Lee Valley Lions battle to draw with Chelmsford Warriors

Lions roar to a 4-4 draw in opening match of the season

Lee Valley Lions began their 2010/11 campaign on Saturday with a rousing performance against Chelmsford Warriors.

Having previously suffered heavy defeats at the hands of their Essex rivals, the fired-up Hackney side showed they are a force to be reckoned with this season.

Buoyed by the latest signing of Swiss sharp-shooter, Philippe Mueller, the Lions came out all-guns blazing. The period was fast and furious and it wasn’t until 15 minutes, 32 seconds that Adrian Woodyard nudged the visitors into the lead.

The second period was less impressive, Lee Valley failing to capitalise when they twice had a two-man advantage over their rivals. Philippe Mueller did, however, demonstrate his prowess by scoring Lions’ first goal at 29.32, assists going to Calum Heath and Ashley Curtin. Chelmsford wasted no time in striking back, their second goal hitting the back of the net at 30.44.

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Mueller set up several other scoring opportunities during the second period but they were not finished off and although the Lions outshot the Warriors two to one, Andrew Brummitt held strong in between the pipes, denying the home side any further goals.

At the other end of the ice, Chelmsford managed to put another goal past James Tipple, taking them into a 3-1 lead.

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Lee Valley were not to be outdone and played the final period with real vigour and determination, outshooting the opposition 24 to eight.

From this onslaught of shots, James Scott-Joseph narrowed the scoreline at 44.34 before Graham Lewis fired a slapshot that took the home team level at 54.40.

The Warriors made the mistake of leaving Richard Hodge unmarked in front of their own bench, allowing him an easy, unassisted goal at 55.24 which took the Lions into the lead.

The home fans’ jubilation was soon extinguished when Lee Valley made the same error and Daniel Raven scored the Warriors’ equaliser at 55.38.

Although the dying minutes of the game were both tense and highly-charged, neither side could break the deadlock, leaving the final score 4-4.

Lee Valley Lions aim to achieve an even greater upset when they meet another top team, Invicta Dynamos, on Saturday, 25. Face-off is at 5.15pm.

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