Juraj Huska hit his 100th goal for the Invicta Dynamos on Sunday night to help his side complete a 7-2 victory against the Solent Devils – their 12th in succession in the NIHL South Division 1 – with two more points keeping the Mos top of the league table.
The Dynamos were minus both Billy and Charlie Phillips, Andy Smith, Grant Baxter, Steve Osman and netminder Aaron Craft coming into the game but they would still outnumber their guests – the Devils arriving with a squad of just 14. Nevertheless the plucky visitors had the best of the opening chances – Andrew Magee firing wide on the turn whilst on his own in front of goal. At the opposite end Juraj Huska found his attempt to break the deadlock frustrated by the frame of the target before the visitors found twine at 09.18 – Joshua Abbott trapping a blue line drive in front of net with one touch and then flicking through the 5-hole of Mark Lee from right in front with another to make it 1-0. Their time in front would be short-lived – 15.01 the moment when Callum Fowler’s drive from the right circle rebounded off of the arm of netminder Christian Cole to a waiting Michal Oravec close left – the Slovak turning in the rebound to tie it up at 1-1.
After a sluggish opening period the Mos had little choice but to up the ante in the second and they reaped immediate rewards – the clock stopping at 21.52 when Ashley Jackson seized possession along the left boards, shaped for a pass to the middle before driving at net and beating Christian Cole with some quick stick work to make it 2-1. At 26.55 the hosts then had a third – Juraj Huska and Anthony Leone escaping up the ice on a 2-on-1 and the Slovak making no mistake by sweeping his captain’s centring pass over the line, off of the near post from close left for the two goal cushion. Huska’s strike was the forward’s 100th for the Mos – a landmark he has reached in just 80 appearances in a Dynamos jersey over one and a half seasons in Gillingham. At 28.28 his team then added another – Harrison Lillis sending Ashley Jackson speeding down the right channel with only the goalie to beat and the field hockey star showing he has the hands on the ice as well with a high sweep over the shoulder of Christian Cole from close right for 4-1. It was a cushion that would hold until the end of the frame with the hosts now firmly in command and just 20 minutes separating them from victory.
The final period began with a seemingly unlikely fight – jostling for position in front of net ending with Christopher Beal and Anthony Leone coming to blows albeit very briefly. As Christian Cole dived to freeze the puck, Beal sent a high shove in the direction of Leone who responded with punches of his own. A square hit to the jaw saw Beal ice bound in seconds and the pair were each given 2+2 for roughing – Leone also on the receiving end of a misconduct that put him out of the game. When the action restarted George Norcliffe hit the post for Solent before the hosts then extended their lead further at 49.56. Callum Fowler’s superb threaded pass sent Michal Oravec on the breakaway and the import forward netted a carbon copy of his Chelmsford finish the week before – jinking left onto his backhand and flicking high into the top near corner for 5-1. The Devils responded immediately though – the clock stopping at 50.43 as Alexander Stockford lashed through the 5-hole of Mark Lee from the right circle to cut the deficit to 5-2. Stockford’s strike was to be the middle of a goal frenzy as the Dynamos then added two more in the following minutes to complete the 7-2 victory. The first of the pair came at 52.06 – Nicky Lewis grounding Christian Cole on the left side of net, skipping across the crease and roofing in over the forlorn netminder from close right for his side’s sixth. The last followed at 53.38 – Callum Fowler’s long diagonal from the blue line allowing the on-rushing Juraj Huska to turn in at the back post for his 101st in a Mos jersey.
So it was a routine win in the end for the Dynamos but one where, with seven goals scored, two more points claimed and twelve consecutive league victories completed, Head Coach Kevin Parrish can confidently claim job done. His side have played and will play better hockey but a shortbenched Solent had little answer when the hosts went through the gears despite their valiant efforts. Man of the match awards went to George Norcliffe of the Devils and Ashley Jackson of the Mos.