Match report - Lee Valley Lions/Swindon Wildcats v Jets

Match report - Lee Valley Lions/Swindon Wildcats v Jets

By A J Beal Webmaster
14 March
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A few changes were rung for these back-to-back games against the League's bottom two teams.


Making a welcome return after his EIHA ban at Christmas, Lukas Smital, playing on the second line, quickly got back into his stride! But the Jets were without the injured Nathan Darmanin or Liam Underdown, and Sam Talbot who, along with Sean Norris, played for the depleted Milton Keynes Thunder team on Saturday on their two-way deal and was 'rested' on Sunday, although Norris returned for the Swindon match.

Despite this, Lukas Smital was able to give two more under 18's a Jets debut against Lee Valley, defenceman Kieran Rooke and forward Bradley Hildreth, and still dressed a full compliment of players for both games. By contrast, the Lions had only fifteen players, including two netminders and were unfortunate to lose player Gus Zimmerman to injury in the first period of the game in Walthamstow.

After some initial resistance, the flood gates opened and the Jets ran out comfortable winners, scoring five short-handed goals, and seeing off James Andrews in the Lee Valley goal after Danny Rose netted Slough's seventh, the first of the short-handed strikes.

The Swindon match on Sunday was a far more competitive affair and with both teams having a number of talented youngsters in their sides. In fact, it is a bit of a mystery why Swindon haven't won more games and been higher up in the League table!

Adam Rosbottom scored in the opening minute before netminder Tyler Perre had 'got his eye in' but the rest of the first period saw Slough outshoot the Wildcats by 27 to 7, yet were unable to beat him again before the interval. Lukas Smital, back on the first line where he belongs, bagged the second for the visitors at 20:36 with an unassisted strike. Luke Reynolds and Rosbottom added two more before Swindon Mason Lipsey found a way to beat Smital on a powerplay as Luke Dreelan served a two plus ten penalty for 'boarding'.

Wildcats second, as the buzzer sounded for the second interval, was a 'beauty', created for Reed Sayers by Lipsey which Smital almost saved with a superb reaction move, but momentum just carried the puck over the line as the netminder scrambled to glover it clear.
Lipsey was denied the assist!

In the final stanza, Swindon continued to press with some good play, but the game was slipping away from them. Norris was 'provider' for two of the goals, for Lukas Smital and for Rob Horsfall on another powerplay, and there was a great finish by Liam Poulson from Smital's set-up pass. Juha Lindgren was rewarded with the man of match for tireless work on the fourth line, and Swindon's accolade went to captain David Sullivan, who had announced his retirement.

This weekend, Slough are back at the Hangar after a six week absence, taking on the London Raiders 2 ahead of the 'big' one against Oxford City Stars on 23rd March.
Well done to all the fans who made the trips to Lee Valley and Swindon this weekend.

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