Nottingham Lions 2 Telford Tigers 2.

The Nottingham Lions secured a three point weekend, after an entertaining draw with the high-flying Telford Tigers, at the National Ice Centre on Sunday evening.

In their second Midlands derby in as many days, goals from Ivo Dimitrijevs and Hamish Hall made sure the Lions' continued their recovery, after a run of six straight defeats had dashed their hopes of a top four finish in the 2014/15 NIHL Laidler D2 standings.

91ivodimitrijevsactionIvo Dimitrijevs opened the scoring for the Lions.

Fresh from Saturday night's 6-1 road win over the Coventry Blaze, coach Bradbury was still without the services of Lee Holland, Ben Foster-Wilson and Christy Johnson-Brown, whilst defenceman Sam Illsley, who iced the previous night at the Skydome, also missed out through illness.

Promising Under-18s Hall, Connor Glossop, Luke Evans, Joe Gretton and Kieran Raynor were also joined in the Nottingham line-up by Under-16s prospects Ilija Kolosnicins, Jessica Urquhart and Tyler Poole.

Another bright start to the first period from the Lions, saw visiting netminder Denis Bell, tested on numerous occasions before Latvian forward Dimitrijevs made the breakthrough after four minutes, scoring his eighteenth of the campaign.

More chances fell Nottingham's way as the period wore on, most notably from Craig Wallis and Connor Glossop but Bell, who has been in outstanding form all season, was the thorn in the Lions' paw once again, as he stopped any rubber that came his way following the opening goal.

16hamishhallYoungster Hamish Hall scored his third goal of the weekend.

Nottingham had yet to pick up a single point against the second-placed Tigers in their three meetings this season, so when Hamish Hall picked up his third goal of the weekend on twenty-four minutes, things were looking hopeful for the Lions, who doubled their lead despite the Tigers coming out in the second period with renewed purpose.

Those home hopes then came under serious duress, when James Smith halved the Tigers' deficit on the half-hour mark, as the already promoted visitors began to show the quality and work-rate that has already secured them a place in Moralee D1 next season.

With Telford stepping up a gear as the period clock ticked down, in-form Nottingham netminder Tom Hovell was called into action on numerous occasions, including a stand-out pad save from Russ Plant's shot, on thirty-three minutes.

However, there was nothing Hovell could do to prevent Matthew Lees from tying the game four minutes later, as the custodian's outstretched leg couldn't stop the defenceman's blueline shot from finding the back of the net.

31tomhovellshotAn in-form Tom Hovell stopped 31 of the 33 shots against him.

With neither side wanting to end the game empty-handed, a cagey and end-to-end final period was to follow, as both sides exchanged chances to take the lead. Stuart Parker's stick trickery on top of the Tigers' crease wasn't enough to fool Bell with four minutes remaining, whilst Hovell remained impenetrable at the opposite end of the ice.

Craig Wallis' low shot almost beat Bell at his right-hand post sixty seconds later but the deadlock could not be broken before the final buzzer, as Bradbury's side took a share of the spoils and showed that on their day, Nottingham are more than capable of mixing it with the best sides that the division has to offer.

The Lions now look forward to a two-week break from the action before they host the Blackburn Eagles at the NIC on Sunday 15th March (7.30pm). Ticket details are available by clicking here.

Photos are courtesy of Peter McConnochie / Urban Scot Photography.

Match Stats:

Ivo Dimitrijevs 1+0, Hamish Hall 1+0, Adam Andrews 0+1, Ben Wood 0+1.

Period Scores: 1st 1-0, 2nd 1-2, 3rd 0-0.

Shots: 1st 12-7, 2nd 8-14, 3rd 9-12. Total 29-33.

Penalty Mins: 1st 2-2, 2nd 4-0, 3rd 6-4. Total 12-6.

Lions MOTM (sponsored by Ice Breakers): Tom Hovell.

Sunday, 01 March 2015.
Simon Ball-McQueen - Media Manager