The Invicta Mavericks travelled to Gosport on Sunday 14th October to play the U15 Solent Junior Devils for the first time this season. The Mavs were short-bench due to their Under 13 contingent being unavailable, and Coach Rob Dell called up #80 George Chaney to make his first appearance of the season.
Period 1 - The game got underway on the tight Gosport ice surface and it was Invicta who registered the first goal of the game on 1:57, as Captain and #46 Matty Bell skated through the Devils to line of defence and put away a nice finish to put the Mavs in front. Solent pushed back strongly, and after killing off an Invicta powerplay, started to put some pucks on net from distance that Invicta’s netminder Harvey Bryden dealt with confidently. Invicta were struggling to cope with the smaller rink, with rushed plays being intent on trying to get score from close in, rather than pulling the trigger from further out. Solent evened the score up on 10:46 with a scrappy goal from after a turnover on the Mavs blueline. With some questionable refereeing calls against both teams disrupting the flow of the remainder of the period, the score after 15 minutes was: Solent 1-1 Invicta.
Period 2- The Mavericks started the second period on the powerplay but could not make the man-advantage count. Shortly afterwards the Mavs themselves faced a 5 on 3 Solent powerplay for a full two minutes after the Williams brothers, #72 Will and #76 Ollie, were both assessed with minor penalties. Invicta confidently held the Devils at bay for the penalty kill but could not prevent the Devils taking the lead 24:20 with a powerplay goal as Bell sat in the Mavs’ penalty box for another debatable cross-checking. Solent were starting to up their physicality and a nasty check to the head of Ollie Williams saw a 2+10 penalty assessed. Thankfully Ollie was ok and the Mavericks continued to ask questions, with the impressive forward duo of #17 Flynn Hammond and #56 Thomas Davies both being denied by a combination of the Solent goalie and his goalframe. Despite the pressure Invicta could not even the game up and the period finished 2-1 to the hosts.
Period 3 – The final period was a close affair with both the Devils and the Mavericks having opportunities to score. Coach Dell shuffled his lines in an attempt to generate some more offence and it paid dividends as the Mavericks scored a powerplay goal on 40:31 to make it 2-2 when #54 Taylor Chard scored his first of the season, firing him from the slot after taking a pass from Bell. Again the Devils pressed and regained the lead on 42:55 as the Mavs lost their shape and allowed a Solent forward to place a fine shot over the shoulder of Bryden. Invicta again pushed for an equaliser, aided by another Solent penalty, but despite a solid effort and some narrow misses, the Mavs couldn’t register a third goal and it was the Junior Devils who took the win and both points.
Solent Junior Devils 3 – 2 Invicta Mavericks
Mavericks Spirit of the Game went to #31 Harvey Bryden for a strong performance in the Invicta Net.
Man of the Match went to #56 Thomas Davies for a hard-working performance up front.
The Mavericks have a bit of a break in fixtures now and travel to Milton Keynes for their next game on Sunday 11th November, face off 4.30 PM.