GILLINGHAM, UK – A goal and two assists saw Daniel Fudger named man of the match on Sunday evening as the Invicta Dynamos cruised to an 8-2 victory against the twelve men of Milton Keynes in the NIHL South Division 1.
With three thumping wins against the Thunder already in 2013/14, the Dynamos were clear favourites and they wasted little time in justifying that tag as they broke the deadlock at 1.13. From the left channel Arran Strawson dispatched the puck across the crease where the on-rushing Daniel Hammond poked in beyond Denis Bell at close range for 1-0. The Thunder would answer though – Davey Jackson’s hopes of a shutout diminished as quickly as 4.05 when Bradley Moore found Alex Whyte from behind the net and the young forward slotted in from close left. Their time on a level footing was short-lived however – the Dynamos retaking the lead at 8.03 when Andy Smith entered the zone down the left wing before teeing up Juraj Huska in the slot – the Slovak rifling inside the right stick for 2-1. The remainder of the frame was domination from the home side and they made it count with two further efforts before the buzzer to lead 4-1 at the break.
The first of the pair came at 16.31 – Anthony Leone seizing a loose puck against the right boards and surging in unchallenged from the wing before firing low inside the far post for the goal. The second then came at 19.38 – A 2-on-1 beginning with Daniel Fudger entering the final third down the left channel and ending with a pass to the crease that was converted perfectly from the slot on the backhand by Elliott Knell.
Having ended the first with a flurry of goals, the Mos wasted little time in adding to their tally at the start of the second – Thunder shot stopper Denis Bell having to remove the puck from his net at 23.50. With the visiting defence at full stretch, Elliott Knell spotted Daniel Fudger in the right circle and the forward arrowed a slapshot into the near bottom corner between pad and post for 5-1. At 25.18 it was then 6-1 – Ryan Giles sitting an interference minor to earn one of the best seats in the house as teammate Callum Fowler escaped on the breakaway, skipped in from the right boards, across the crease to commit the netminder and tucked inside the left post for perhaps the goal of the game.
The Dynamos could and should have added to their score before the second intermission but were guilty of overplaying in front of net – so often looking for the extra pass instead of firing at the target. As a result the sides returned to the changing rooms with the hosts five ahead and just twenty more minutes to go.
In the final period the Thunder made their cause all the more difficult when netminder Denis Bell took a tripping minor and, having largely been unable to cope when 5-on-5, they found 5-on-4 an impossible proposition – Anthony Leone netting his second of the night for the Mos at 43.05. Daniel Hammond sent his captain in down the right side and, with options in the middle, the forward used his teammates as a decoy whilst slotting beyond Bell inside the near post for 7-1. Milton Keynes could have answered soon after when Jacob Ranson escaped on the breakaway but the forward was robbed by Andy Smith – Smith chasing back and claiming the puck with a cheeky stick lift whilst his opponent was set to pull the trigger. They would have their response at 51.39 though – penalties to Elliott Knell and Daniel Fudger affording Alex Whyte the room to fire into the top far corner of the goal from the left circle and cut the deficit to five. It was a margin that would only increase again before the final buzzer – Sam Fairhurst’s trip to the box costing them an eighth at 55.53 when Arran Strawson’s blue line effort hit traffic in front and fell neatly to Shaun Wild close left – the defenceman playing forward finishing perfectly to seal the 8-2 victory.
So it was a comfortable win for the Dynamos in a game that resembled a training exercise despite the best efforts of the Thunder’s twelve representatives. The tally for the hosts should have been a lot more but players were taking the opportunity to experiment and were somewhat guilty of being overambitious in front of net. Nevertheless it was two more league points for the Mos – Daniel Fudger their man of the match with a goal and two assists. Alex Whyte took the spoils for Milton Keynes.