Lee Valley Lions make their point
PUBLISHED: 20:41 10 September 2016 | UPDATED: 20:41 10 September 2016
Lee Valley Lions 3 Slough Jets 3
Lee Valley Lions began the new National League Division Two East season with a point against Slough.
George Alley’s side had slipped to a 5-2 home loss against Swindon in a cup match a week earlier, but got some reward for their efforts in their league opener.
The visitors took the lead within six minutes through Christopher Hocqingny, but Lions killed off a hooking penalty against Oliver Glover soon after.
The respite was brief for the home side, though, as Jets doubled their advantage in the 10th minute through Harry Hatfield, before Craig Cowell was called for intereference to hand Lions a powerplay chance.
They could not make it count, but halved the deficit just seconds after Slough’s return to full strength as Matt Hepburn found the net following good work from James Gosling and Chris Fox.
Lions were assessed a bench minor penalty for having too many men on the ice in the final minute of the opening period, during which they were outshot 20-6.
But they survived the shorthanded spell either side of the first break and then drew level at 21:54 as Simon Geldart netted from Fox’s pass.
Slough fell into penalty trouble midway through the middle period, as Cameron Barker and Flynn Sitch-Cunningham were given roughing and slashing penalties in quick succession.
And Lions made them pay as they converted on the second of those powerplays, with Ben Duffy netting on assists from Fox and Henry Aiken.
Jets were quick to hit back through James Sanderson at 30:16, before Lions were awarded a penalty shot, which Chris Douglas saved.
Tempers boiled over moments later, with Lee Valley’s Geldart and Sam Awoyemi given double minors for roughing with Slough’s Christopher Beal and Cowell, as the latter also received a 10-minute misconduct penalty.
And the match remained on a knife edge at the 40-minute mark with the scores level at 3-3, after Lions had edged the shot count 13-8 in the second stanza.
The start of the final period was delayed due to ice conditions and the opening minutes led to little of note at either end.
Lions killed off a high-sticking penalty against Matthew Eggen, with just under 10 minutes remaining, and saw long-serving James Jospeh called for roughing soon after returning to full strength.
Slough called a timeout with 2:07 left on the clock and both sides had chances to snatch a winner in the closing stages, but Lions ended with a deserved share of the spoils, with Matt Hepburn their man of the match.
Scorers, Lions: Simon Geldart 1 Ben Duffy 1 Matt Hepburn 1 Chris Fox 0+3 Henry Aiken 0+1 James Gosling.
Jets: James Sanderson 1+1 Harry Hatfield 1 Christopher Hocquigny 1 Flynn Sitch-Cunningham 0+1 Kirkland Evans 0+1.
Shots on goal: James Andrew (Lions) 36 Chris Douglas (Jets) 27.
Penalty minutes: Lions 16 Jets 24.