Bradford Bulldogs 2 Nottingham Lions 7.
A youthful looking Nottingham Lions team picked up their first points of the new NIHL Lailder D2 season, with a convincing win over league newcomers Bradford Bulldogs, at Bradford Ice Arena on Saturday evening.
Connor Glossop in action against the Bulldogs.
The Lions were eager to make amends for last weekend's surprise defeat in Blackburn, whilst the Bulldogs were hoping to make a good impression on their home crowd, on their return to senior hockey, following a two year absence.
In what was their first game of a double header weekend, Head coach Matt Bradbury once again showed the belief he has in the Nottingham's young and upcoming talent by icing a number of Under 18 players, including the likes of Joe Humphries, Luke Evans, Joe Gretton, along with giving senior debuts to promising 16 year-olds, Jon Binder and Sam Jackson.
Veteran defenceman and latest signing Adam Andrews also made his Nottingham debut, whilst Ben Wood, Dan Hazeldine, Slawomir Kasprzak, Sam Illsley and Conor Gordon were all missing.
Bradford got off to a flying start, when Myles Dacres put them ahead after just two minutes but the Lions got back on level terms six minutes later, courtesy of a debut, short-handed Andrews goal.
Latvian import Ivo Dimitrijevs then put his mark on the game with two consecutive strikes after nine and fifteen minutes before young debutant forward Jackson added a fourth, to give the Lions a commanding 4-1 lead going into the first intermission.
Sam Jackson celebrates one of his two debut goals.
A scoreless second period was followed by an intense third, beginning with defenceman Jamie Hovell scoring his first ever Nottingham goal on 41 minutes.
Lions' Man of the Match, Jackson then added his second of the game on 53 minutes before the Bulldogs clawed a goal back via Ryan Tomlinson, 13 seconds after the restart.
Christy Johnson-Brown then rounded off the scoring with two minutes to go, comfortably securing the two points for Nottingham.
Ivo Dimitrijevs grabbed a brace in Bradford.
The Lions' thoughts now quickly turn to tomorrow's (Sunday 14th September) first home game of the new campaign, against local rivas Sheffield Senators at the National Ice Centre. Face off is at 7.30pm and ticket details are available by clicking here.
Adam Andrews 1+0, Ivo Dimitrijevs 2+1, Sam Jackson 2+1, Jamie Hovell 1+1, Christy Johnson-Brown 1+0, Lee Holland 0+2, Craig Wallis 0+1, Luke Evans 0+1, Joe Humphries 0+2, Connor Glossop 0+1, Rob McDonald 0+1.
Period Scores: 1st 1-4, 2nd 0-0, 3rd 1-3.
Shots: 1st 9-21, 2nd 14-14, 3rd 14-23. Total 37-58.
Penalty Mins: 1st 4-0, 2nd 20-2, 3rd 97-14. Total 121-16.
Lions MOTM: Sam Jackson.
Photos courtesy of Ed Chappell.