Mos lose out in London in NIHL Cup

result13_london_281017It was another cup defeat for the Invicta Dynamos in the big smoke after they lost out 3-1 at the hands of the London Raiders in Lee Valley despite a goal from forward Mason Webster.

The Mos had to make do without the services of import forward Adam Rehak and young defenceman George Hoang (illness) leaving them with just 14 skaters. For the hosts they were missing captain Tom Davis, Jake Sylvester and netminder Euan King.

Euan King’s replacement Michael Gray was called into action within the first minute saving from Ashley Jackson after Mason Webster had cut the puck back to his teammate. At the other end, the Mos netminder Damien King saved from JJ Pitchley with both teams seeking that all important opening goal.

Great link-up play by Josh Condren and Justin Robinson again had Gray in the thick of the action and, not long after, the sometimes hot-headed netminder was also denying Callum Fowler. Mason Webster was a constant menace to the Raiders players – firstly hitting Julian Smith hard into the plexi with a fair hit by the away fans and not long afterwards colliding with JJ Pitchley with the forward hitting the deck hard.

The Dynamos were successful in killing a two minute penalty against Harrison Lillis for interference but their resistance was broken in the 17th minute – JJ Pitchley firing beyond Damien King for 1-0 to the home side.

King then made a routine save from Juraj Huska early in the second period as the Raiders looked to extend their lead. However, it would be the Mos who got on the scoresheet next. A slashing penalty against Alan Lack gave the visitors a powerplay and when Ondrej Zosiak shot from distance Mason Webster tipped the puck beyond Gray for 1-1 on 23.03 – Tommy Ralph getting the 2nd assist.

The Mos had another powerplay to their advantage in the 28th minute after Matt Turner tripped Zosiak in front of the officials. With the away side putting the attack to the Raiders the home team were soon reduced to three skaters – Julian Smith sitting for a slashing penalty giving the Dynamos a 5 on 3 for 23 seconds. The Raiders however stood-up to the challenge well and were soon back to full strength.

The gloves were almost dropped in the 32nd minute – Pitchley and Webster slashing at each other with Pitchley not keen to settle issues with the fists. The officials deemed Webster to be the worst offender and the Mos had another powerplay to defend – which they did with no trouble to their goal.

The penalties were not done for the period however – Marek Nahlik high sticking Ryan Morgan for 2 minutes in 36th minute, which again produced little threat towards a goal on the resulting powerplay. With the period drawing to a close Harrison Lillis tripped Juraj Huska to sit in the penalty box for another two minute spell – the visitors closed out the remaining seconds of the period to go into the interval at 1-1.

The final period had the Dynamos starting with defending the Lillis penalty for a further 1 minute and 28 seconds but they couldn’t holdout with the Raiders edging ahead on 40.13 through JJ Pitchley again after Olly Baldock quickly turned Huska’s pass forward to Pitchley who fired in.

A brief 4 on 4 came moments after the goal following a minor roughing incident between John Connolly and Justin Robinson which saw both players ejected to the box of shame to cool down.

Once back on the ice Robinson had the chance to put the scores level after linking-up with Josh Condren but his shot was deflected over Grays’ crossbar. Gray then had to make saves from Mason Webster and Tommy Ralph as the Mos pushed for an equaliser.

Two powerplays in the favour of the Mos soon passed without much threat of a goal as the clock kept ticking down to the end of the game.

The game was wrapped-up in the final 5 minutes. Josh Condren got called by referee Kevin Ward for a 2 minute high stick penalty and the man advantage for the Raiders paid dividends as Olly Baldock found the corner of King’s net on 57.20 for a 3-1 victory.

Both netminders ended-up receiving the man of the match awards, Damien King with a 93.75% save record after facing 48 shots.

Written by Lee Allen.

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