The Nottingham Lions were hit for six by the Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday night at the National Ice Centre with three first period goals coming in the same five minute powerplay that killed the game off early on.

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The first period saw the two sides play an even game of hockey for the first ten minutes as both teams had chances to open the scoring, but it wasn’t until 12.42 that the event which would prove to be the game changer occurred. Ben Wilson was defending in the Lions zone and raised his stick high to Liam Charnock who took it to the face and went down injured. The referee’s arm stayed down in the first instance until his linesman stopped the game, and it was only then that it was clear what had happened with Wilson receiving a 5+Game penalty for high sticking and drawing blood.

Connor Hardy served the penalty for the Lions but with the Steeldogs on a five minute powerplay regardless of how many goals they scored, they turned the game heavily in their favour. Firstly Milan Kolena scored at 13.53 from the assists of James Spurr and Andrew Hirst before Ashley Calvert doubled the advantage at 15.11 from Lewis Bell’s assist. Kolena would then again link up with Spurr and Hirst a minute later to put Sheffield’s third on the board at 16.15 in an exact replica of the first goal. Charnock was able to return to the ice following his treatment but the match penalty to Ben Wilson and the resulting powerplay from it would prove to be the talking point of the first period as the Steeldogs went in at the break leading by three goals to nil.

END OF THE FIRST PERIOD: NOTTINGHAM LIONS 0 – 3 SHEFFIELD STEELDOGS

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The second period was fast and free flowing with very few stoppages and very few incidents. It was just after the half way point in the game that the Steeldogs would again find a way past James Hadfield in the Lions net. Thomas Barry squeezed the puck into the corner of the net in the smallest of gaps, Hadfield may have kicked it into his own net trying to close his pads together but the light came on and the leading margin was now four. That was timed at 30.52 and then Adrian Polak made it 5-0 with just over four minutes of the second period remaining when he burst through the Lions defence and scored a breakaway goal on Hadfield at 35.37 assisted by Thomas Relf and Charles Thompson. The Lions had a long 5-on-3 powerplay towards the end of the second period but were unable to get anything from it and found themselves heading back to the dressing room after forty minutes of play five goals down, with only ten shots on the scoreboard.

END OF THE SECOND PERIOD: NOTTINGHAM LIONS 0 – 5 SHEFFIELD STEELDOGS

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The third period was about damage limitation for the Lions as they tried to limit their losses as much as possible. The Steeldogs though had other ideas and it took less than ninety seconds in the final period for the sixth goal to light the lamp for the visitors. Charnock with the goal at 41.23 from Polak’s assist, and the game was well beyond any chance of a Lions comeback. Sheffield took the win by six goals to nil with a shutout, Tom Barry received their ‘Man of the Match’ award with Ondrej Pniok winning the prize for the Lions.

A big defeat for Deeside to the Solihull Barons mean that the Lions remain in ninth place in the Moralee League ahead of the visit of the Barons to the National Ice Centre next Sunday evening. It’s bonfire night so why not bring the family down to the arena and watch some fireworks on the ice as the Lions continue their search for their first home win of the season.

END OF THE THIRD PERIOD: NOTTINGHAM LIONS 0 – 6 SHEFFIELD STEELDOGS

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 Images courtesy of Richard Davies / Chud Photography.

Sunday, 29 October 2017.
Chris Gadsby