Blackburn Eagles 0 Nottingham Lions 4.
The Nottingham Lions picked up their second away shutout of the season, as they emerged the victors over a plucky Blackburn Eagles side, at Blackburn Arena yesterday evening.
Slawomir Kasprzak in action against the Eagles.
The result ensured Nottingham finished their campaign with a one hundred percent record against the Eagles, having beaten them three times already this term, including last fortnight’s 3-0 blanking of the Lancashire-based side at the National Ice Centre.
Early goals from Luke Branin, Connor Glossop and Christy Johnson-Brown saw Nottingham take a commanding first period lead before Branin finished off the scoring five minutes into the third.
Promising young netminder Tom Hovell stopped thirty-one shots in total, in what was his second shutout in just four senior starts, as first-choice goalie Alan Levers took the day off to get married.
Head coach Matt Bradbury was also missing his assistant captain Ben Wood, whilst marksman Joe Wightman, defensemen James Francis-Barrie and Cameron Good were all still absent.
However, Bradbury was able to draft in Connor Glossop, Joe Gretton and sixteen year-old debutant Kieran Raynor from the club’s junior ranks.
Kieran Raynor making his senior debut for the Lions.
Blackburn began the game in a sprightly fashion and looked the more likely to open the scoring in the first ten minutes of the game before Branin’s strike on twelve minutes settled his teams’ nerves, as Nottingham began to find their rhythm.
Seconds later, Connor Glossop scored his fifth of the season, followed four minutes later by a Johnson-Brown goal, during a five-on-three power play advantage.
A feisty second period had no further goal action but saw two separate fights, firstly between Reece Glossop and Josh Lee on twenty-four minutes before Joe Steeples and Tom Murphy then went toe-to-toe, ten minutes later.
Eagles' Tom Murphy and Lions' Joe Steeples exchange blows.
Lions’ top-scorer Branin rounded off the scoring on forty-four minutes, with his sixteen of the campaign on the power play.
As they head towards next month’s play off clash with Coventry Blaze, Nottingham now look to continue their winning run against Hull Jets at the NIC this evening, in their final game of the regular season (7.30pm).
So, with the Panthers not in action, your last chance to see stalwart netminder Alan Levers perform on home ice and our recently announced special ticket offers for the rest of the season, there really is no better time to come down to the NIC and help roar the boys on to victory!
Full ticket details are available by clicking here and don't forget our special offers, where a child (Under-16) can now gain free entry to the Lions' den with every paying adult (one child per adult), whilst Panthers season ticket holders can now gain free entry, when they show their season ticket book at the National Ice Centre box office.
Photos courtesy of John Milton - © www.togger.co.uk
Luke Branin 2+0, Connor Glossop 1+0, Christy Johnson-Brown 1+0, Kieran Raynor 0+1, Stephen Breisner 0+3, Lee Holland 0+2, Luke Thomas 0+1, Slawomir Kasprzak 0+1.
Period Scores: 1st 0-3, 2nd 0-0, 3rd 0-1.
Shots: 1st 10-15, 2nd 9-13, 3rd 12-15. Total: 31-43.
Penalty Mins: 1st 4-4, 2nd 10-10, 3rd 4-4. Total: 18-18.
Lions MOTM: Kieran Raynor.