An Andy Smith hat-trick provided the perfect response to Saturday’s home defeat for Kevin Parrish’s Invicta Dynamos as they came away from Solent with a much needed 7-3 victory over the Devils in the NIHL South Division 1 on Sunday.
Invicta travelled down to the south coast minus Mark Lee, Danny Terry, Callum Fowler and Grant Baxter with Mark McGill starting in the Dynamos goal for the first time following his move south from Dundee. Nicky Lewis paired with Arran Strawson in defence on the first line.
The game was only three minutes old when a scramble in front of Christian Cole’s goal left a loose puck falling to Michal Oravec who gave Invicta the perfect start with the opening strike. With both teams seeing out penalties on Arran Strawson (tripping) and Ralfs Circenis (charging) it was Solent who were then next on the score sheet at 07:56 – George Norcliffe following-up Ralfs Circenis shot to equalise.The hosts then surged ahead despite a brilliant save by Mark McGill on 14:29 to deny Alex Sampford but the puck fell straight to Mitchell Murray who, with his back to goal, spun his marker and shot Solent in front with the scores staying that way to the end of the first period.
In the second, Solent’s Alex Sampford was sent to the penalty box on 21:36 to leave the Devils defending a powerplay against the Dynamos who came out all guns blazing. Their efforts were rewarded on 22:16 with Anthony Leone shooting from a tight angle and Frankie Harvey deflecting the puck past Cole to make it 2-2 – Juraj Huska claiming the second assist.
The Dynamos then had to defend a 3-on-5 following penalties on Arran Strawson and Juraj Huska on the half-hour mark, but Mark McGill and the defence stood firm. Meanwhile Adam McNicoll and Nicky Lewis would swap playing positions for the second and third periods, with the Scot impressing on the backline. Although the Solent rink is tight for space, Arran Strawson then still managed to find Juraj Huska in space on 37:24 with the forward powering a shot past Cole from the blue line to give Invicta a 3-2 lead.That goal rattled Solent and with a second left in the second period, Andy Smith increased the lead to 4-2 with a calm finish beyond Cole with Strawson again claiming an assist.
In the final frame an Arran Strawson clearance was intercepted by Solent import Andrew Campbell on 43:31 and he pulled the scores back to 3-4 in favour of the Dynamos with Mark McGill given little chance to make save. However, on 49:18 Michal Oravec skated past his marker and squared the puck to Andy Smith who made no mistake to increase the score to 3-5 and re-establish the two goal cushion.Invicta’s Jack Lee showed his anger at being called for a check to the head on 49:41 when he hit the plexi in the penalty box with his stick resulting in referee Jurijs Solovjovs giving the young forward a ten minute misconduct penalty.With Solent sensing the opportunity to take advantage of the extra man on the ice they were left short at the back and on 51:28 they were made to pay for it with Invicta gaining a shorthanded goal.Arran Strawson won the puck and fed Michal Oravec who found Andy Smith in the clear on the left hand side and the star forward found the back of the net to claim his hat-trick, Strawson also getting his third assist of the night for his efforts.Anthony Leone then ended the scoring on 58:35 with a lifted shot past Cole to finish the scores on 3-7 and give Invicta much needed points.
Mark McGill had an impressive full debut with a save percentage of 92.50% having faced 40 shots. Man of the match however was given to Andy Smith for his hat-trick.
Written by Lee Allen