This weekend sees the Nottingham Lions head to the West Midlands, as the Laidler Conference play offs bring down the curtain on the 2013/14 season.
Hosts and league champions Solihull Barons first take on Widnes Wild in Saturday's semi-final (6.30pm) before the Lions face local rivals Coventry Blaze in Sunday's semi (6.30pm), with the winners of both games then meeting in an Easter Monday final, at the Hobs Moat Road rink (6.30pm).
The Lions will be buoyed by a recent run of three straight wins to end their regular season, including last month's last-gasp 6-5 comeback victory
over Hull Jets.
The Blaze have had a less succesful run in, suffering two defeats from their last three games, a 6-1 win over Blackburn Eagles was sandwiched between losses to play off rivals Solihull and Widnes.
Widnes have the daunting task of trying to end the Barons' impressive run of twenty-two straight wins, which stretches all the way back to last October, with Nottingham and Deeside Dragons the only teams to have inflicted defeats over the tournament favourites and newly-crowned title holders, this season.
The Lions have produced mixed performances against Coventry this season, the Blaze pounced on an off-colour Nottingham side in the Skydome back in September, with a comprehensive 7-1 win
. The Lions exacted their revenge just seven days later however, as goals from Connor Glossop, Ben Wood, Mikey Rose and Luke Branin saw them secure the two points with a 4-3 victory
at the NIC.
December saw Coventry take a 6-4 road win, as strikes from Stephen Breisner, Wood, Branin & Dan Hazeldine proved not to be enough to take the points. Another close affair followed in February but once again Nottingham were edged out, this time by a 3-2 scoreline at the Skydome, with Hazeldine and Craig Wallis netting for the Lions.
Veteran netminder Alan Levers will be making is final senior appearance/s before his retirement from the sport and Head Coach Matt Bradbury will be hoping for the return of defensemen James Francis-Barrie and Cameron Good to his line-up, whilst senior marksman Joe Wightman still remains an injury doubt.
Sell outs are not expected, so tickets should be available to purchase on the night of each game. Doors open at 5.30pm and there is Riley’s Sports bar in the complex, which supporters are welcome in before this time.
Ticket Prices are as follows:
Adult Match Tickets - £10
Child & Concessions - £5
For more information, you can follow the Laidler Play Offs on Twitter
We hope to see as many of you as possible there, to help roar the boys on to victory!