Cesky’s overtime winner claims the points in Cardiff

jaroslavcesky_170218Jaroslav Cesky’s overtime winner saw the Invicta Dynamos claim a 4-3 road win in a feisty encounter with the Cardiff Fire on Saturday night in a clash that also saw Brandon Webster drop the gloves and Louis Colvin sustain a broken nose.

The Dynamos made the long trip to Wales knowing in the back of their minds that the Cardiff Fire were still seeking to win their first league game of the season – and they didn’t want to be that first scalp. The Mos were able to recall the services of netminder Damien King who started between the pipes and forward Scott Bailey, missing from the roster were Josh Condren and Jake Stedman.

The first period started with neither team testing the netminders early on – in fact the penalty box was busier with minor penalties against David Manning and Brandon Webster leaving a 4 on 4 situation – with the visitors further reduced to 3 skaters on 2:53 after Ross Connolly was adjudged to have cross checked his opponent. On the shorthand the Mos broke in the 4th minute and Ashley Jackson firing over Jordan Lawdays’ net when he maybe could have done a bit better. Shortly afterwards the Mos returned to full strength but were again defending a powerplay moments later with Mason Webster pulled for hooking on 5:26.

The feisty affair soon resulted in Brandon Webster and Elis Sheppard trading blows on 8:32 after Brandon Webster had boarded a Fire’ player. Once the fight ended referee Belfitt gave Webster junior a total of 6 penalty minutes and Sheppard also sitting for 4 minutes –Harrison Lillis also getting 10 minutes for misconduct. By now Belfitt was blowing his whistle more than the shots recorded on goal – and it was of no surprise that Ross Connolly was the latest player called into the penalty box, this time the for high sticks on Samual Bryant at 11:27, with the Mos again defending another powerplay. The Dynamos yet again showed great character and defensive resolve by keeping the Fire at bay and returned to full strength with little over 6 minutes of the first period remaining at 0-0. On 14:14 Arran Strawson brought the puck out of the Mos zone and found Mason Webster wide left before a tap back to Steve Osman had home netminder Lawday getting down low to save.

A David Manning slash on Scott Bailey gave the Mos a powerplay on 14:59 with Tommy Ralph going close with a slapshot on 16:30. The all important powerplay goal for the Dynamos finally came on 16:47 – Mason Webster hitting the back of the net with Scott Bailey and Steve Osman assisting. The Mos had a further powerplay on 16:58 with Jackson Price this time warming the Fire penalty bench for interference – but on this occasion the Mos didn’t make the one man advantage count and shortly afterwards the Fire made them pay by snatching the equalising goal on 19:18 through Price himself after he leapt onto a pass by Manning for 1-1.

The Mos took the lead again on 20:44 – Jarosalv Cesky cutting a delightful pass to Ashley Jackson who despatched the puck beyond Lawday coolly, the second assist claimed by Tommy Ralph. The Dynamos were looking good for their’ 2-1 lead and Scott Bailey further tested Lawday on 22 minutes with the nettie saving well. The penalty drama wasn’t over though – Louis Colvin penalised for elbows on 23:10 and the Mos defending yet another powerplay. The visitors soon returned to full strength and not long afterwards were on a man advantage themselves after David Sadler cross checked Cesky on 25:45 – Tommy Ralph again going close with a slapshot, as did Arran Strawson. Lawday was alert on 28:59, getting down well to deny Zosiak who had carried the puck from the halfway line before firing a shot close to the netminder.

Lawday turned to villain on 31 minute, slashing Harrison Lillis which created multiple players to start grabbing each other – neither got a penalty but Alex Symonds did for hooking in the lead-up to the incident. Lillis was being targeted by the Fire’ players and when he was crashed onto the boards on 44:52 the Mos had yet another powerplay – but with no goal coming the score remained at 2-1 to the away team. George Hoang was ejected from the game on 37:41, receiving 5 plus game for a check to the head on David Manning who also received 2 penalty minutes for roughing. To make things worse for the Mos Louis Colvin also played no further part in the game after suffering a suspected broken nose earlier in the period.

With the third period starting with the Mos defending their slim lead an onslaught from the Fire was expected – especially with just under 3 minutes of the Hoang penalty to closeout too and only 12 fit skaters left to ice. Despite holding their own to start with the Mos finally conceded when Tomas Elias danced through the middle on 41:35 for 2-2. The Mos returned to full strength a minute later and looked to take the attack to the hosts.

Steve Osman restored the Dynamos lead on 48:04 – a determined drive forward and shot at the second attempt beating Lawday, Scott Bailey and Mason Webster assisting. The Mos were looking good for their 3-2 lead and Brandon Webster almost scratched goal number 4 on the scoreboard on 49 minutes.

Poor defending on 51:11 gave Cardiff Fire their 3rd goal on 51:11 – Josh Haslam firing into the net after Jordan Powell found him lurking by the goalmouth. At 3-3 and under 9 minutes to go of the game, the next goal was going to be crucial to deciding the outcome of the fixture – and Powell missed a sitter for the Fire which would have given them the lead for the first time had he converted.

A big opportunity came to the Mos on 56:13 after the Fire had to defend a slashing penalty – Tommy Ralph firing wide with a slapshot but the extra skater advantage was wiped out on 57:05 when Connolly was caught hooking leaving the game with a 4 on 4. Ondrej Zosiak skated virtually the length of the ice pad and round Lawdays’ net to register a shot which was blocked before the Fire returned to full strength. There was only under a minute of the game remaining when the Mos were back to 5 skaters leaving them hardly anytime to put any further pressure on Lawday so the 3rd period ended on 3-3 and the game went into overtime.

The Mos started the overtime icing the trio of Zosiak, Osman and Bailey. A mistake by the Fire led to Zosiak surging forward with the puck which called for Lawday to make himself look big and pull out a brilliant save. At the other end King did well to deny Buglass. A line change saw Ralph, Jackson and Cesky thrown into the action – Ralph winning the puck, feeding Jackson who found Cesky who hit the winner on 63:01.

So two big points for the Mos on the road in a thrilling game. Man of the match for the Mos went to Scott Bailey and for the hosts David Manning picked-up the award.

Written by Lee Allen.

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