Two goals from Adam McNicoll and further efforts from Jacob Ranson and Steve Osman saw the Invicta Dynamos stay in the hunt for a second place finish as they overcame the Cardiff NIHL Devils 4-2 on the road on Saturday.
Despite missing Callum Fowler, Grant Baxter and the two Wootton twins, Invicta came out of the traps flying and, on just 44 seconds, Eriks Ozollapa and Steve Osman played in Adam McNicoll who roofed a shot into the corner of Michael Crisp’s net for 1-0. Giacomo Raffaelli could have equalised for the Devils within minutes but Damien King was showing the form of the previous weekend to prevent the Cardiff man from scoring. His stop would prove even more valuable on the ten minute mark as the Dynamos doubled their lead – Jacob Ranson prodding the puck beyond Crisp unassisted for 2-0. Osman and Ozollapa then combined again on 17 minutes – eventually teeing-up Adam McNicoll at the far post to claim his second of the night and a 3-0 lead for the travelling side. As the first period edged to a close Joe Morris issued an invitation to Bailey Wootton to drop the gloves leading to the Mos forward throwing the majority of the punches and claiming the takedown for an easy win.
A scrappy second period would only see 16 shots on goal between both sides – however Cardiff dashed any hopes of an Invicta shutout on 27.43 with Tamas Elias dribbling through the Dynamos defence and rounding Damien King for a great individual goal that cut the deficit to 3-1. Adam McNicoll then turned from goal scorer to goal provider on 38 minutes – supplying Steve Osman who notched the fourth Invicta goal to restore a three goal lead. With Invicta in a comfortable position, red mist from Eriks Ozollapa on 39 minutes for roughing led to the Latvian receiving a 5+ match penalty – and a suspension that’s likely to roll into the play-offs.
The final period started with the Dynamos successfully defending the five minute powerplay from the Ozollapa incident however strong defending during that penalty kill was undone as soon as it was over. In the 46th minute Cardiff, now minus a man themselves, grabbed a shorthanded goal from Jamie Hayes to make it 2-4. Arran Strawson hit the Cardiff goal frame a few minutes later from the blue line but neither team added to the scoring and the Dynamos were able to leave the Welsh capital for the last time in 2015/16 with a victory by two goals.
Post-game Adam McNicoll received the man of the match award for his two goals and one assist with the Dynamos now facing one more league game knowing that they still had a chance for second spot.
Written by Lee Allen.