Ondrej Zosiak, Steve Osman and Conor Redmond were all on target as the Invicta Dynamos battled to a 3-1 NIHL South Division 1 victory over the Solent Devils in Gillingham on Sunday night.
It was a one game weekend for the Mos as they enjoyed the luxury of a night off on Saturday but the hosts were slow off the mark as a result and made hard work of the opening frame.
Nevertheless, at 03.23 they almost tallied – Joshua Condren tucking a rebound home but the goal being washed out after a falling Eriks Ozollapa took out both shot stopper Samuel Calder and the net behind him. Shortly after Richard Brown tested Damien King with a low drive across the target that the netminder padded wide whilst Steve Osman sent a teasing pass through the crease that just eluded the on-rushing Jacob Ranson. Undoubtedly the best chance of the period then came the way of Ozollapa – the Latvian splitting the Solent defensive pairing to go clean through but firing wide of the left post. Despite having the better of the scoring opportunities the Mos looked to have conceded at 19.21 – George Norcliffe sending a backhand wrist shot at net from close left and wheeling away in celebration as the puck found its way behind Damien King – unfortunately for him it was via the side netting and the score remained 0-0.
In the second frame the Devils came close again – the Dynamos defence spotted miles apart and Alex Murray threading a pass through to George Norcliffe but, one-on-one with Damien King, he couldn’t fire over the netminder who stood tall and diverted to safety. Despite the threat it was down the other end that the opening goal would come – 26.55 the moment when Steve Osman pulled back to Ondrej Zosiak on the blue line and the Slovak launched a lethal low drive through the screen of Jacob Ranson and beyond the pads of Samuel Calder for 1-0. Having scored one, Zosiak then prevented another – the import’s brilliantly timed poke check ending a dangerous 2-on-1 counter by Alex Trendall and Ralfs Circenis. To up the ante, youngster Taylor Wootton then delighted the SilverBlades with a hit on Shaun Rudkin that sent him sprawling – the moment typical of both Wootons who brought plenty of energy to the ice. That energy paid off at 33.01 – Steve Osman robbing Alex Murray in the neutral zone, skipping around Montgomery Gailer in the final third and firing inside the near post from the right circle to make it 2-0. The Devils attempted to muster a reply before the buzzer but Damien King was defiant once more – Mitchell Murray Skating beyond Arran Strawson before a backhand across net that the shot stopper was at full stretch to deny.
In the final period the Dynamos added an early third to settle the clash – Eriks Ozollapa refusing to give up on a loose puck allowing Joshua Condren to dig it out from the left corner and Conor Redmond to rifle in over Samuel Calder from the slot for 3-0 at 43.45. Once again the Devils had chances to answer – Alex Trendall speeding down the right and being stopped by Damien King having looked to fire in high at the near post when the better option was a centring pass to the free Ralfs Circenis. Mitchell Murray was also kept at bay by King but the shutout hopes were extinguished at 50.44 – the Mos shothanded and too static when Richard Facey gathered on the blue line, charged forward and sniped beyond the pads of the goalie from close range for 3-1. Despite their lead being decreased the Dynamos never looked in danger of losing their grasp on the clash and they almost reclaimed the three goal cushion but Arran Strawson’s slapshot bounced clear off of the left post. All that remained then was some last minute petulance – Joshua Condren dribbling a shot into the pads of Samuel Calder after the whilst and Ralfs Circenis over reacting with an invitation to dance. Condren declined with a nod to the scoreboard but Circenis would get his match up at 58.04 – the Solent agitator colliding with the Mos man mid-play and then pushing his opponent’s head to the ice having got back to his feet prompting Condren to chase him down and ditch the gloves. A brief wrestle against the plexi followed before the pair hit the surface – Circenis over stepping the mark with punches after they had landed. Each received 2+2 for roughing and, whilst the visitors pulled their netminder late on, that was the last of the action as the hosts held on for their 3-1 victory.
So it was league win number eight for the Dynamos and a fifth in seven outings as they saw off a stubborn Solent with a solid but unspectacular display. The Mos failed to reach top gear but played as a unit and were good value for the two points that moves them up to fourth in the table with games in hand still. Man of the match awards went to the energetic Taylor Wootton of the hosts whilst Mason Wild secured the spoils for the Devils.
Written by Paul Bennett.