Sheffield Senators 1 Nottingham Lions 6
The Nottingham Lions triumphed over their local rivals Sheffield Senators for the second time in six days as the Lions’ unbeaten start to the season continued with a thumping victory at Ice Sheffield on Saturday evening.
Last Sunday’s clash at the National Ice Centre, where Nottingham claimed a 7-5 win hinted that another close game might be on the cards. This proved to be the case in the first two periods before the Lions overwhelmed their opponents in the final twenty minutes, scoring four unanswered goals.
However, Matt Bradbury’s men didn’t get off to the best of starts as Jonathan Kirk capitalised on a Senators power play on 10 minutes after Christy Johnson-Brown was sent to the penalty box for interference.
Nottingham nearly levelled matters just before the first intermission but Joe Wightman penalty shot was saved by Sheffield goalie Mark Hartley as the Senators end the period with a deserved one goal advantage.
The Lions’ decided to make some changes at the start of the second period as lines were altered in an attempt to release Sheffield’s stranglehold on the game.
Those changes slowly began to bear fruit as 16 year-old Ollie Betteridge showed just why he is one of the League’s hottest prospects by tying the game six minutes in before putting Nottingham ahead with 60 seconds left in the period.
The Lions never looked back in the final period as a string of penalty calls on the Senators left the door open for the visitors to put the game beyond doubt.
Elliot Perrin fired a power play goal past Hartley with 10 minutes remaining before Dan Hazeldine found himself on the end of a Michael Rose saucer pass to score his first senior goal and Nottingham’s fourth.
Wightman then hit a fifth on the power play with 5 minutes remaining and with 90 seconds left on the clock, Betteridge completed his third hat-trick of the season on the power play and rounded off another classy Lions victory which keeps them at the top of the NIHL Division 2 North standings.
Next Sunday sees the visit of Blackburn Eagles to the NIC (7.15pm face off). The Eagles are still yet to pick up a single point so far this season and will be trying everything within their power not to become the next victims of a confident and ever-improving Lions side.
Elliot Perrin 1+0, Luke Thomas 0+3, Michael Rose 0+2, Daniel Hazeldine 1+0, Ollie Betteridge 3+1, Joe Wightman 1+2, Gareth O’Flaherty 0+4.
Period Scores: 1st 1-0, 2nd 0-2, 3rd 0-4.
Penalty Minutes: 1st 2-6, 2nd 4-4, 3rd 18-0. Total 24-10.
Shots: 1st 14-8, 2nd 13-17, 3rd 8-14. Total 35-39.
Lions MOTM: Michael Rose.