Hull NIHL Stingrays 5 Nottingham Lions 3
An out of sorts Nottingham Lions suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of Hull NIHL Stingrays on Saturday evening.
Unbeaten in their first eight games, the Lions looked odds-on to continue their impressive run at Hull Arena but a solid, workman-like performance from the home side saw them deservedly take the two points.
A lackluster first period from both sides saw just six shots on goal apiece and just as it looked like it would remain goalless, up popped James Maughan to hit home with 50 seconds left.
The game continued in a similar vein until two quick goals from Jack Dalby and Chris Hogarth looked to have put the Stingrays well and truly in the driving seat with four minutes to go in the second period.
However, Matt Bradbury’s men have already proved more than once this season, that they are not a team to just roll over and accept defeat and fired home two quick strikes of their own before the buzzer sounded. Joe Wightman and Ollie Betteridge getting their 12th and 15th goals of the season respectively.
A cagey and tense final period followed with Nottingham made to work hard to find an equaliser, which finally arrived courtesy of American, Luke Branin with seven minutes to go.
To their credit Hull’s heads didn’t drop and they were back in front two minutes later.
The home side took full advantage of the extra man as Ben Wood was sent to the box for high sticking and Hogarth was on hand to restore the Stingrays lead with his second of the night, leaving the Lions reeling with just three minutes to go.
Nottingham pulled their goalie Sam Gospel in attempt to claw a goal back in the dying seconds but Maughan pounced on a loose puck from a face off in his own zone and sent it spinning into the Lions’ empty net to put the game’s outcome beyond all doubt.
The Lions will be hoping to get back to winning ways quickly with an improved performance against Fylde Flyers at the National Ice Centre next Sunday (2nd December). 7.15pm face off.
LionsTV post-game interviews with players and coaches from both sides are now available to view via LionsTV our official online TV channel.
Elliot Perrin 0+1, Luke Thomas 0+1, Ben Wood 0+1, Michael Rose 0+1, Ollie Betteridge 1+0, Luke Branin 1+0, Joe Wightman 1+0, Gareth O’Flaherty 0+1.
Period Scores: 1st 1-0, 2nd 2-2, 3rd 2-1.
Shots: 1st 6-6, 2nd 12-11, 3rd 9-12. Total 27-29.
Penalty Minutes: 1st 0-2, 2nd 0-4, 3rd 6-4. Total 6-10.
Lions MOTM: Gareth O’Flaherty.