Nottingham Lions hopes of regaining the lead in the Laidler Conference, were dashed in a hectic second period, limiting Lions to only four genuine shots on goal in a defensive display matched by a devastating attacking force gleaning four goals in the session.
Missing, on International duty was Connor Glossop, also missing, playing for the under 20’s were Samuel Jackson, Kieran Raynor and Cameron Pywell. In the line-up came Jake Fisher and Max Bennett. Back for another season was veteran Stuart Parker.
The first incident of the game came in under two minutes, when Referee Juris Susters broke a skate blade, leaving the two female linesmen (Stanley and Beresford) in charge for the rest of the session.
Four minutes gone and two Dragons were sent to the box, Ross Kennedy, two for tripping and Bryn Roberts, ten minute misconduct.
Four minutes later Lions scored the first goal of the game, Slav Kasprzak from Gretton and Parker. The lead only lasted just over a minute with Simon Furnival equalising, helped by Alex Parry.
After a further eight minutes of end to end play, Marc Lovell broke the deadlock with Dragons go ahead goal, assisted by Adrian Palak. Less than a minute later, Palak put Deeside further ahead assisted by Matt Wainwright.
After missing nearly a full period, the referee returned to the game just over a minute into the second session. His first duty was to send Lions Connor McNaughton to the sin bin for two minutes unsportsmanlike conduct, following a collision involving Davies and Bennett, who following a lengthy stoppage, was carried/wheeled off on a stretcher holding his ribs in pain.
Dragons converted the power-play with a second goal for Palak, Lovell supplying the assist. With Lions still reeling, Dragons struck again Filip Supa with a fifth goal aided by Parry.
Another penalty against the Lions, this time two minutes for slashing to Elliot Perrin. It was survived, but no matter how Lions tried, they couldn’t breakdown the resolute Deeside defence.
Just before the half-way mark, Dragons scored a sixth, an unassisted second goal from Simon Furnival. Matt Bradbury called the Lions time-out, while Samantha Bolwell prepared to enter the affray. This came at the next stoppage, for Tom Hovell, “not a good day at the office!”
It took two further minutes for Dragons seventh, Ross Kennedy with a shot going in off the pipes, assisted by Bryn Roberts. A penalty on Filip Supa for hooking, with four left on the clock, saw Lions with two of their four shots on target during the session.
Going into the final session and despite end to end play, there were no further goals during the final session. Both teams traded two penalties each. Samantha Bolwell had an excellent game turning away all that Deeside could throw at her in the final session.
To hear the thoughts of Coach Matt Bradbury click the link through to Lions Radio
So Deeside now sit on top of the League four points clear of second place Widnes, two above the Lions in third. Lions have Hull to play away, While Deeside play Coventry twice at home during the Christmas period, which will probably see them increase their lead to an unassailable position.
The Dragons are back in Nottingham early in January and the Lions will be hoping for a better display from their troops.