Lee Valley Lions shut out by high-flying Phantoms
PUBLISHED: 11:30 28 January 2020
NIHL South Two: Lee Valley Lions 0 Peterborough Phantoms 9
Lee Valley Lions had a night to forget on Sunday as they fell 9-0 at home to the high-flying Peterborough NIHL2 Phantoms - a result that moved the visitors up to joint-leaders in the NIHL South East 2 (Wilkinson) league standings.
The Lions were missing three of their top five scorers - Jordan Ho, Jordan Sullivan and Ross Sin-Hidge all missed out - as well as defenceman Tom Baptist. Starting in goal was James Andrew, backed up by Naomi Healey.
The visitors got off to the best possible start in the opening period, taking the lead in the very first minute as Jordan Liddell surprised the Lions with an early goal.
The hosts had chances to get back into the game early, with defenceman Oscar Kally taking a good blueline shot which drew a save from Phantoms goaltender Luke Clark, before forward Joe Berry got a breakaway chance but couldn't find a way past Clark.
Peterborough punished the Lions for their lack of scoring with two more goals of their own inside the ten minutes, first through Callum Medcalf and then Polish import forward Michal Magiera, to lead 3-0.
And despite some big saves from James Andrew in the Lions net, and a good chance for Lee Valley defenceman Richie Pickering, the home side went into the first break 0-4 down as Jack Sansby scored with just 47 seconds left in the opening period.
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The Lions ran into penalty trouble in the middle period, and were punished by the ruthless Phantoms as they scored three powerplay markers. First it was Magiera who grabbed his second of the game with a 5-on-3 advantage, before Benjamin Crowson and Robert McDonald both scored regular 5-on-4 powerplay goals to give the visitors a big 7-0 lead.
The home side did have the puck in the net once in the second period, as Harry Sage fired into an empty net following good work from Tyrone Wells to pressure Phantoms netminder Clark into a mistake, but the goal was ruled out for offside with Wells still in the zone as Sage took his shot from outside.
And right on the 40 minute mark at the end of the period, the Phantoms scored a buzzer-beater to take an 8-0 lead into the second break, Kenny Bavin getting the goal.
The Lions swapped netminders for the third period, with Naomi Healey replacing James Andrew between the pipes. It was a quieter game scoring-wise in the final period, with the Phantoms only able to add one goal through Storm Lister to take their lead up to 9-0.
There was rising tension in the game though, with some hard hits flying in from both sides, and in the 52nd minute both Lions defenceman Oscar Kally and Phantoms forward Michal Magiera sat two minutes each for roughing.
There were not too many incidents in the game after that though, with the game petering out towards the end and the Phantoms taking a comfortable 9-0 win as the final buzzer sounded.
It was an impressive performance from the Phantoms as they showed why they are one of three teams, along with Haringey and Invicta, who currently top the league with 22 points.
Man of the Match for the Lions was forward Tyrone Wells after a hard-working performance, while 16-year-old Benjamin Crowson took home the award for the visitors.
The Lions are back in action on the road on Sunday (February, 1) as they face a tough trip to joint-league leaders Haringey Huskies. Faceoff at Alexandra Palace will be at 5.30pm.
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