Nottingham Lions 4 Sheffield Senators 1

The Nottingham Lions had the chance to pull out a four-point lead at the top of the table, and did exactly that, winning 4-1 over local rivals Sheffield Senators at the National Ice Centre on Sunday evening, in a game which didn’t always reflect the result.

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The Lions block out the path to Sam Gospel’s goal.

This fixture was always going to be closely contested, with neither side wanting to let go of the two points in this top of the table clash.

First blood went to the Lions courtesy of Michael Rose on the powerplay after Steve Weeks went into the sin bin for slashing. This stayed the way of things for the remainder of the period.

Sheffield leveled the scoring when the Senators’ Russian import Anton Egorov got the better of Sam Gospel and this suggested the evening wasn’t going to be so easy after all for Nottingham.

Joe Wightman’s great point scoring season continued as he found himself one on one with the Senators’ netminder, unleashing an unstoppable shot past Mark Hartley to give the Lions the lead for the second time in the game with a short-handed goal.

Wightman then scored his second of the game less than five minutes later with the Lions’ second powerplay goal of the evening. Once again proving how affective the attacking line has been for Nottingham so far this season.

The third period was just as close as the previous two, with Sheffield fighting to find a way back into the game.

Both sides had players spend a total of six minutes each in the penalty box, proving just how physical the game was as both sets of players put everything on the line in the final twenty minutes.

However, as Sheffield pushed and pushed, a mid-ice turnover then saw Christy Johnson-Brown score the Lions’ fourth of the game, quashing the Senators’ hopes of a comeback.

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Christy Johnson-Brown firing home past Mark Hartley.

Even after a few needless penalties late on, this stayed the way of things all the way to the final buzzer, giving the home side the perfect Christmas present, sending them comfortably clear at the top of Division 2 North going into their four week break.

Nottingham head coach Matt Bradbury isn’t letting up though, making it known in his post-game comments that the Lions will still be training every week over the festive period, making sure the pedal doesn’t leave the accelerator come the second half of the season.

Goal highlights and post-game interviews with players and coaches from both teams are now available to view on LionsTV by clicking here.

The Lions are next in action away at Sheffield on the 12th January in the final meeting between the two sides this season, meaning they’ll have to be on guard against any complacency or revenge from a Senators side who will be keen to avoid a 4-0 season whitewash.

Game Stats:

Callum Worthington-Evans 0+1, Luke Thomas 0+1, Michael Rose 1+0, Ollie Betteridge 0+1, Luke Branin 0+3, Joe Wightman 2+1, Christy Johnson-Brown 1+0, Cameron Good 0+1.

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

Period Shots – 1st 11-7, 2nd 12-12, 3rd 16-14. Total – 39-33.

Penalty Minutes – 1st 2-4, 2nd 2-4, 3rd 6-6. Total – 10-14.

Lions MOTM (Sponsored by The Castle) – Joe Wightman.

Monday, 17 December 2012.
Super User