A return to the ice for Damien King and a late go-ahead goal from Ondrej Zosiak meant it was an enjoyable trip to Milton Keynes for the Invicta Dynamos as they overcame the Thunder 4-2 to lead the race for a second place finish in the NIHL South Division 1.
The Dynamos welcomed back netminder Damien King from a long term groin injury for this clash up the M1 whilst Nicky Lewis was also back amongst the line-up but injury prevented the Wootton twins from icing whilst Callum Fowler and James Richardson also didn’t make the trip.
The opening 5 minutes was end-to-end – Ashley Jackson with the first shot of the game, followed by King making his first save of the game from Jakub Klima. On the 3 minute mark Steve Osman hit a shot which rebounded off the chest of MK netminder David Wride and Brad Gutridge almost but didn’t quite gobble-up the rebound. King made a regulation save from Connor Goode on the brink of 5 minutes before Josh Condren almost squeezed a shot past Wride moments later. The Jackson and Adam Rehak double act then hit the Thunder on the break – Jackson’s dink off the boards falling to Rehak to hit first time but Wride was on hand to save. Moments later and Bailey Wootton would also be denied by the home netminder however Wride’s resolve was broken on 13.24 – Jackson giving the Mos a 1-0 lead after build-up play from Webster and Rehak gave him the perfect opportunity to score. Wootton moments later hit a screamer at Wride – the puck almost looping over the top of the nettie and dropping behind him for a further goal – but he managed to escape embarrassment.
The 2nd period started perfectly for the Kent side – Scott Bailey roofing the puck beyond Wride on 22 minutes for 2-0 and assists going to Nicky Lewis and Josh Condren. Bailey Wootton then had a shot tipped onto the bar and it almost bounced the other side of the net but luck favoured the Thunder on this occasion. A penalty against Boris Ruzicka on 25 minutes gave the hosts more momentum than the Dynamos who had a poor powerplay – 2 opportunities on the shorthand presented to the Thunder with Ross Bowers and Alex Whyte both calling Damien King into action. The gloves were dropped on 28 minutes – Ross Green’s nasty kneeing into Tommy Ralph resulting in the pair coming together but neither could land a clear shot before the officials broke them up. Moments later Ross Bowers pulled a goal back for Thunder – tipping Greg Randall’s cross come shot beyond King on 32.19 for 1-2. Another fight broke out not long after – Jamie Randall’s cheeky trip on Webster creating havoc as firstly Nidal Phillips threw a cheap shot at Webster to prevent retaliation against Randall and then all the players waded-in for a free for all – as the players broke away Webster and Ruzicka went one on one with both landing hefty blows but neither could get the win in a drawn fight. Thunder then pulled the score back to 2-2 on 39 minutes – Ross Green finding the net after Paul Gore found him in space.
The final frame produced the most shots of the game. David Wride saved early from Scott Bailey and Steve Osman and then produced a double stop from Adam Rehak and Ashley Jackson. At the opposite end Damien King also produced a quick fire double save to smartly deny Nidal Phillips. Jamie Randall then hooked Mason Webster when breaking out on an attack but, despite heavy pressure from the Mos it started to look as if that winning goal would never come, until Ondrej Zosiak went solo. Zosiak won the puck in his own zone and sprinted down the left flank before hitting his shot from a tight angle that eluded Wride and crept underneath his body for 2-3 to the in the 55th minute. David Wride was pulled from the nets with under a minute remaining and once Elliott Dewey won possession from the Thunder he immediately lofted the puck forward for Adam Rehak to wrap-up the scoring for a 2-4 score line on 59.50.
Damien King ended-up facing 43 shots and producing a 95.35% save percentage on his return to the side. Adam Rehak collected the man of the match awards for the visitors whilst Ross Green to the honours for the home side.
Written by Lee Allen.