U15 Milton Keynes Storm v U15 Invicta Mavericks - Saturday 30th September 2017
The Invicta Mavericks travelled to Milton Keynes to face the U15 Storm in their first game of the 2017/18 season.
Captain Gregor McAllan passed a late fitness test to make the line up alongside Maverick debutants Will Williams, Charlotte Davenport-Jeffery, Frankie Svoma, Sonny Boswell and also U13s Taylor Chard and Olly Williams. Coach Dell gave Harvey Bryden the start in the Invicta net.
The Mavericks started well, with Assistant Captain Joe Webb weaving through the MK defence and drawing a good save from the Storm netminder in the early stages of the game. Milton Keynes responded with some sustained pressure which prompted McAllan to shovel the puck out of the Invicta zone and directly over the glass, resulting in a Storm powerplay. The Mavericks appeared comfortable in the early stages of the penalty kill, but after a loss of concentration on the Invicta blue line Milton Keynes were able to break towards the Invicta net and despite Bryden’s initial save, the home team were able to put away the rebound giving them the go-ahead power play goal on 02:48. Invicta’s attempts to force themselves back into the game was disrupted when Webb took a 2+10 penalty on 08:21 for checking from behind. Invicta looked the stronger team and saw out the rest of the period, but could not get any of their shots on target leaving the score 1-0 to the hosts at the first intermission.
The second period saw Charlie Thwaites’ physicality and Webb’s return to the ice result in more Invicta pressure on the Storm net, but the Mavericks were unable to turn their puck possession and presence in the MK zone into an equalising goal. Again early-season rustiness showed as although plenty of shots were taken on the Storm net, they were more often than not wide or over the MK goal. Frustratingly, the Mavericks fell further behind in the closing seconds of the period. With Invicta pressing in the Milton Keynes zone, D-Man Matt Bell got caught aggressively pinching on the boards, allowing the Storm to break out and despite Bryden’s best efforts, the ensuing panic and scramble in the Mavs’ crease allowed the MK forward to lift the puck into the net on 29:41 and send the jubilant Storm into the dressing room after 30 minutes with a two-goal lead.
With Invicta chasing a way back into the game, Coach Dell turned to his senior players at the start of the third period. The tactic paid dividends when Captain McAllan unleashed a rocket from the point to open Invicta’s account on 32:33. The goal added some extra jump to the Mavericks as they pushed for the equalising goal, and although an increasing number of shots were on target, the were dealt with by the Storm netminder. As the clock started to run down and the tension started to rise, the Storm drew a roughing penalty on 44:05 and Bryden vacated the Mavs’ net to give Invicta an extra skater. Despite Invicta pressing for the game tying goal it didn’t materialise and it was the hosts who took the two points with a 2-1 victory.
A frustrating opening game for the rusty Mavericks who probably deserved at least a point, but saw wayward shooting and defensive lapses cost them dearly. Invicta will look forward to playing the return game against Milton Keynes at Silverblades Gillingham on 15th October.
The online game sheet can be found HERE