The Invicta Dynamos placed one foot in the NIHL Southern Cup Final after an emphatic 7-2 road win against Streatham in the first leg of the semi-final in South London on Saturday night.
Buoyed by a strong travelling contingent, the Kent side made the short journey into South London to take on a Streatham side that had been more than competitive in recent games under new coach Jeremy Cornish. However, the Dynamos took to the ice with a renewed sense of optimism with defenceman Arran Strawson back from injury after overcoming a back spasm, whilst world hockey star Ashley Jackson made a very welcome return having spent the past six weeks playing hockey in India with the Ranchi Rays.
A fast start was what was required by Kevin Parrish’s side and that’s exactly what they got – racing into a 3-0 lead by the end of the first period. Making full use of a 5 on 3 powerplay, the visitors were in front in the third minute as import Adam Rehak fired home past Matt Colclough, whilst John Dibble was kept busy in the Dynamos goal at the other end. Asserting their authority, the Dynamos doubled their advantage in the 12th minute with Josh Condren scoring from a tight angle after good work from captain Callum Fowler. Like the first goal, the third came on a 5 on 3 with Rehak the scorer, again having followed indiscipline by Streatham, with Dibble proving more than useful in the Dynamos goal to send them in at the break 3-0 in front.
The second period has proved to be the downfall for the Dynamos many times this season and this almost proved to be the case again, but for some wonderful saves from Dibble who time and time again denied the Streatham forwards. Against the run of play, the Dynamos made it 4-0 in the 35th minute with Ashley Jackson poking home from close range after Mason Webster caused chaos in the home side’s goalmouth. Just a minute later and it was 5-0 as Condren grabbed his second of the night, serving Streatham with little choice than to call a time out to reassess the situation. Seconds after the restart and Streatham were on the scoresheet as George Norcliffe poked home after both Callum Best and Webb were denied by Dibble.
Not long into the third period and the Dynamos restored their five goal advantage as Scott Bailey scored his first goal for the club after great play by Tommy Ralph and Fowler. With the Dynamos now in the ascendancy, even defencemen Elliott Dewey and Harrison Lillis ventured forward looking for a goal and the seventh finally came with little of ninety seconds left on the clock with Rehak claiming his hat-trick. There was still time for Streatham to pull one goal back as Sean Scarbrough made it 7-2, but in the end it was the visiting fans that went home the happiest and with one eye on the final.
The man of the match awards went to Jacob Ranson for Streatham, whilst Scott Bailey took it for the Dynamos. The two teams would meet again in Gillingham on Sunday night with the Kent side knowing only a disaster will prevent them from taking their place in the final against either Chelmsford Chieftains or London Raiders.
Written by Steve Wolfe.