It was defeat for the Invicta Dynamos on Saturday night despite a hat-trick from Slovak Juraj Huska as the Mos ran their opponents close before going down 6-3 to the Wightlink Raiders on the Isle of Wight in the NIHL South Division 1.
The Dynamos lined-up without the services of Mark Lee, Grant Baxter, Frankie Harvey and Adam McNicoll allowing Harrison Lillis more ice time as he stepped-up to partner Arran Strawson in defence. Meanwhile their opponents Wightlink were at full strength, which included a return for import Jaroslav Cesky after his recent suspension.
With under a minute on the clock Dynamos netminder Mark McGill was called upon to save from Damon Larter and prevent the hosts taking an early lead. Play then quickly switched to the other end of the ice with Michal Oravec testing Matt Colclough but he too came out on top. The deadlock would be broken within moments though – a scramble in front of McGill producing the first goal of the game as Ryan Webb had a shot blocked and Damon Larter picked up the rebound to score at 02.59. Invicta attempted to answer as they had a man advantage on six minutes, after Carl Graham checked Michal Oravec from behind, but the powerplay saw an Arran Strawson shot blocked by Owen Griffiths whilst Callum Fowler rattled the goal frame at 08.09. Further chances then fell to Andy Smith, Callum Fowler and Juraj Huska before Huska finally equalised on 14.16 with a powerful shot that almost burst the net. However, barely 30 seconds after pulling level, the Dynamos fell behind again to a Chris Cooke goal on 14.45 and then further behind on 19.33 to a Craig Tribe effort before player/coach Jeremy Cornish received a ten minute misconduct penalty to end the first period.
The second frame began with Mark McGill saving from Craig Tribe as the Dynamos tried to keep within touching distance of the home side with their current deficit at 3-1. The gap was then reduced to a single goal on 28.58 – Peter Beerling passing the puck out of defence to Callum Fowler and the pacey forward finding Juraj Huska at an angle to shoot past Matt Colclough. Down the other end McGill showed top form again to save from Corey Watkins and Richard Facey before also denying Craig Tribe later in the frame. Despite excessive pressure on McGill at times, the score remained 3-2 to the hosts when the buzzer sounded to end the second period.
The crucial third frame began with the Dynamos starting the better – Callum Fowler and Andy Smith combining to set-up Juraj Huska for his hat-trick at 45.26. Shortly afterwards Matt Colclough then saved well from Michal Oravec as it looked increasingly likely that the Dynamos would sneak a lead. However Owen Griffiths broke the Mos’ hearts when he scored following a good through-pass by Jeremy Cornish to light the lamp at 50.05. He then grabbed a second goal on 57.53 just as he team began a powerplay with Craig Tribe returning to the action whilst Peter Beerling still sat for delay of the game. With the score at 5-3, Dynamos Head Coach Kevin Parrish pulled netminder Mark McGill in with just over a minute to go but, despite good pressure from his side, Wightlink grabbed a sixth on 59:18 when Corey Watkins found the unguarded goal.
So it was a 6-3 defeat for the shortbenched Dynamos who were in contention until the latter stages of the closing frame but were ultimately undone late on. Man of the match awards went to Invicta’s Juraj Huska for his hat-trick whilst Owen Griffiths took the spoils for Wightlink.
Written by Lee Allen