Nottingham Lions came back from a two goal defecit twice with an understrengthed team , but were unable to nudge their noses in front in a close and exciting game at Hull Ice Arena.
Lions drew 2-2 in the seasons opening game, but won both home games to retain the advantage should both teams finish level on league points at the end of the campaign.
Connor Glossop was still in France, following the Great Britain under 20’s World Championship Bronzemedal. Stuart Parker was coaching the juniors, also missing were Elliot Perrin, Elliot Cox, Max Bennett, Jake Fisher and Rob Perks.
Returning to the squad were Kieron Raynor and Cameron Pywell after time with the U18's. Samantha Bolwell was also given a well deserved first start in the nets. Jack Dalby was between the pipes for the Jets.
In the first period Ben Wilson was adjudged two minutes for a tripping penalty in the sixth minute, leading to the opening goal of the game, going to Hull, on the power play, with top scorer Kieran Beach on target following a face-off win by Josh Blissett and pass from Captain Ben Sayer.
A minute and a half later, Lions were rocked by a second Jets goal. Cain Taylor finding the gap, another assist from Blissett.
In the tenth minute Joe Gretton went for Slashing. Then on the eleventh minute mark, Beach was sent for slashing, quickly followed, fifteen seconds later by Ben Spurgeon on a holding penalty. This meant there was a chance of a five on three power play. However, after two Lions players were barged off the puck, Wilson was judged two minutes for slashing, and further misconduct penalties removing him from the game. So Lions potential Advantage was lost, replaced by a three minutes short-handed.
Captain Luke Thomas fed Ben Wood, who in turn gave the puck to Ondrej Pniok to squeeze the puck in the net before crashing into the netminder, scoring the Lions first goal while short-handed.
Into the second session a slashing penalty was given against Adam Andrews in the twenty fourth minute, was survived by the Lions, but despite pressure from Nottingham, the equaliser didn’t come until the thirty-second minute. Jamie Hovell latching onto the rebound, following good work by Ben Wood and Kieran Raynor.
Blissett went for tripping, following the goal, then Thomas Forster, Interference four minutes later. As Lions piled on the pressure, a breakaway from Beach restored the Jets lead, short-handed, with his second goal of the game.
Beach then found himself in the penalty box a minute later for hooking in the thirty-ninth minute.
The final period started with the Jets going two goals ahead. Josh Blissett, with the aid of a deflection from a tight angle, assisted by Beach and Taylor. Raivis Sadinovs two minutes for boarding, forty-three gone.
On the Fifty-first minute mark, Joe Gretton pulls one back for the Lions, assist from Ondrej Pniok. Jets were brought down to earth with Lions second equaliser nearly three minutes later. Cameron Pywell fires it in from Andrews and Gretton. Hull’s coach then called time-out, in an effort to stop the Nottingham momentum.
The last four and a half minutes were anybody’s game, even when Joe Humphries was sent on a roughing infringement with twenty seconds on the clock. The hooter sounded with the game tied on four.
Head Coach Matt Bradbury spoke to nottinghamlions.co.uk after the game "I was really pleased with my players response today with so many key players out of the line up. Tonight we showed a never say die attitude and you could really tell that they gave it their all."
"I thought Sam Bolwell did a great job making her first start and over the 60 minutes looked sharp and deserved her man of the match. Young Jordan Wright started his senior journey 16 weeks ago in Hull getting no ice time and tonight with only 4 D he played the whole game and is improving week in week out. Some of these young guys like Gretton and Humphries are looking like seasoned pros at the age of 17/18!"
"Tonight everyone worked for each other and it was a team effort!"
Lions now have the Christmas break to prepare themselves against Widnes Wild at home on Sunday 3rd January 2016 at the National Ice Centre.