A Bailey Wootton double and efforts from Adam Rehak and Steve Osman saw a shortbenched Invicta Dynamos overcome the London Raiders for the second time in six days as they won 4-3 at Lee Valley in the NIHL South Division 1.
The Dynamos yet again had to contend with a short roster – starting with only 11 skaters but they were able to include debutant Scott Bailey for the first time. Whilst the Mos missing 10 from their roster the hosts were able to ice a full strength line-up with included ex-Dynamo Jack Lee who recently returned to the Raiders.
A bright start by both teams would see great end to end action with both Euan King and John Dibble making early saves. Then, when Raiders’ Stewart Tait hooked Adam Rehak, the Dynamos had a great opportunity to inflict damage on the home side and, but for a great save by King from Brad Gutridge, the visitors would have drawn first blood. However, slightly against the run of play, the Raiders edged in front on 8.23 – Brandon Miles roofing into the top left corner of Dibble’s net after reading Marek Nahlik’s pass. London were then victims of their own lack of concentration not long after going in front – a bench penalty sat by Thomas Beesley for delay of game and a roughing penalty by Andrew Munroe gave the Mos a 5-on-3 powerplay which Adam Rehak duly took advantage of at 12.12 assisted by Adam McNicoll. A few shots by Taylor Wootton were saved by Euan King with both teams ending the first period tied at 1-1.
The second period was a feisty period with the Dynamos giving as much as they received from the hosts – a prime example was a massive hit by Ondrei Zosiak on Slavomir Buda early on with Slavomir Buda planted against the plexi. A Dynamos attack linked by a one-two between Steve Osman and Bailey Wootton then almost edged the Mos in front before the Raiders went 2-1 ahead on 24.14 – villain from the previous week JJ Pitchley scoring and assisted by Julian Smith. On 26 minutes another big hit by Zosiak on JJ Pitchley floored Pitchley for 3 or 4 minutes – Alan Lack appearing to leave the Raiders bench to get revenge on Zosiak by grabbing his opponent from behind and swinging punches – referee Blaine Evans giving both players two penalty minutes for roughing. Marek Nahlik managed to miss a certain goal for the Raiders on a one-on-one with Dibble which would prove costly on 30.15 – an equalising goal by Bailey Wootton was just reward for his hard work with Steve Osman claiming an assist. With both sides now tied at 2-2 the game was getting very tense and, as a result, Adam Rehak and Alan Lack were soon trading punches on the half hour mark – both getting two minutes. A minute later a pass from Bailey Wootton found Arran Strawson sneaking forward with the D-man showing a deke to his marker and setting-up Osman for 3-2 on 31.32. Rehak was again trading blows on 35 minutes – claiming a convincing win against Julian Smith with both players getting 2+2 for fighting to end a tense second period at 3-2 to the Dynamos.
The final period continued with the same intensity with both sides appreciating that the next goal was vital. Adam Rehak had a snapshot saved early on, but it wouldn’t be long until the Dynamos doubled their lead. On 41.56 Bailey Wootton had a shot saved by King but as the puck came out of the goalmouth area JJ Pitchley converted it past his own netminder for a spectacular own goal – and on his birthday too – sweet revenge for the hit from behind on Tommy Ralph the previous week some might say. With the London Raiders now needing to claw two goals back the John Dibble show continued – firstly with a save from Alan Lack on 45 minutes. A string of minor Dynamos penalties, namely against Jarvis Mewett and Arran Strawson (twice), certainly tested the resolve of Dibble and his teammates and saves from Thomas Beesley and Callum Burnett showed why Dibble is still in excellent form between the pipes. He was however finally beaten on 56.15 on a powerplay –Beesley taking Lack’s pass before stroking the puck beyond the goalie’s left arm for 4-3. A tense final three minutes would see both teams call a timeout and the Raiders pulling netminder Euan King for the final 15 seconds but the Mos defended well to the final buzzer to secure a great team victory despite being numbers down.
Man of the match for the Dynamos went to John Dibble who faced 42 shots (92.86% save percentage) and Brandon Miles picked-up the award for the hosts.
Written by Lee Allen.