Nottingham Lions 8 Deeside Dragons 6
The Nottingham Lions overcame their toughest test of the season so far with a well-deserved victory over Deeside Dragons at the National Ice Centre on Sunday night.
The Lions welcomed back Simon Hunt, Josh Ward and Joe Wightman after missing the win at Blackburn last weekend and all three of them played their part in keeping Nottingham at the top of the Division 2 North table.
Matt Bradbury’s men raced out of the blocks, surprising their opponents by hitting five goals in the first 22 minutes, helped by strikes from Gareth O’Flaherty, Michael Rose and a Wightman hat-trick.
At the other end Lions’ goalie Sam Gospel was in fine form keeping out any Deeside chances that came his way.
A shell-shocked Deeside’s quality eventually became evident as they attempted to get back into the tie, Richard Hughes and James Parsons both scoring to give the Welsh visitors hope.
Plucky Nottingham kept on battling and were they were rewarded with Rose’s second of the night and a powerplay goal from Ben Wood.
Dragons’ Shaun Kippin left the final outcome still in some doubt after firing home right on the buzzer at the end of the second to cut the margin to four.
The visitors dominated the play in the third period as they fought to salvage something from the game and they were given a glimmer of hope when Parson’s scored his second of the game five minutes in.
However, Deeside’s hopes were all but snubbed out just a minute later on the powerplay, as Elliot Perrin struck a shot from the blue-line past hapless netminder Matt Compton to restore Nottingham’s four-goal advantage and despite late goals from Aaron Davies and Kippin, the Lions took the two points and made it four wins from four games so far this season.
LionsTV post-game interviews with Lions and Dragons players and staff will be available from tomorrow (Monday) night via our official online TV channel.
Nottingham now have a three week break from the action before they travel to North Wales for a re-match with the Dragons on Sunday 21st October.
Elliot Perrin 1+0, Luke Thomas 0+1, Ben Wood 1+0, Michael Rose 2+0, Simon Hunt 0+3, Ollie Betteridge 0+2, Joe Wightman 3+1, Josh Ward 0+2, Gareth O’Flaherty 1+1.
Period Scores: 1st – 4-0, 2nd – 3-3, 3rd - 1-3.
Shots on Goal: 1st – 12-12, 2nd – 13-12, 3rd – 5-17. Total: 30-41.
Penalty Minutes: 1st – 4-10, 2nd – 2-14, 3rd – 6-2. Total: 12-26.
Lions MOTM (Sponsored by The Castle) – Joe Wightman.