Lions pay the price for penalties as second-placed Islanders run riot

National League: Lee Valley Lions 3 Peterborough Islanders 8

Lee Valley Lions played their final home game of the season on Saturday against second-placed Peterborough Islanders and suffered a heavy defeat.

Riding high in the league, the Islanders were always going to provide tough opposition for the eighth-placed Lions, but the hosts held up well, particularly following the departure of their influential player and coach Blair Dubyk.

The visitors opened the goalscoring proceedings at 03:57, but the goal came through luck rather than skill as the Lions’ netminder Steve Grout found himself out of position and unable to reach his goal in time.

However, following that goal, Lee Valley managed to keep Peterborough at bay for the rest of the period, as the visitors failed to extend their advantage or stamp their mark on the game.

Five minutes into the second period, and the Lions were level, when Philippe Mueller slotted home an impressive shot taken almost from the blue line.

Lee Valley’s Romanas Fedotovas and Joe Berry languished in the penalty box soon after, giving Petermorough a five-on-three man advantage and allowing Stephen Wren, brother of ex-Lion netminder Simon, to fire the puck into the net and take the lead again.

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A further two goals from the Islanders went flying past Steve Grout in the Lee Valley net in under two minutes, giving Peterborough a 4-1 lead.

Although the Lions kept the visitors at bay for a precious few minutes, Peterborough’s Dale Jowell powered a mighty slapshot into the back of the net in the last minute of the second period.

Lee Valley then pulled a goal back as Gary Dodds scored on a delayed penalty, his goal assisted by Berry and Richard Hodge.

The Lions then went on to open the scoring in the final period of the game, as Fedotovas knocked in the puck, assisted by Scott Beeson and fellow defenceman James Hatfull.

Unfortunately though, the second half had already sealed the Lions’ fate and Peterborough rounded off their definitive win with goals from James Pentecost and Jonathan Brammall before the Lions’ netminder Grout was replaced by George Alley.

The game had been marred by a succession of heavy-handed penalties, for which Lee Valley paid a heavy price, with four of the visitors’ goals coming on powerplays.

However, the home side put on a credible performance against top opposition and gave fans an entertaining game worthy of a closer scoreline.

This weekend, the Lions are away to the Chelmsford Warriors.