Lions bounce back from Peterborough thrashing by beating Wildcats
Lee Valley Lions 5 Swindon Wildcats 2
Lee Valley Lions had been left reeling when their promising start to the season was interrupted by a 11-3 defeat away to league-leaders Peterborough Islanders, but they bounced back last Saturday with a victory against Swindon ENIHL Wildcats.
The Lions faced a full Swindon squad, while their own reserves were depleted by the absence of key forwards Scott Beeson and Joe Berry.
Defenceman Romanas Fedotovas was also missing thanks to a two-match ban, and his spot was filled by speedy Swiss, Philippe Mueller.
Perhaps still smarting from their pounding at Peterborough, Lee Valley had a shaky start as the visitors tested netminder Steve Grout with a barrage of early shots.
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The sustained attack in front of the net inevitably resulted in Swindon’s first goal, through Adam Cloakley.
Swindon ran rings around the Lions for much of the first period and although a slapshot from Blair Dubyk gave the hosts a much-needed first goal, John Spence put the Wildcats back in the lead just seven seconds before the buzzer sounded.
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Lee Valley’s performance still failed to inspire during the second period, but Meuller and Dubyk pushed through to fire two goals in quick succession at the halfway mark.
Having snuck into the lead at 3-2, the Lions came out for the final period noticeably fired up and determined not to let a win slip from their grasp.
The Wildcats were now floundering and although still putting pressure on Man of the Match Grout, they failed to capitalise on the chances handed to them.
Instead, it was Richard Hodge for the Lions who had a lucky break, his goal unassisted on 42 minutes.
After an altercation around the Wildcats’ goalmouth which resulted in Ryan Martin being ejected from the game for the visitors, Dubyk hammered the final nail in Swindon’s coffin on the 50-minute mark, with a goal assisted by Gary Doddis, which sealed the 5-2 victory.
The win means that Lee Valley now find themselves in third place in the league table.
The Lions’ next game is a trip to face Oxford City Stars this Saturday, before returning home to battle Chelmsford Warriors a week later.