Lee Valley U18’s v Guildford U18’s
South League 1
At the Lee Valley Ice Centre
After a previous season that saw defeat follow defeat, there was trepidation for Lee Valley U18s when Guildford was drawn to open the 2013/14 season. This was founded upon two meetings the previous year that saw Guildford score 30 goals with only 2 going the other way.
So how would the team, buoyed by the addition of 2 new players in Charlie Cullen-Hatch and Louis Borg, react to the Guildford machine rolling into town? In short, I think the answer would be, pretty damn good!
The team came onto the ice, led by new Captain Jarvis Mewett and the game started, to be fair, with the majority of the play in the Lee Valley defensive zone. This didn’t deter the boys from defending with a zeal perhaps lacking last year, throwing their bodies into blocks and checking anything that moved, whilst relying on break-aways to keep the Guildford D on their toes.
The down side to the team’s passion was that the officials didn’t like it, seemingly awarding penalty after penalty. This finally took its toll with less than 3 minutes to go in the period when the visitors opened the scoring after a speculative shot was launched through a crowd of players that beat the excellent Lions netminder before he had a chance to see it.
So end of the first and the home team were losing 0-1. But rather than seeing this as a negative, the home team rallied and upped their game in the second, and despite still taking too many penalties the middle period ended 0-0. There were a lot of happy faces going into the home dressing room at this point, something that wasn’t so apparent in the visitors!
So into the third period with a score of just 0-1 and not unsurprisingly this began in a similar vein to the other 2 periods, with Guildford making the most of the pressure and Niks Trapans in the home team net in great form stopping everything he could see. A 5 on 3 powerplay eventually took its toll though and Guildford got their 2nd goal 3 minutes into the final period, when a shot deflected off a home team player’s leg and found its way into the net. This was followed by 2 further goals halfway through the period.
The team reacted extremely well to the goals going in and battled hard, getting some reward when Jordan Sullivan picked up a Bailey Wootton pass to open the teams account for the season. Two more good chances were then scrambled away by the Guildford D before the final buzzer sounded, leaving the home side beaten but certainly not down. This very tight game has given the team a shot in the arm and a belief that was clearly missing last season. The vibe is that their first win is just around the corner.
Shots on Goal: on Lee Valley 62, on Guildford 18
Penalties: On Lee Valley 52, on Guildford 14
MOM: Niks Trapans.