Lee Valley Lions put in spirited performance in Haringey defeat
- Credit: Archant
NIHL South Two: Lee Valley Lions 4 Haringey Huskies 12
Lee Valley Lions took on the league-leading Haringey Huskies last Sunday, in what was the fifth meeting between the two sides this season.
And while the Lions once again came out on the losing side, they were at least able to put in a spirited performance - particularly in the second period of the game.
The Lions were missing three of their top six scorers for this game, with Jordan Ho, Ross Sin-Hidge, and Joe Berry all absent.
Also unavailable were netminder Naomi Healey, defencemen Tom Baptist and Richie Pickering, and forwards Leonie Charles and Lewis Blore.
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The East London side were able to hand a club debut to 16-year-old forward Rowan Champney, while defenceman Joe Gibson made his home debut. James Andrew once again started in net.
The Lions came out well in the opening period, frustrating the league leaders early on and only allowing one goal against in the first 13 minutes, as Joe Willingham made it 1-0 for the visitors.
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As the period went on, the Huskies started to show their dominance and were able to score three times in the last seven minutes of the period; goals from former Lions captain Nick Alley, James Pentecost, and Willingham with his second of the evening put the Huskies 4-0 up at the first intermission.
The Lions weren't without their chances in the opening period, as Harry Sage came close to tipping in a shot from Oscar Kally before newcomer Rowan Champney had a couple of good opportunities, but Matthew Brown stood tall in the Huskies net to keep the Lions at bay.
The middle period started off well for the home side, as they got the deficit back to 1-4 early on through Robert Cole's 11th goal of the season in just his 13th game for the club. It was an unassisted goal as the forward pounced on a Haringey defensive giveaway to slot the puck past Brown.
The Lions weren't able to keep the Huskies off the scoresheet for long though, as goals from Stephen Woodford and a second of the night for Pentecost gave the visitors a 6-1 lead just after the halfway mark of the game.
However, it was Lions forward Cole who got the score back to 2-6 with his second of the evening, this time with an assist from Simon Jones, with the goal coming in the 34th minute.
The final three and a half minutes of the middle period were full of action; firstly Woodford scored his second goal of the game to put the Huskies 7-2 up, before Lions forward Ben Margerison scored his first two goals for the club just nine seconds apart to suddenly bring the scoreline back to a more manageable 7-4. Assists on Margerison's first strike went to Oscar Kally and Vinny Ferrara; while the helpers on his second tally went to Daniel Tamasauskas and Harry Sage.
Margerison's two quickfire goals meant the Lions won the second period by a scoreline of 4-3, and went into the final period with the hope that they could get back into the game.
Sadly for the hosts, the Huskies turned on the style in the final period and showed why they are leading the league this season. Firstly Pentecost completed his hat-trick in the 46th minute, before Stuart Appleby scored two minutes later to make it 9-2.
Then it was the turn of Leo Saoncella, newly-signed by the Huskies from the Streatham Hawks on transfer deadline day, to score twice within the space of 36 seconds which increased the Haringey lead to 11-2.
And finally it was Appleby who put an exclamation point on the game as he took advantage of a tired Lions defence to score the Huskies' 12th and last goal in the 57th minute, with the final score being 12-4 in favour of Haringey as the final buzzer sounded.
Man of the match for the Lions was Ben Margerison after scoring his first two goals for the club, while Haringey forward Saoncella picked up the same award after achieving the very same feat.
The Lions are back in action at home on Sunday, as they welcome the Invicta Mustangs to Lee Valley Ice Centre, with a 5.30pm face-off.