Ashley Jackson was the hat-trick hero on Saturday evening as his trio, alongside efforts from Callum Fowler and Jaroslav Cesky, saw the Invicta Dynamos record their first win of 2018 by beating the Cardiff Fire 5-1 on home ice.
Visitors Cardiff travelled with a team of 15 whilst the Mos iced a roster of 17 – Tom Long, Ross Connolly and Joshua Condren missing out. John Dibble and Jordan Lawday started between the posts.
The opening frame saw a scrappy start with both sides failing to make the most of early half chances. Callum Fowler teed up Ondrej Zosiak in the high slot but his stinging shot was palmed away before Jackson Price sent a backhand effort just wide of the far post from close range at the other end. Midway through the Mos started to take control and they were on the board at 07.51 – a neat interchange between Mason Webster and Ashley Jackson ending with Webster’s pass from behind the goal line being thumped over the reach of Jordan Lawday with one touch from Jackson between the circles to make it 1-0.
Less than a minute later that lead was doubled – another one-two unlocking Cardiff’s defence as Scott Bailey and Callum Fowler traded passes before Fowler dispatched between the pads of the netminder from the edge of the crease at 08.34. The Mos then fell into penalty trouble at 09.51 – Brandon Webster’s hit on Samual Bryant right in front of the home bench assessed by referee Blaine Evans to be from behind seeing the Invicta man sit 2+10. The hosts killed off the powerplay but tempers then flared again moments later – Jordan Lawday freezing the play in his crease under pressure from Mason Webster and Ellis Sheppard opting to start a shoving match that included a blow to the face of Webster that went unpunished.
As time wound down the Fire had two late chances to get on the board but both were spurned leaving them without a goal. A Tamas Elias and Samual Bryant’s 2-on-1 was coolly ended by the diving interception of Ryan Morgan as Elias attempted the pass before David Manning was found clear in front by Josh Haslam’s flick but his shot failed to trouble John Dibble.
In the second frame the Dynamos stepped up their dominance and had secured a third as early as 20.22 – Mason Webster’s press forcing a mistake from Josh Haslam in his own zone who gifted the puck to Ashley Jackson in the high slot and he roofed over the left hand of Jordan Lawday for 3-0.
Cardiff attempted to respond as David Manning drilled a slapshot into the face of John Dibble that left the netminder checking his mask before Josh Haslam redirected Callum Buglass’ drive close left but only over the top of the bar. At 31.44 the visitors fell further behind – Tommy Ralph’s blue line shot was blocked by the pads of Jordan Lawday but the netminder was then unable to prevent Ashley Jackson turning in the rebound point blank left to complete his hat-trick and make it 4-0.
Ben Smith thought he could cut into Cardiff’s deficit when put clean through close right but John Dibble dived forward from his crease to poke clear. Scott Bailey then had the final chance of the frame as neat stick work took him in from the boards and around two but his shot from the left circle was well held by the goalie.
If there were still any doubts about the outcome of the game going into the final period, they were put to bed in just 41 seconds as the hosts tallied their fifth. At 40.41 – Mason Webster’s backhand flick towards the crease from the left boards was redirected mid-air by the deft touch of Jaroslav Cesky right in front leaving Jordan Lawday no chance to react and putting the Mos 5-0 up.
The Mos could have been further ahead soon after but Scott Bailey’s drive from the left circle found the underside of the bar. The Fire then ensured there would be no shutout for the hosts at 52.12 – Tamas Elias carrying the play into the final third before a neat drop pass found David Manning with plenty of space between the circles and he picked his spot by lashing below the glove of John Dibble stick side for 5-1.
With time winding down all that remained was for some late controversy – Ondrej Zosiak’s hit on Jackson Price sending the Cardiff man sprawling and resulting in Viktor Langseth looking to exchange a few shoves in retribution. The hit was shoulder to shoulder and Price had been in possession of the puck leaving the home bench raging when Zosiak was harshly penalised with 5+game for roughing by referee Blaine Evans. The Fire then thought they had another goal back at 57.16 as Samual Bryant swept in a rebound however it was washed out with Tamas Elias so close to netminder John Dibble that he was almost wearing his pads.
Finally, at 59.39, Samual Bryant was in the thick of the action again as Mason Webster’s check sent him into the boards with Ellis Sheppard then fancying himself as the enforcer type once more and aiming a few shoves at the Invicta man. With so little left in the tie and the outcome already decided the gloves stayed on leaving the Mos to celebrate a first win in four come the final buzzer.
So it was a comfortable victory for the Dynamos who outshot their Welsh opponents by 55 to 24 and looked a step above over the 60 minutes. Man of the match awards went to hat-trick hero Ashley Jackson of the home side whilst Jordan Lawday took the honours for Cardiff after a busy night in the Fire net.
Written by Paul Bennett.