Lions show fight in opening loss

Lee Valley Lions began a new campaign at the weekend (Pic: Beverly Irish)

Lee Valley Lions began a new campaign at the weekend (Pic: Beverly Irish) - Credit: Archant

National League: Lee Valley 2 Slough 5

Lions were left empty-handed after a hard-working display in their opening fixture of the new season at Lee Valley Ice Arena last night.

Tribute was paid to former Lion Jordan Jones, who passed away this summer, before play began and Lions went close through Nick Alley and Richard Hodges in a scoreless opening period.

Theo Abban and Gennadi Yufit combined well for the hosts, but the scoreline remained blank until the 37th minute when Ashlee Cave scrambled home Ben Osborne’s pass from close range to put Lions ahead.

Jets levelled 24 seconds before the interval, though, when David Print’s hit on James Gosling set up a 2-on-0 chance for Liam Underdown to put Zoran Kozic in to score.

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Lions, under new coach Gary Dodds, regained the lead within a minute of the restart as Alley sent a wristshot into the top corner of the net.

But Hodge then clashed with Joseph Day, with both players earning four minutes in penalties, and Josh Condren levelled during the 4-on-4.

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Conor Redmond netted twice in 61 seconds, including a penalty shot to put Slough 4-2 up and former Yugoslavian international Kozic sealed the points for his side with a shorthanded fifth in the 56th minute.

Alley took Lee Valley’s man of the match award, while goalie Laura Saunders skated off with Slough’s prize.

Lee Valley return to action on September 21 with another home match against Chelmsford Warriors.

Scorers, Lions: Alley 1 Cave 1 Hodge 0+1 Osborne 0+1.

Jets: Kozic* 2+2 Redmond 2 Condren 1+1 Underdown 0+2 Print 0+1 Darmanin 0+1.

Shots faced: Mallet (Lions) 40 Saunders (Jets) 34.

Penalty minutes: Lions 20 Jets 20.

Referee: Tom Stephenson.

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