Lee Valley Lions upset Slough for first win
- Credit: Archant
Slough Jets 3 Lee Valley Lions 5
Lee Valley Lions picked up their first win of the National League season after dominating a lacklustre Slough Jets at the Hangar last night.
Captain Nicholas Alley scored twice for Lions as they outshot the hosts 62-32 and netminder James Andrew ensured the Lions held their lead throughout with some stunning saves.
Despite the Lions dominance, it was the Jets, playing their last game at soon-to-be renovated Absolutely Ice, who got on the board first.
Ashley West received the puck to the left of the net and smacked it in from close range while falling over to put the home side in the lead.
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But their advantage lasted just three minutes, as Lee Valley struck twice in the space of 41 seconds.
Alley notched the first of his goals, capitalising on a turnover to score an unassisted equaliser, and Lee Valley charged back down the ice after the restart for James Hepburn to put them 2-1 in front.
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Lee Valley had the chance to extend their lead with under two minutes left in the first period, catching the Jets off-guard as a player returned from serving a penalty and sped clear on a breakaway.
But Slough goalie Rob Warrington made the save and the first period ended with the Lions holding on to a slim lead.
That scoreline was soon to change in the second period, as the game began to get out of hand for the Jets.
In the 25th minute, Simon Geldart got control of the puck during a scramble in front of the net and flipped it in backhanded to put the Lions ahead by two.
And just 25 seconds later, Alley stabbed the puck in under Warrington from close range, assisted by Robin Young, to make the score 4-1.
That was the end for Warrington, as Slough pulled him in favour of Chris Douglas.
The change of goalie led to a change in play from the Jets, who suddenly found their rhythm.
Kirk Evans scored in the 29th minute and then Luke Martin-Digby wristed home a shot from the left face-off circle to suddenly pull the Jets to within a goal.
But the rally for Slough was short-lived as a slashing penalty on Christopher Hocquigny resulted in a powerplay goal for Oliver Glover and the Lions were 5-3 up.
Then with three and a half minutes left in the second period, Andrew made a show-stopping save to preserve the advantage when a shot from the left struck him on the right leg pad and sprang up past his left shoulder.
With lightning-quick reflexes, Andrew reached backwards and snapped the puck out of the air, denying an almost sure goal for Slough.
At the start of the third period, Andrew produced more heroics as he raced from his net to poke the puck away from Evans.
And that was the last notable chance for Slough as the Lions again took control of the game, nearly adding to their advantage during a 5-on-3 and slowly running out the clock to ensure their first win of the campaign.
Although still in last place in Division Two South East, the win puts the Lions level on points with Invicta, with a chance to move ahead of them tonight as they meet at the Lee Valley Ice Centre at 5.30pm.