Frankie Harvey netted his first two goals for the Invicta Dynamos on Saturday night as his efforts, alongside strikes from Juraj Huska (2), Andy Smith, Anthony Leone, Steve Osman and Harrison Lillis, helped the team overcome the Oxford City Stars 8-3 in the NIHL South Division 1 at Oxpens Road.
A squad of 15 made the journey to Oxford for the Dynamos but a lack of numbers failed to prevent the road team making the perfect start as they found the net in the opening few minutes for the early breakthrough. A bench minor to the Stars saw the Mos enjoy the man advantage and Steve Osman made it count at 01.59 as he dispatched beyond James Skaife following a pass from Callum Fowler. At 05.24 it was then 2-0 – good build-up play involving Fowler, Frankie Harvey and Andy Smith saw the Dynamos carve their way through the Oxford rear guard and Smith found twine to double his side’s advantage. The visitors were then looking extremely comfortable at 08.19 – Adam McNicoll and Nicky Lewis exchanging passes before Harrison Lillis fired beyond the reach of James Skaife for his first of the season. However, just as the Stars looked to be disappearing from the tie, the hosts hit back at 09.25 – Joshua Oliver collecting a puck that seemed to deflect back in to play off of the scoreboard before converting beyond Chris Douglas for 3-1. Neither teams were then able to add to their tallies leaving the Mos the happier with twenty minutes played and a two goal cushion under their belts.
In the second period a tripping minor to Anthony Leone saw Oxford begin the frame on the powerplay and they struck early to cut their deficit to one – James Pentecost finding Darren Elliott in space and the experienced forward steering home at 20.53 to make it 3-2. However the Dynamos quickly regained their grip on the tie by responding at 21.36 – the second line trio of Leone, Steve Osman and Juraj Huska continuing their good form with the Slovak beating James Skaife to restore the two goal edge. At 25.04 that advantage would become three – Elliott Dewey and Andy Smith involved in the build-up before Frankie Harvey slotted beyond the netminder for his first in a Mos jersey since his switch from the London Raiders. The Stars managed to claw one back at 28.04 – as Jamie Newton sent James Pentecost through on goal for his team’s third of the night – but their visitors claimed another two before the buzzer for a commanding 7-3 lead. The first of the pair came shorthanded at 31.11 – Callum Fowler watching on as teammate Juraj Huska powered home without help for his second of the evening and a 6-3 edge. The second then followed at 39.25 – captain Anthony Leone stroking beyond the reach of James Skaife after Huska had beaten three to tee him up in the slot.
Having streaked clear in the second period the Dynamos were able to take their foot off of the gas ahead of Sunday’s home clash with the Bracknell Hornets in the third but there was still time for the briefest of tussles between Harrison Lillis and Joe Oliver at 43.35. When play restarted it would then take until 57.39 for the Mos to make one of their 14 attempts on target count – Elliott Dewey claiming his second assist of the night as Frankie Harvey caught sight of net and launched over the line to double his tally for the evening. Harvey’s strike sealed the comfortable 8-3 win for the travelling team and was the icing on the cake for a team that claimed two more points towards their NIHL South Division 1 total.
So it was victory in the league for Kevin Parrish’s side ahead of a stern test at home against the EPL’s Bracknell Bees the following night. The Dynamos simply had too much for the Stars who struggled to stay in the tie despite coming into the clash full of confidence after just their second win of the campaign the weekend before. Man of the match honours were enjoyed by Callum Fowler who claimed two assists in a battling display.