U15 Invicta Mavericks vs U15 Haringey Hounds - Sat 3 March 2018
The Mavericks welcomed the Hounds from Haringey to Planet Ice Gillingham for the first time this season on 3rd March. After a week of wintry weather across the UK, both teams and the match officials were able to get to the rink for the game to take place. Invicta, missing Gregor McAllan and Clarice King, were lead out on to the ice by stand-in Captain Charlie Thwaites, with Harvey Bryden getting the start between the pipes.
1st Period - The early exchanges were closely contested and played out at a fast pace as both teams used their full compliment of players and rolled three lines. The visitors from North London had the territorial upper-hand, with the Mavericks struggling at times to clear their defensive zone. Invicta killed off an early Haringey powerplay at 3:40 after Thwaites was called for elbows, and Invicta themselves had a man advantage at 9:56 after the Hounds were called for the same offence. As the Mavericks pressed for a powerplay goal, the Haringey netminder took exception to a miss-timed forecheck by Owen Rider and left the crease on 11:07 to cross-check Invicta's Joe Webb in the ensuing melee, for which he was ejected from the game by the match officials. With no listed back-up netminder, the 1st period was temporarily paused to allow Haringey to dress a replacement goalie. When the period resumed, despite Invicta pressurising the Hounds' net, the Mavs were unable to take advantage of the powerplay, and the period finished scoreless, with shots on goal 9-5 in Invicta's favour.
2nd Period - Invicta started the second frame with a simple brief - 'Get Pucks on Net', and scored the first goal of the game on 15:21 when Webb raced down centre ice before unleashing a rocket of a 'bar-down' shot that rung off the Hound's crossbar before crossing the Haringey goal-line. The Mavericks were unable to build on the goal as Webb then took two minor back-to-back penalties for cross-checking and boarding respectively. The Hounds took the opportunity to seize the initiative and pushed for the equalising goal calling Bryden into action to make save after save to just to protect Invicta's lead. Instead of shots being fired on the Hounds' net it was the Mavs' goal that was being peppered, with a combination of great saves and desperate defending keeping Haringey out. Eventually the Haringey pressure took its toll, when the equalising goal was scored at 26:31, and was immediately followed by a second goal for the Hounds, as they scored on a breakaway on 27:08. The visitors completed ar 3-goal blitz on 28:27 after some defensive errors from Invicta to leave the score 3-1 to Haringey after two periods. Shots on goal for the period were 20-4 in favour of the Hounds.
3rd Period - After generating very little offence in the middle period, Invicta knew they needed to show a big improvement in the third if they were going to get anything from the game. The Mavericks reduced the deficit to a single goal on 32:03 when Olly Wagg tipped in a Matty Bell wrist shot from the blue line. Less than 30 seconds later the game was tied, as on the very next shift some nice work by Rider down the left wing saw a centring pass end up on Ed Stedman's stick and he sniped home the equalising goal. With the momentum firmly in Invicta's favour, the go-ahead goal was not long coming as the Rider-Webb-Stedman line again combined for Webb on 35:30 to score and send the home crowd wild. Webb completed his hat-trick on 38:00 after he took a nice banked pass from Taylor Chard off the boards to race clear and slot home the Mavericks' fifth goal of the afteroon. Invicta retained their two-goal lead to the game-ending buzzer to take the two points. 3rd period shots on goal 13-7 to Invicta.
A strange game for the Mavericks who appeared to be disrupted more by the change in the Haringey net than the vistors were, but to their credit Invicta responded strongly in the final period to take the win.
Invicta Man of the Match was awarded to #31 Harvey Bryden. whose heroics in the 2nd Period ensured that the Mavs retained a chance to win the game in the final period.
Official Gamesheet can be found by clicking here.
Mavericks travel to Basingstoke for their next game next Sunday, 11th March (Mother's Day!)