The Nottingham Lions are delighted to announce the return of netminder Tom Hovell, who will be back between the pipes for the forthcoming 2014/15 season.

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The 18 year-old impressed every time he took to the ice last season and gave a stunning performance to help the Lions to a hard-fought over-time victory in the play-off semi-finals, against rivals Coventry Blaze.

With the retirement of Alan Levers at the end of last season, the promising goalie now has a golden opportunity to further stake his claim on a regular starting place for his hometown team.

The youngster has worked hard throughout his journey through the Nottingham development system, representing the city throughout his junior career and breaking into the Lions squad during the 2011/12 campaign.

Last season he took to the ice ten times, including five starts and claimed his first two senior shutouts along the way.

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Hovell also made an appearance backing up the Nottingham Panthers and had the opportunity to train with Elite League team.

Tom spoke to nottinghamlions.co.uk this week and where better to start than his thoughts on April's 2-1 over-time win over the Blaze;

"Well it was a good game, those are the games you remember, the ones that go right down to the wire and could have gone either way - I was glad that the coaches had faith in me to play me in such a key game and that I was able to show them that I'm more than capable of playing that role."

The back-stopper also spoke about having some particularly big skates to fill this year, adding;

"It's tough losing someone like Levers who was an important part of the team, a good guy and a good goalie but I'm also excited at the prospect of the chance of stepping up and playing a more important role in the team."

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However, Hovell isn’t resting on his laurels and acknowledges the important season ahead, adding;

"I believe the biggest challenge for me will be to show the coaches that the way I played in my games last year were not one off performances and that this is how I play game in, game out - showing that I have the consistency required to be the starting goalie at this level will be the biggest challenge but I'm sure I will do it."

Keep checking back at nottinghamlions.co.uk for more exciting signing news, as the excitement for the new season continues to build.

Saturday, 02 August 2014.
Nathan Charlish - Lions Media Team