U18 Invicta Colts v U18 Slough Junior Jets - Sunday 24th September 2017
The Invicta Colts started their EIHA U18 South League 2 campaign facing off against their counterparts from the Slough Junior Jets. Both teams were originally scheduled to have played different opposition on the day, with Invicta due to host Milton Keynes and Slough due to travel to Lee Valley. However, both Invicta's and Slough's scheduled opponents were unable to play due to insufficient players and no available ice respectively. Thanks to the willingness and positive actions of both the Invicta and Slough Fixtures Secretaries, the EIHA volunteers and the flexibility of both teams and officials the game was able to be brought forward and slotted in so a massive thanks to go to all involved.
With only two players from the previous year’s team still in the squad it was very much a new team for Coach Doug Laming and Assistant Dave Gibson going into the 2017/18 season and indications at training with the players available and line combinations were looking positive.
With the puck dropped both teams showed early signs of it being their first games with action up and down the ice as each tried to get their legs and minds back into competitive action. The Colts were forced onto the penalty kill shortly after the one minute mark with newly appointed Captain Archie Warren taking a two minute penalty for boarding. The Colts were able to convincingly see the penalty off and upon his return to the ice at 04:25 Archie Warren was able to find the twine of the Slough net with a solo effort from the high slot. Slough showing no signs of backing down hit quickly back on the counter attack and through some slopping defending on the Colts part were able to equalise at 07:03. Kieron Jones was next to break the deadlock at 09:52 with the assist coming from Samuel Oliver. Five seconds later following the subsequent face off at 09:57 Slough immediately brought the game level to 2-2. Both teams continued to see their chances and at 14:27 Slough took the lead through a well worked goal giving them their first and only lead of the game. As the Colts tried to get themselves back onto a level Kieron Jones found himself being sent to the penalty box having received two minutes for tripping. Again the Colts penalty kill was called into action and some were duly rewarded at 18:41 with a shorthanded effort coming from scorer Harry Sage assisted by Harry Blake. The period ended tied 3-3 with the Colts dominating Slough on the shot count, 23 for Invicta and 11 for Slough.
Onto the second period and the Colts regained the lead at 23:26 with a solo effort from provider now turned goal scorer Harry Blake. The Colts were only able to maintain the lead for just over two minutes when Slough again brought it back all level at 25:34. An inadvertent trip at 27:44 on debutant Ralph Plant saw the Colts again forced onto the penalty kill although after only 20 seconds in Slough themselves took a delay of game penalty voiding their power play opportunity. The Colts were able to capitalise on the 4 on 4 at 29:39 with Kieron Jones again finding the net with the assist coming from Owen Dell. Less than 30 seconds later at 30:05 the same line again found the net with Samuel Oliver crashing the net having received a nice saucer pass from Owen Dell with the second assist going to Matt Laming. With the score at 6-4 to in the Colts advantage they began to find themselves in a bit of penalty trouble. Firstly at 30:54 Finesse Kallay took two minutes for tripping and at 31:41 whilst on the penalty kill Gregor McAllan took two minutes for delay of game having shot the puck out of play. Despite over a minute of 5 on 3 for Slough they were unable to convert on their opportunities and the period ended 6-4 in the Colts favour.
Into the third period and the game very much still up for grabs the Colts increased their lead to 7-4 with another solo effort from Harry Blake at 42:54. Slough rebounded narrowing the gap back to two goals at 47:45 but, as this game had shown it was back and forth and at 47:52 Samuel Oliver found the net this time being assisted by Kieron Jones. Invicta increased their lead to 9-5 at 48:21 when a nice break out pass from Samuel Oliver to Owen Dell saw him and Kieron Jones on a 2 on 1 in which Owen Dell fired a shot over the shoulder of the Slough net minder into the top corner. Slough continued to battle and at 55:07 scored another.
The game finished Invicta Colts 9 – 6 Slough Junior Jets.
Man of the Match for the Invicta Colts went to Harry Blake.
The online game sheet can be found HERE