Goals from Andy Smith, Juraj Huska and Michal Oravec gave the Dynamos the perfect start in their NIHL Southern Playoff Semi-final as they overcame the Milton Keynes Thunder 3-1 on the road in the 1st leg held in Buckinghamshire on Saturday.
The Dynamos travelled to the new home of the Thunder with only two absentees – Bradley Gutridge and Steve Nightingale missing the tie allowing Mark Lee to return to the line-up and deputise for Mark McGill.
The Thunder started the brighter of the two sides in the first period with import Piotr Poziomkowski producing the first save of the game from Mark McGill within the opening minute before Billy Phillips replied with an attempt for the Mos just moments later. A bench penalty on Milton Keynes for too many men was then to prove a costly mistake when the Dynamos took full advantage to score through Andy Smith on 05.51 after good build-up play Michal Oravec and Callum Fowler. The one goal lead gave the visitors some momentum with further efforts coming from Fowler, Arran Strawson and Phillips before Invicta went 2-0 up at 13.36. Strawson won possession in his own half before playing a long pass through to Juraj Huska who dummied a shot, took a deke and then placed the puck under the body of Milton Keynes netminder Damien King.
In the second frame a penalty to Elliott Dewey gifted the Thunder a powerplay – one which would result in a goal as Alex Whyte tallied at the second attempt beyond Mark McGill at 28.36 despite his initial shot being saved by the Scottish netminder. Assists for the goal came courtesy of Ryan Coffey and Piotr Poziomkowski. Having just scored, and now only a one behind, the Thunder took the game to the Dynamos for the remainder of the second period but the defence and Mark McGill stood firm to close out the frame at 2-1.
In the last period Juraj Huska, Nicky Lewis and Anthony Leone all had shots saved by the busy Damien King with both teams knowing in the back of their minds the next goal could be crucial. When it came it was the Dynamos who were celebrating as they found the target at 49.33 through some magic from Michal Oravec. The Mos import received the puck in his own defending zone from Antony Leone before carrying the play the entire distance, beating a few opponents and slipping a shot past King to make it 3-1 to the away side. Mark McGill then had to be on hand to deny Harrison Goode at 51.53 down the other end whilst the Mos also had chances fall to Adam McNicoll and Callum Fowler before the buzzer sounded to close the tie with the score at 3-1.
So it was the ideal road result for the Dynamos who claimed a win against a Milton Keynes outfit that has been much improved in 2014/15 and it was a victory that gave the travelling side an edge ahead of the second leg in Gillingham. Alex Whyte and Andy Smith picked-up the man of the match awards ahead of the showdown at the Silver Blades the following night.
Written by Lee Allen.