A 13 man Invicta Dynamos valiantly battled back from 4-2 down to tie 4-4 on the road against the Streatham Redskins on Saturday night and seal their spot at the summit of their NIHL Southern Cup group.
The Mos travelled to South London without injured pair Grant Baxter and Charlie Phillips whilst Harrison Lillis was also unavailable and their limited options looked to cost them early on in the opening frame as the hosts netted first. At 09.57 Callum Best found American Sean Scarbrough speeding to the slot and the ever dangerous import fired beyond Chris Douglas to make it 1-0. The Mos would answer in an instant though – the clock stopping at just 10.14 as Callum Fowler escaped through one-on-one before some quick stick work deceived Will Sanderson and a well placed shot dispatched the puck over the line. The strike saw Streatham surge forward eager to regain their advantage and they made their efforts count five minutes from the buzzer – Joe Allen speeding down the left channel before cutting inside the Dynamos defence and sending a wrist shot over the reach of Douglas for 2-1. However once again they were unable to maintain an edge and the Mos responded just before the break – Steve Osman finding Billy Phillips back towards the blue line and the defenceman thundering home from distance to leave the score at 2-2.
After an even opening exchange in the first, the second period saw the Redskins go out in search of the lead and Chris Douglas had to be on top form to make a great double stop five minutes after the restart. He would be beaten at 27.18 though – the Mos failing to clear their own zone and import Michal Oravec seizing the opportunity with a venomous slapshot from the slot that Douglas was powerless to deny. Tempers then almost flared as Juraj Huska and Brandon Miles briefly tangled but the sides maintained their composure allowing Streatham to return to the changing rooms 3-2 to the good.
In the final period the hosts had a one goal lead to protect but their cause took an early blow when playmaker Callum Best picked up a ten minute misconduct penalty removing him from half of the frame. Despite this the Redskins added to their lead on the powerplay – Billy Phillips watching on from the box as Steve Fisher and Adam Mahoney combined before Louis Lockwood fired beyond Chris Douglas for the two goal cushion at 44.06. The Dynamos maintained their belief though and at 46.01 they hit back to unnerve the home side – a perfectly weighted pass from Steve Osman out on the right wing found Juraj Huska racing through and the Slovak slid the puck under the pads of Will Sanderson from close range for 4-3. To cause further unease amongst the Redskins captain Joe Johnston was then given a misconduct penalty thirteen minutes from time and this resulted in the Mos upping the pressure in search of a leveller. It would come at 54.50 – Will Sanderson making a mess of catching the play allowing the ever dangerous Juraj Huska to fortuitously fire in through a sea of bodies after a frantic goalmouth scramble. The dying moments then saw both sides go close to claiming a winner but it ended 4-4 with the Mos pleased with their comeback given their absentees.
So it was a tie in South London and one that ensured the Dynamos would finish top of the pile in their NIHL Southern Cup Group leaving them best placed to make the final. Man of the match awards went to Andy Smith of the visitors whilst Joe Allen took the accolade for the Redskins.