A last gasp Juraj Huska goal snatched victory for the Dynamos in Berkshire on Sunday night as the Slovak drilled home from distance at 58.58 to seal a frantic 7-6 road win over the Bracknell Hornets and complete a four point weekend.
The Dynamos had made a quick start on home ice against the Oxford City Stars the night before and they repeated that trick on the road on Sunday by notching the opener inside five minutes. A high sticks minor to Jake Pitchley left the Hornets short a man and the visitors made it count – the first line of Juraj Huska, Andy Smith and Callum Fowler unlocking Bracknell’s rear guard and Fowler the man to fire home at 04.34. However it was then the Mos who fell foul of the referee’s whistle for the remainder of the frame as they tallied four minor penalties and one major – Steve Osman given his marching orders for an accidental high stick collision that drew blood. The Hornets inevitably made their advantage count and at 16.31 a powerplay strike drew them level – Peter Jasik and Jake Pitchley involved in the build-up before Carl Thompson beat Chris Douglas for 1-1.
In the second period Bracknell built on their late first frame momentum and were in front as early as 21.12 – Jake Pitchley again at the heart of a move that ended with Valdemar Pelikovsky picking out Daniel Hughes for the go-ahead goal. It was a positive start for the hosts but one that fired the visitors into action – the Dynamos commanding the remaining 18 minutes and notching four for a seemingly unassailable 5-2 lead. The first of the quartet came at 24.18 – Peter Jasik sitting in the box on a hooking penalty as his teammates shipped an equaliser courtesy of work from Callum Fowler and a finish from Andy Smith. At 27.25 it was then 3-2 – Fowler, Huska and Smith all combining again as Smith beat David Wride for a second time for his sixth strike in a remarkable weekend. By now the Dynamos were commanding and when Danny Ingoldsby went to the box for the Hornets for a two minute break on an elbows call the visitors added another – the clock stopping at 33.32 as Nicky Lewis opened his account for 2014/15 with a fine finish. Just moments later, at 35.55, the final strike of the period followed – this time Callum Fowler doing it all on his own with a mazy skate that beat two and a finish that left the netminder chasing shadows for 5-2.
After a spectacular second period the Dynamos were guilty of moving down the gears in the third and Bracknell took advantage to cut the deficit to 5-3 at 44.30 – Carl Thompson claiming his second of the evening to give the Hornets hope. Hope then turned to momentum at 48.20 as the Berkshire outfit moved to within one – Thompson and Joshua Smith involved in the build-up play before Daniel Rose fired beyond the grasp of Chris Douglas for 5-4. Head Coach Kevin Parrish called a timeout for the Dynamos but the hosts were now relentless and finally grabbed the seemingly inevitable equaliser at 51.33. Daniel Rose was again the man to fire the puck over the line to send the home bench into raptures. If the Bracknell side were happy at 5-5 they were then delirious come 53.33 as Valdemar Pelikovsky found Jake Pitchley and he set up Michael Plenty for an unlikely go-ahead goal that made it 6-5. However the remarkable turnaround would be undone within 60 seconds as the Dynamos finally stopped the rot – the clock showing 54.33 as Arran Strawson and Anthony Leone claimed assists when Callum Fowler converted to complete his hat-trick. Fowler’s drive ensured a tense finale but the decider would follow as late as 58.58 and it was the visitors who struck gold to secure the two league points. Arran Strawson set Juraj Huska on his way and the Slovak thumped beyond David Wride from a seemingly ridiculous distance to complete a frantic 7-6 victory.
So it was a win snatched from the jaws of defeat taken from a topsy-turvy encounter that left everyone following poised on the edge of their seat gnawing at their nails. The Dynamos undoubtedly have much to work on over the coming weeks but four points from four in the first two fixtures will still have the Gillingham side content with their early work.