Sunday 27th September 2015 – National Ice Centre
National Ice Hockey League North – Laidler Conference Division 2
With Deeside winning their fourth game out of four on Saturday evening, to top the League with a maximum eight points. Tonight’s second meeting between the Lions and the Jets, became a battle for second place at this early stage of the season.
An injury to regular starting netminder Tom Hovell, triggered Coach Matt Bradbury to make a call to the legendary ex-Lions net minder Alan Levers. This saw him come out of retirement to help out the Lions in their hour of need. This news overshadowed the return of regular point’s scorer Dan Hazeldine.
Also in the line-up for the first time this season were Max Bennett from Chelmsford Chieftains and U18's Molly Brooks donning the back-up netminders jersey. They were joined by a host of juniors in Cameron Pywell, Travis Woodward, Jordan Liddell and Sam Jackson. Notable absentees were Reece Glossop and alternative captain Ben Wood, Elliot Perrin wore the ‘A’ for this encounter.
Hull Jets had sat on top of League all week, before the Dragons defeat of the Eagles on Saturday, but you wouldn’t have guessed it as Nottingham dominated the first period right from the start, with a shot in the opening three seconds. Hull found themselves pinned back in their own half of the ice.
However it took twelve shots before the puck was finally squeezed under Jets stopper Jack Dalby, Connor Glossop with the goal, assisted by Hamish Hall. Hull then conceded their first of two penalties in the evening with Mairis Sadinovs called for Interference. A minute after returning to five skaters, they were reduced again, this time, Ben Spurgeon sent to the box for high sticking. Nevertheless, his two minutes were cut short when Glossop shot quick, from a pass from Captain Luke Thomas, also assisted by netminder Levers, a power-play goal in the fifteenth minute.
With thirty-eight seconds left, Robert Perks scored with Lions twenty-fifth and final shot of the first session, Elliot Perrin and Connor Glossop with the assists.
Thirty-three seconds into the second and it was four-nil to Nottingham! A hat trick by Connor Glossop from Thomas and Adz Andrews. Straight from the face-off, Bennett supplied Glossop for his fourth and the Lions fifth goal in only seven seconds.
Hull improved during the period especially when Nottingham took a couple of penalties. Perrin was first to see the gate nearly half-way through the period for hooking, Hull took this opportunity to exchange netminders, with David Good entering the affray. The damage was done during the next Lions misdemeanour, with Robert Perks and Kieron Raynor on the naughty bench for cross-checking and roughing, respectively, Jets pulled a goal back on the five-on-three advantage, Raivis Sadinovs scoring with Levers screened.
The final session was an end to end affair, both teams trading shots, defences steadfast and netminders reading everything coming their way.
Until the fifty-first minute, Hull pulled another goal back, a wide shot by Chris Hogarth drawing Levers out of his goal to save, only for the puck to cough up in front of the goal, for Kieron Beach to score with an empty net in front of him, second assist from Dan Hackford.
Jets rallied in search of a dramatic come back, only to be foiled by a goal by Connor McNaughton on the far post, converting a cross ice pass from Ondrej Pniok, receiving from Thomas.
In a game unspoilt by unnecessary penalties, an exciting game was brought to an end, with Nottingham overtaking Hull into second place on the ‘head-to-head’ rule.
Next for the Lions is a visit to the league leaders Deeside Dragons on Saturday, returning Sunday 7.30pm face off at the National Ice Centre to face the newly formed Altrincham Aces.