Tipple Shines But Lions Toppled in Brutal Beating

Handshakes at the start - but trouble was brewing
Handshakes at the start – but trouble was brewing
  • Don McDermott saw Lee Valley slump to defeat in a feisty showdown
  • Penalties and punishments galore
  • Heroic display from Lions’ goalie

Lee Valley captain Nick Alley said that he expected more from his team after their Sunday night loss to the Peterborough Islanders, but praised Lions netminder James Tipple as one of the best goalies in the league.

Tipple made 70 saves but his teammates were shut out as Lee Valley lost 4-0 to a Peterborough side that has now won 14 straight matches.

But the scoreline hardly reflected the drama of a match that included 136 penalty minutes, three ejections and 117 shots on goal.

Alley said that taking 42 shots and failing to score was not acceptable for his team, particularly in light of Tipple’s herculean performance in net.

Alley said, “I’d always expect more, I’d always ask more from the team. As with pretty much every game we play, our goalie kept us in it. I’d be confident in saying he’s one of, if not the best goalie in the league.

“As a team we’ve got to be doing more to support him and we didn’t get a single goal. Letting in four goals in this league, you should be running close of winning, but we didn’t have that finishing touch in the end.”

Nasty

And the captain was at a loss to explain the nastiness of the match, saying: “I don’t know. Everyone’s had a long week. We should have been keeping our composure. We feel like there were some bad calls, but they were on both sides. So there can’t be any excuses, really. We lost our cool.”

The chippy play started just five minutes in when the Lions’ James Joseph head-butted an opponent. A scuffle ensued, and then Peterborough’s Connor Stokes took down Joseph from behind and began to pummel him whilst Joseph was still kneeling on the ice.

Joseph and Stokes were given match penalties and James White was additionally put in the box for interference.

The Lions power play proved to be weak, although their first penalty kill was stellar. But the next time Peterborough went on the man advantage, the Islanders found the breakthrough.

Nathan Pollard sent a pass flying in front of the net out to the right faceoff circle and Shaun Yardley fired in a quick shot that sneaked in under Tipple.

Pollard, who was later named Man of the Match for the visitors, scored the second goal unassisted on a breakaway early in the second period.

The Islanders would add two more goals in the third period, but the final passage of play was dominated by a return of the feisty play.

Lee Valley’s Chris Fox was given a match penalty after receiving his second 10-minute misconduct in the 57th minute.

But Peterborough were by far the more penalized side. In a space of 2:16, they were handed eight penalties, included two 10-minutes misconducts, resulting in one passage of play in which the Islanders had five men crowded into the penalty box.

But the Lions could not capitalize on the power plays they were given and fell to a fourth straight loss.

Lee Valley will be back on the ice on 5 March on home ice against the Invicta Mustangs.

 

Don McDermott

Don McDermott is a sports presenter and commentator for Wycombe Sound Radio 106.6 FM, a media and marketing intern for the Essex County Cricket Club and a regional press officer with the Students RFU. Don has written and commentated on various sports, including cricket, rugby union, football, tennis, athletics, hockey, netball, rowing, basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, baseball, softball, cheerleading and gymnastics.