penalties against Hallden Barnes-Garner and Greg Randall but Ralph’s shot from distance was deflected beyond Wride by Bailey to give the visitors a 1-0 lead and the forward his third goal in two games. MK’s Simon Howard (who retired after the game) was the next Thunder player in the penalty box for a slash on Nicky Lewis which gave the Dynamos another spell with the man advantage – they made the most of the opportunity again courtesy of a goal from Adam Rehak who shot from the left attacking face-off circle through a crowd of bodies for 2-0 at 11.08. Ashley Jackson claimed the assist. With a four goal aggregate cushion the Mos were starting to look comfortable but when Brad Gutridge gave away a slashing penalty it gifted the Thunder a glimmer of hope –Jamie Line duly punished the visitors by pulling a goal back after slotting beyond Damien King for 1-2 on the night leaving the first frame ending 5-2 on aggregate in favour of the away side.
The second period was a big one for MK Thunder to try and win but it was the Dynamos who started the better with Adam Rehak scoring on 25.31 for a 3-1 lead assisted by Ashley Jackson and Mason Webster. Five minutes later a bizarre blunder by Nidal Phillips let in Rehak for his hat-trick in the 30th minute – the Czech deking Wride to turn the netminder inside out before tapping into an empty net. MK forward Alex Whyte sneaked past his marker in the 37th minute to tap past Damien King for 4-2 only for Rehak to grab his 4th of the evening when he latched onto another loose puck before tricking Wride with quick hands and tapping over the line for a shorthanded effort. By the end of the period the visitors were leading 2-5 on the night and 3-8 on aggregate.
In the final frame the home side threw everything they could at the Dynamos backline and with the Mos defending an Arran Strawson holding penalty they couldn’t keep Jakub Klima from scoring a soft goal in the 41st minute to bring the evening score back to 3-5. A couple of minutes later Luke Reynolds and Jamie Line combined to find Ross Bowers in space and the forward fired beyond King for 4-5. The Thunder continued to press and King was on alert to deny Jamie Line and Tom Mboya but his resolve was beaten once more in the 52nd minute when Bowers grabbed his second of the night unassisted to bring the scoreline back to 5-5 (6-8 on aggregate in favour of the Mos). Throwing everything including the kitchen sink was not enough through as the Dynamos broke up the other end to grab a late winner in the 59th minute through Ashley Jackson on a powerplay – Steve Osman and Mason Webster assisting. Webster was to see more action 4 seconds to the end, roughing with Simon Howard who went into a late challenge on Damien King to create a bunching of players.
So it was the Dynamos who came away with a 6-5 win and aggregate victory of 9-6. Man of the match awards went to the Mos’ Scott Bailey and the Thunder’s Simon Howard.
Written by Lee Allen.