Invicta Dynamos face Chelmsford Chieftains in the NIHL1 South play-off final this weekend aiming to stop their opponents from claiming the treble.
The Dynamos beat Streatham IHC 14-4 on aggregate and defender Tommy Ralph (above) believes the team can stop the Chieftains adding to their league and cup successes.
“The semi-final was a great contest – in the first leg Streatham did a job and kept it close, giving themselves a chance to win the following day in Gillingham,” said Ralph.
“However they got their tactics all wrong against us in the second leg and we punished them for it. It was probably the most complete game we’ve played all year storming away with a 10-1 win.
“Streatham’s only goal came from a five-on-three powerplay – other than that they didn’t look like getting past our guys at all. It was the performance we needed before a huge final.
“We know about the Chieftains – we know what to expect. They’re a solid hockey team that rolls three strong lines all night and has solid goaltending.
“But we also know on our day we can beat them, as we’ve come out the winning side in three of our eight encounters this year.
“If we can remain disciplined and play five-on-five all night, stick to the systems and take our chances on the special teams when they come I’m confident we can finally break the mould of finishing second and lift a trophy.
“It will be a great weekend of hockey and a great advert for the league, with the top two sides going head-to-head in the play-off final – fans won’t want to miss this one.”
While Invicta were comfortably seeing off Streatham in their semi-final, Chelmsford racked up an even bigger aggregate score to knock-out London Raiders.
The Chieftains raced to a 16-4 success over the two legs, but despite the big victory netminder Ben Clements believes the Dynamos will present a much tougher challenge.
“Having played Invicta in the cup final a few weeks ago we know this won’t be an easy couple of games,” said Clements.
“As long as we stick to our game and play for the full sixty minutes on both days I believe we’ll come out on top.
“The first game in Invicta is key and if we can come away tied or ahead, then that puts us in a great position at home on Sunday.”
Invicta Dynamos v Chelmsford Chieftains
Chelmsford Chieftains v Invicta Dynamos
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(Image permission: David Trevallion)