Lee Valley Lions were edged out 6-5 in an 11 goal thriller on Saturday night as Basingstoke Buffalo took the win.

17-year-old Joe Miller scored his first goal for the club while Joe Berry, Tom Hnilica, Alex Clarke and Michael Jacobs were also on target, but it wasn’t enough to help the Lions recover from an overall poor first half.

The opening period started well, though, as Berry converted his seventh goal of the season after only eight minutes, finishing from Hnilica’s pass across the face of goal.

Buffalo, though, hit back four minutes later when Oscar Evans levelled the scores before the Lions then hit penalty trouble.

Buffalo turned the game around with Jack Peacock’s powerplay goal to make it 2-1, and another powerplay goal extended the lead to 3-1 as Cameron Buckle netted.

The away side dominated the early stages of the second period, peppering Lions goaltender James Andrew with a seemingly endless number of shots but, despite making some excellent saves, he was beaten by Samuel Brooks in the 26th minute to make it 4-1.

There was no let up, and the visitors continued to attack which rewarded them with another goal as Buckle netted his second on the counter attack.

This seemed to jolt the hosts into life, and they started to create more chances towards the end of the second period.

With just four seconds to go, Hnilica and Berry combined for the former to net his 16th goal of the season prior to the break.

A fast start to the third period saw the Lions claw back two more goals inside the first ten minutes as Clarke, assisted by Berry and James Joseph, and Jacobs, assisted by Conner Smith and Joseph) both scored powerplay goals to set up a tense final ten minutes.

Buffalo extended their advantage to 6-4 through Brooks but Miller made it a painful final few moments for them when he made it 6-5 from Dexter Crawford’s assist.

Shot after shot was thrown at the Buffalo goal in a desperate search for an equaliser, which even resulted in goaltender Andrew being replaced for an extra attacker, but young Buffalo stopper Ethan Frain stood tall and kept the score at 6-5 until the end.

The Lions are on the road for the next three weekends with their next home game not coming until Saturday, March 9.

Their next fixture sees them make the trip to Kent to take on Invicta Mustangs on Saturday, February 16.