Lions lifted by long-awaited victory
- Credit: Archant
National League Div 2: Lee Valley 5 Isle of Wight 4
Lee Valley Lions celebrated their first win since February 2012 with a hard-fought victory over the Isle of Wight Tigers last night.
The hosts, having picked up a point in a 2-2 draw at Cardiff last weekend, were without Gennadi Yufit, Max Gerstein, Nick Alley and Theo Abban and fell behind inside the first minute as Andrew Robinson converted on a 2-on-1 break.
Lions levelled soon after as Richard Hodge set up Romanas Fedotovas before the roles were reversed and Hodge netted from the Lithuanian junior international’s pass in the sixth minute.
Tigers got back on terms when Joseph Denness countered to score shorthanded, but Lions moved 3-2 up with barely 10 minutes played as Hodge sent Fedotovas in to outwit Aaron Craft and net his second goal.
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Fedotovas was ejected along with Wight’s Graham McFarlane late in the opening period, though, after a melee and the scores were levelled just before the game’s midway mark as Jamie Lee beat the sprawling Aaron Mallet.
Lions regained the lead before the second break, though, as James Hatfull sent James Hepburn away to score with a flourish and Ashlee Cave went close to adding a fifth in the closing seconds.
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Hepburn hit a post early in the final period and the scoreline remained unchanged until three minutes from time when Lewis Tribble squared matters at 4-4.
Lions were handed a late 5-on-3 chance, though, and made it count as Ben Osbourne won a face-off and Hatfull’s shot was deflected in by Joe Berry with less than 90 seconds remaining on the clock.
An overdue victory will give Lions a notable lift for their trip to Slough next Saturday (October 12).
Scorers, Lions: Fedotovas 2+1 Hodge 1+1 Hepburn 1 Berry 1 Hatfull 0+2.
Tigers: Robinnson 1 Denness 1 Lee 1 Tribble 1 Wyatt 0+1 Edwards 0+1 Gutteridge 0+1 Harris 0+1.
Shots faced: Mallet (Lions) 45 Craft (Tigers) 37.
Penalty minutes: Lions 37 Tigers 42.