The Invicta Dynamos fell to their first league defeat of 2015/16 as the Streatham Redskins secured a comfortable 5-0 win at the SilverBlades in the NIHL South Division 1 on Sunday night.
Coming into the game the Mos were minus Adam McNicoll, Joshua Condren and newly signed netminder Damien King but youngsters Haydn and Taylor Wootton stepped up from the Guildford under 18s to claim their home debuts.
It was to be a slow start to the opening frame – Joe Johnston having the best chance from close right but catching the inner leg of Steve Nightingale with his shot to the 5-hole and then watching as the puck deflected wide of the far post. Midway through, the tie then heated up – Ondrej Zosiak landing a solid check to Chris Wiggins who himself then landed on the ice before spending the remainder of the frame looking for retribution. His team responded perfectly at 13.00 – Joe Allen finding Kamil Kinkor behind the net and the import catching Nightingale unaware with a wraparound that opened the scoring at 1-0. The visitors would have a pair just over a minute later – the clock stopping at 14.06 as Steve Fisher skipped inside the challenge of Andy Henderson and dispatched a wrist shot home off of the left upright to double his side’s edge. After a tepid start, tempers then flared at the finale – Wiggins landing a needless hit on Jacob Ranson from behind well after the whistle prompting a push from Arran Strawson in response. The Streatham man answered with punches before Strawson could drop his gloves and secured an easy fight win – the Invicta man ill prepared for the scrap and forced to drop to the ice.
In the second frame the Mos mustered a couple of early chances through import Eriks Ozollapa but the Latvian fired straight down the gut of David Wride from the right circle before missing the far post with a backhand sweep from tight right moments later. It was a scrappy affair where neither team were creating much in the way of opportunities and once again life was injected into the period by Chris Wiggins – the forward finally exacting revenge on Ondrej Zosiak by catching him with a deliberate elbow to the face. The clash left Zosiak grounded and blood on the ice but the officials missed the hit – referee Evans instead penalising the home bench with a minor when faced with their anger. Not content with escaping punishment for one questionable check, Wiggins then secured an early exit with a second soon after – a hit from behind flooring Andy Henderson and Ozollapa charging in for retribution. The forward wrestled with the much bigger Wiggins briefly before falling to the ice allowing the Streatham man to soak up the boos and play up to the home crowd as he made his way to the box. It would be his final action of the evening – 2+10 for checking from behind, 2+2 for roughing and another 10 for unsporting conduct seeing him take the walk of shame back to the changing room. Ozollapa took 2+2 and a misconduct keeping him off the ice for 14 minutes. When the action restarted Streatham had a goal washed out with the puck crossing the line after the whistle at 36.42 but they added a third at 37.33 regardless – from the right circle Adam Wood finding Joe Johnston unmarked close left and he steered around Steve Nightingale with quick hands and converted for 3-0.
In the final period the Mos should have answered immediately – Conor Redmond finding Nicky Lewis alone in the slot from behind the net but the home captain firing a one-timer straight into the pads of David Wride. In truth it was a rare clear cut chance for the hosts – Streatham the stronger in attack and making it count again at 44.14 – Jarvis Mewett giving the puck away to Adam Wood who had the freedom to charge at net and lash beyond Steve Nightingale for 4-0. Joe Allen then nearly added a fifth as he sped away down the right but his drive to the 5-hole saw the puck trapped between the legs of Nightingale who stopped brilliantly. The Dynamos’ miserable night in front of net was then compounded when they failed to make the most of five minor penalties on the Redskins in quick succession including two spells of 5-on-3. To rub salt into their wounds Streatham then finished off the night with a fifth when the numbers finally evened up – Nicky Chinn’s diagonal from the left finding Steve Fisher rushing to net the other side of the target and he launched into the far corner at 57.15 to seal the emphatic 5-0 victory.
So it was defeat for the Dynamos and a duck at home as the hosts toiled in front of goal but rarely troubled the Streatham netminder allowing him to leave Gillingham with a shutout. The antics of the visiting Chris Wiggins are sure to be debated long after the final buzzer and left a sour taste but cannot be allowed to overshadow the ground the Mos now need to make up should they wish to challenge later on in the season. Man of the match honours went to James Warman of Streatham whilst Andy Henderson took the spoils for Invicta.