Invicta Dynamos ended their 2018/2019 season with a 13-4 home defeat against the Swindon Wildcats as they crashed out of the play-offs 24-5 on aggregate.
Dynamos also bid farewell to long-serving owners Jackie and Andy Mason, who have ran the club for 22 years, as well as retiring defenceman Ondrej Zosiak.
They were without the likes of Luke Thirkettle, Ryan Giles, Arran Strawson, Harrison Lillis and Connor Morris for the clash but did add Swindon netminder Tyler Perre between the pipes. Swindon were only missing import forward Jan Kostal.
The first period opened with Swindon dominating the play. Andy Munroe received a two-
minute tripping penalty which gave the Wildcats their first powerplay opportunity. Swindon opened the scoring with a powerplay goal at 07:03 from player coach Aaron Nell. Not long after the goal, Munroe was sent back to the penalty box for a two-minute hooking
penalty. Tyler Perre was called into action but was unable to hold a blue line shot which flew through a crowd of players. Chris Jones managed to force the puck into the net off of the rebound to double the Wildcats lead at 12.21.
Joe Allen managed to produce a turnover in the neutral zone and the was alone with
Michael Crisp but Crisp managed to save the shot with ease. Swindon lead 3-0 at 14:11 after forward Jones shot the puck from the top of the circles and it found the back of the net for his second of the night.
Oskars Ancitis landed a huge hit on a Swindon defenceman and the puck was found by Lewis
English who could not force it beyond Crisp. End of the first period and the Swindon Wildcats dominated the play and led 3-0.
Second period begun with Sam Jones firing a shot at Perre which flew off the netminders
shoulder. Goal four for Swindon came as the Wildcats set up in the Dynamos zone, a pass from Elliot Randall set up Lloyd Taylor for a close-range goal. Swindon led 4-0 at 23:22.
Ondrej Zosiak tried his luck against Crisp with a close range shot but was unable to get it past the Swindon netminder. Swindon’s Randall was penalised for a two-minute hooking penalty. Nell on the breakaway sped past the Dynamos defenceman and shot the puck into the top left corner for a shorthanded goal for Swindon scored at 27:41 to give them a 5-0 lead.
The Dynamos desperate for their first goal managed to pin Swindon in their own zone long
enough for Callum Best to fire a hard shot through a crowd of bodies and it hit the back of
the net. Goal one for the hosts scored at 29:18. Best then had another quick goal from close range to give the Dynamos their second of the night at 30:53 cutting their deficit to 5-2. Swindon were quick to retaliate though and scored their sixth as Neil Liddiard shot
the puck past Perre. Another came at 33:08 – Maxim Birbraer fired a one-timer from the slot into the back of net.
Goal eight for Swindon was also scored by Birbraer – the import redirected a shot from the blue line and managed to beat the netminder to make it 8-2 at 37:00. In response Anthony Leone travelled down the left wing, but his shot was sent wide by Crisp. Swindon then led 9-2 at 38:27 as Toms Rutkis forced the puck into the net from close range.
Before the period was out Munroe was sticked in the face in the corner and the Dynamo defenceman was briefly in pain before skating to the bench with blood in his hands. No penalty was called. End of the second period and the visitors led 9-2.
In the last, Swindon pinned the Dynamos in their own end before Ben Nethersell fired a shot from the blue line and the puck slid under the glove of Perre. The visitors scored their tenth goal at 45:26 – straight off the face off Chris Jones scored his hat-trick with a close-range goal.
Down the other end a scramble in front of the Swindon net ended with Joe Allen trying to force the puck home from point blank range after goalie Michael Crisp lost a looping shot from Lewis English that sneaked over the line at 46.13. Allen got the assist, English the goal.
Matt Foord received a two-minute tripping penalty, which gave Swindon another powerplay
opportunity. A shot fired from the blue line rebounded off of the pads of Perre, but Rutkis was there to collect the puck and flicked the puck into the net to make it 12-3 at 50:01. Randall then received at two-minute high sticks penalty, however, the Dynamos were unable to make use of the powerplay. Owen Dell tried to score off of a rebound, but Crisp covered the puck.
Dynamos were given a two-minute penalty for too many men to put the Wildcats on the powerplay however Randall received a two-minute tripping penalty and the play was 4-on-4. Tyler Plews then joined his teammate in the penalty box for another two-minute tripping penalty. The hosts were now on 5-on-3. With two extra skaters, Captain Leone managed to fling the puck past Crisp after a clean setup from Foord at 56:58. The visitors led 12-4.
With less than two minutes remaining, the Dynamos tried to keep Swindon at bay but Rutkis
managed to fire the puck past Perre at 58:45 to round off the evening.
Final buzzer and the game ended 13-4. Swindon Wildcats won comfortably and continue on
into the playoff semi-finals. Invicta said goodbye to defenceman Ondrej Zosiak as he skated his last lap for the Dynamos and received a guard of honour.
Written by Hannah Lawrence.