Nottingham Lions came face to face with the League Leaders Deeside Dragons. However, the game was not as one-sided as the scoreline suggests.
There were three players out and three players in, following the win against Widnes the previous week, Jake Fisher, Kieran Raynor and Cameron Pywell (all playing for under 18's) made way for Connor McNaughton, Max Bennett and under 18 Tyler Poole iced in his first game of the season.
After two and a half minutes Deeside scored the first goal of the game. Aled Roberts roofed the puck on the backhand from a tight angle, having been put through by Paul Davies.
Two minutes later, Joe Gretton bumped a Dragons player off the play, getting an interference penalty for his trouble. Both teams traded attacks for the next six minutes, until Lions found their equaliser.
Passes by Luke Thomas and Max Bennett gave Captain Stuart Parker the opportunity to score Lions first goal. But it didn’t last. Within three minutes, Deeside regained the lead. Adrian Palak fed Ross Kennedy skating round the back of the goal to feed Alex Parry unmarked in the slot, making no mistake going between netminder Levers legs.
Forty seconds later tempers got the better of Kennedy and Dan Hazeldine, with both given two minutes for roughing. During the session of four on four, Deeside took charge of the game with two goals in twenty four seconds.
First, James Parsons, with help from Matt Wainwright and Adrian Palak. Then Bryn Roberts from Mike Jones and Parsons.
Undaunted, Lions battled away at the Dragons Goal, but had no luck in adding to their tally before the period buzzer sounded.
Four minutes into the second period, Deeside converted their fifth, this time Simon Furnival scoring from Filip Supa and James Parsons. Slav Kasprzak took a two minute boarding penalty fifty seconds later with a solid hit on Supa in corner.
During the second period, Alan Levers found form, turning away all but two of the thirty seven shots fired onto his net.
Just after the half hour mark, Levers had the puck smothered, when Parry skated in, Elliot Perrin took exception, the result being two plus two each for roughing. Three minutes before the end of the period, Levers resistance was broken with Adrian Palak converting from Steve Fellows and Marc Lovell.
Three minutes into the final period Lions were given a man advantage with Fellows sent for Tripping, however, it backfired on the Lions, with the Welshmen breaking free to score short-handed, Filip Supa from Gavin Austin and Kennedy.
This was the cue for Samantha Bolwell to take to the ice, taking over from Alan Levers at the next stoppage in play.
Dragons took a penalty in the forty-ninth minute, Palak for slashing. Lions got their second goal even handed with Max Bennett feeding Dan Hazeldine to score low under the netminders pads.
The fifty sixth minute saw Deeside take another penalty, Bryn Roberts, Tripping. Lions however missed the opportunity. Another goal short-handed, this time Adrian Palak supplied by Matt Wainwright with a top shelf shot no netminder in the league would have stopped.
Deeside spent the rest of the game with a man in the penalty box. Bryn Roberts tripping, Owen Bennett Interference, Ross Kennedy along with Lions Max Bennett for Roughing, then Owen Bennett again for Hooking.
Final score on the night 8-2 in favour of the Dragons. Man of the Match for the Lions was Max Bennett.
Lions Head Coach Matt Bradbury spoke to nottinghamlions.co.uk after the game with a summary/update: "With Deeside picking up the points tonight having dropped only 4 points all season (the Lions being the only team able to steal two points) they should now move on and take league honours this season and prepare to face teams in the Moralee Conference next season. For us it's key that we re-group, consolidate and maintain a place in the top 4 for a place in the end of season play offs in Sheffield."
"We've got no games this weekend so we've got time to get re-focused, get organised and work hard in training before we face Coventry and Altrincham in a double header the following week."