Milton Keynes Thunder 2-6 Invicta Dynamos
Milton Keynes Thunder 2-6 Invicta Dynamos

The Invicta Dynamos came away with two points from Milton Keynes on Sunday night to complete a 4 point weekend in a remarkable game.

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Whilst you might often hear stories about a team turning-up in the wrong kit, or the star player stuck in traffic as an example, the Dynamos had to make do playing with guarding an empty net for almost 19 minutes of the first period.

Due to a mix-up behind the scenes which meant the netminder equipment didn’t travel from Kent, Damien King had to watch from the sidelines whilst his gear was rushed-up the M1.

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With the opposition seemingly not offering to provide spare netminder kit or there being no delay in the start time and Invicta having no-back-up netminder, Invicta coach Kevin Parrish sent his side out to defend the empty net.

The Dynamos adopted what could be best described as a sweeper/keeper system, with the likes of Harrison Lillis and Elliott Dewey taking the role of hovering behind the D-men and acting as the last line of defence.

Dewey did well to deny Matthew Roberts after a minute and Invicta held out until just over two minutes when Thomas Castle collected a loose puck and scored in the unguarded not to give MK Thunder a one-nil lead.

Almost two minutes later Ondrej Zosiak made a very rare mistake which lead to Tom Mboya doubling the home side’s lead to two-nil.

Invicta’s hardworking forwards were also showing great teamwork. As well as chasing down every MK shirt, the puck possession and retention went a long to help take some pressure off the defence.

Matthew Roberts was getting frustrated by this and wiped out Josh Condren on 4:31 to give the Dynamos a powerplay and a chance to ease some more pressure and also have a Callum Fowler shot saved by Villem-Henrik Koitmaa.

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After the powerplay, Elliott Dewey chested a shot away from the Dynamos goal before Kevin Parrish called a timeout to help kill some time and rally his troops.

Frustratingly, Arran Strawson got called for tripping seconds after the powerplay leaving the Dynamos to defend their empty net with a skater down.

With sweeper keeper Dewey again blocking a shot and Callum Fowler carrying the puck from one end of the pad to the other the Dynamos killed the powerplay.

Damien King made an entry to the game with 1 minute 22 seconds remaining on the clock, leading the Dynamos to change strategy and go from defending the puck to attacking.

Hard work paid off on 19:59, MK were defending a powerplay which led to Eriks Ozollapa and Steve Osman creating problems in a crowded MK defence zone handing Callum Fowler the opportunity to rifle back a goal for Invicta just before the buzzer for 2-1 at the end of the period.

Damien King made his first save on 20:56, saving from MK captain Jamie Line. King’s opposite number, Villem-Henrik Koitmaa was next in the action, saving a powerful slapshot from Harrison Lillis.

Following a hooking call on Jamie Line, the Dynamos notched the equalising goal on 23 minutes, Strawson finding Osman on the left and Osman hitting the puck across Koitmaa’s goal for Fowler to tap in for 2-2.

Invicta were now on top of the game, Ozollapa, Strawson and Redmond all going close until the Dynamos had to switch game plan again in the 35th minute following penalties against Dewey and Lillis left them defending a 5 on 3.

MK Thunder rarely threatened King’s goal during the powerplay and as soon as Invicta got back to full strength Tom Castle and Matt Roberts both got penalties giving the Dynamos the chance to attack from a 5 on 3 – which led to Invicta going 3-2 ahead on 39:20 Fowler turning provider for Steve Osman to score and Elliott Dewey claiming the second assist.

Damien King only faced four shots during the second period but was called into action early in the third, denying Ross Bowers.

Invicta soon stretched the lead to 4-2 in the 42nd minute, Conor Redmond grabbing his second goal of the weekend, assisted by Osman and McNicoll – Osman’s third assist of the night to go with his goal.

With 43:30 on the clock Eriks Ozollapa put the game beyond doubt, the Latvian accepting Fowler’s inviting pass to increase the score to 5-2.

Tom Mboya did have a great opportunity to grab a goal back for MK with ten minutes remaining, only to be denied by King’s outstretched leg.

With MK veteran Jamie Randall penalised for hooking on 59:00, Invicta wrapped-up the game seven seconds later, Ozollapa grabbing his second goal of the night, and Strawson his third assist.

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After the buzzer the Invicta players and coaching staff walked over to the travelling supporters to applaud them for the amazing support they provided throughout the game.

Steve Osman collected the man of the match awards for Invicta, whilst Damien King also completed a shutout for the time he was on the ice, blocking out 12 shots.

Pictures supplied by Nicola Allen.

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