It was a 3-2 home defeat for the Invicta Dynamos at the hands of the Milton Keynes Thunder on Sunday night as the visitors narrowly edged their way to victory despite a brace from Callum Fowler.
After a delayed faceoff the Mos started brighter and were on the scoreboard as early as 02.16 – Callum Fowler’s shot from a tight angle wide right should have been stopped by netminder Tom Annetts but the puck squirmed through his 5-hole to put the hosts 1-0 up. The advantage lasted a little over 3 minutes – at 05.59 the home side made a mess of a line change allowing Hallden Barnes-Garner to break clear down the right channel and he expertly rifled beyond Damien King at his near post to make it 1-1. The Thunder then arguably had the better of the scoring chances – King needed to divert Tom Carlon’s goal bound poke from the slot to safety and then again to deny a Ross Bowers blue line slapshot through traffic. At 16.10 the visitors thought they had the lead – Carlon’s centring pass was never fully controlled by Barnes-Garner in front but the forward did enough to find twine only for the official to washout his effort stating the puck had been kicked in. Despite the misfortune, still the Thunder kept coming – Connor Goode lashing wide when in behind and Bowers seeing his slapshot to the top far corner from the left circle palmed wide by the in form King. Late on an Adam Rehak effort proved too hot to handle for Annetts but he recovered quickly and froze before the on-rushing Louis Colvin could poke home.
The second period was lacking quality as both teams struggled to find the breakthrough pass and chances were thin on the ground. From the right circle Tom Carlon forced a save from Damien King whilst Adam Rehak’s effort from a similar position the other end of the ice was blocked just as efficiently by Tom Annetts. At 32.43 it was then the misfortune of the home side to have a strike washed out as a wayward whistle from an official denied them a go-ahead goal. Adam Rehak neatly toe dragged the puck around his marker and fired low through the 5-hole of Annetts but the linesman whistled before the shot had crossed the line assuming the goalie had frozen the play. After the restart the speedy Jamie Line broke clear for the Thunder but fired over the crossbar before Carlon too escaped on a breakaway but could not get the puck on target with King staring him down.
In the final frame Lewis Christie should have done better when he was found with time, space and a clear shot close right but he sent the puck wide of the upright to leave the score at 1-1. Mason Webster then landed the hit of the night – his check on Alex Whyte sending the skater sprawling into the visiting bench. Scott Bailey then had a chance when he was found in the slot but Tom Annetts reacted quickly to pad his effort wide before the visitors then tallied to take a 2-1 lead at 45.20. Arran Strawson was unable to reign in a Lewis Colvin pass on the opposition blue line and Ross Bowers seized possession to escape clear before lashing low inside the far post. To make matters worse for the hosts, Mason Webster was penalised with a 2+10 for checking to the head at 47.34 that near enough ruled him out of the remainder of the tie. However, on a powerplay, the Mos mustered a reply – 49.42 the moment when Callum Fowler slipped the attention of Gareth O’Flaherty wide right before sending a wrist shot over the shoulder of Annetts at his near post to make it 2-2. The hosts could have taken a lead when Sebastian Downing and Louis Colvin escaped 2-on-1 but Downing elected to shoot himself and the Thunder’s netminder made the save. It was a stop that looked all the more vital when Milton Keynes then grabbed the winner at 57.17 – Jamie Line winning a faceoff in the final third and Ross Bowers batting the puck home from distance with one touch to sew up two points for the visitors.
So it was defeat for the Mos who exhibited signs of early season rust – inevitable given the lack of games so far and the number of new additions. Nevertheless there were positives especially in the performances of youngsters Louis Colvin, Sebastian Downing and George Hoang, the netminding of Damien King and the goals of Mos man of the match Callum Fowler. Game winner Ross Bowers took the beers for the Thunder.
Written by Paul Bennett.