The Under 9 Invicta Bucks team travelled to Lee Valley on 12 January for their second cross-ice tournament of 2019. Jacob O’Dwyer and Nicholas Pera Hall lent a hand to the short-benched Lee Valley team, and Charlie Duncan-Woolard stood in as Net Minder for Chelmsford.
The Bucks’ first opponents were the Lee Valley Lions. The Bucks got off to a flying start with Finley Tennant and Xenxo Dobbs making some good passes, keeping control and possession of the puck. O’Dwyer, for Lee Valley scooped a rebound puck and made a great run down the wing and shot at goal. Samuel Lenk, the Bucks Net minder, made a great save. O’Dwyer kept the pressure on and finally scored goals against his Invicta team mates. Taylor Edwards and Benjamin Bates attempted to get the Bucks off the score sheet and made impressive shots that were saved. Callum Wilson applied the pressure with great speed and made a few attempts at goal but was denied by the Lions experienced goaltender. The Bucks continued to push on, with shots coming thick and fast from Dobbs, Edwards and Michael O’Sullivan but unfortunately none were able to make it past the Lee Valley defence and goalie. Edwards shot at goal which was forced wide. Harry Foreman created some magnificent chances, as did Tennant and Harry Innes. Lenk remained calm and managed to keep the puck out with numerous saves. Dobbs found the back of a net with a slap shot from a rebound. The Bucks continued to play impressively with Wilson sending a great pass to Bates, who found the back of the net. Whilst the Lions defence regrouped, Wilson managed to sneak another in. Lee Valley’s response was to find the back of the net and score a few within a minutes. It was an exciting game to watch as both teams fought for the puck and defended well. The Bucks remained calm and regained their composure. Wilson, Foreman and Toby Hoggins all made good attempts but were unlucky to succeed. Bates found some space and added another goal for the Bucks. Oliver Banks made a superb run and managed to pass to Wilson with the last shot of the game which the netminder saved.
The second cross-ice match-up saw Invicta face Romford. The Junior Raiders were quick off the mark and Lenk was forced to save early on. Romford persevered and were rewarded with an early goal. O’Sullivan manoeuvred well and found space to shoot at close range but unfortunately, O’Sullivan was denied. Wilson also found himself with some space and attempted a slap shot that went wide. Hoggins made a run down the centre with Wilson ready to receive the pass, but his shot was smothered and saved. Romford used speed and initiative on the break and scored. The Bucks were unlucky as Wilson, Foreman and Edwards had a barrage of shots but it was Bates who once again found the back of the net. Foreman came so close with a shot that ricochet off the pipes. Foreman was determined to score and kept the pressure on and his hard work paid off with a great goal! Innes stayed strong in defence, pushing Romford players to shoot wide. William Lake also drove home a shot but the Romford tendie pulled off an impressive save. Dobbs scored for the Bucks and Lenk made a great save just before the final buzzer. Romford had been tough opponents but Invicta had kept their cool and managed to put on a great display of ice hockey.
The final game of the day saw Invicta play Chelmsford. Early on, Wilson, Tennant and Dobbs tested Duncan-Woolard’s reactions, but he stayed poised and kept the puck out. Hoggins found himself outnumbered by Chelmsford players but managed to pass the puck to Tennant who had his shot saved. Edwards looked for Lake who was in front of goal and shot. It just wasn’t Invicta’s day as Duncan-Woolard smothered the puck. Ben Tancsics was also denied by Duncan-Woolard’s superb saving skills. Chelmsford managed to attack on the break and scored. Despite dominating the play, the Bucks were unlucky not to score. Oliver Banks, O’Sullivan and Innes tried to break the Chelmsford defences, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Wilson’s and Foreman’s pairing as forwards saw a number of accurate passes but Wilson’s shot was saved. Finally goals came from Dobbs, O’Sullivan and Bates, along with some near misses from Wilson, Edwards, Lake and Innes. It was Chelmsford who scored the last goal of the game. It had been a tough game with Duncan-Woolard helping Chelmsford to keep his team mates out. The Bucks had played well and did not give up. Well done!
Man of the match was awarded to Ben Tancsics and Toby Hoggins took home the award for Spirit of the game. Well done lads.