Trafford Metros 2 Nottingham Lions 5
Four goals from Joe Wightman and one from Gareth O’Flaherty helped the Lions to a deserved 5-2 victory over the Trafford Metros at Altrincham Ice Dome on Saturday evening.
In one of their best performances of the season, Nottingham dominated the game with some controlled passing and decisive finishing, whilst Trafford spurned the majority of chances that did fall their way.
Wightman grabbed his first after six minutes, combining well with Nick Whyatt to fire past Metros goalie Dave Clancy.
Trafford found Lions netminder Richard Griffiths in fine form from the off, as he tipped a Jamie Rogerson shot onto the post six minutes later, but he couldn’t prevent Max Drakeley equalising with seven remaining in the first period.
Wightman put Nottingham back in front within three minutes of the start of the second period before Michael Rose got a good few more punches in than his opponent John Murray after the pair dropped their gloves on the half-hour mark.
A prolonged Lions attack on Clancy’s goal then followed, Gareth O’Flaherty finally slotting home with twenty seconds left to give Nottingham a two goal cushion going into the third.
Wightman completed his hat-trick after three minutes of the restart before getting his fourth of the night ten minutes later.
Metros’ Sean Day scored what was only ever going to be a consolation goal with six minutes remaining before referee Dave Emmerson was kept busy, dishing out a plethora of penalties after a line brawl in the dying seconds of the game.
Post-game interviews with Man of the Match Joe Wightman and Head Coach Matt Bradbury are available to watch on LionsTV – the Lions’ online TV channel.
Nottingham now have two more games left to pick-up more points in the hope of avoiding the uncertainty of a relegation play-off against the runners-up in Division 2. Both games are at home against the Blackburn Hawks and the first is this Sunday (11th March) with a 7.15pm face-off at the National Ice Centre.
Joe Wightman 4+1, Gareth O’Flaherty 1+0, Jack Clarkson 0+3, Nick Whyatt 0+2.
Period Scores: 1st 1-1, 2nd 0-2, 3rd 1-2.
Shots: 1st 12-6, 2nd 11-13, 3rd 12-11. Total 35-30.
Penalty Mins: 1st 0-0, 2nd 4-6, 3rd 40-12. Total 44-18.
Lions MOTM: Joe Wightman.