For a second year running the Great Britain Under 20's National Squad took to the ice to take on the Nottingham Lions as part of their preparations for their forthcoming World Championships. Due to the level of competition Lions called upon ex Nottingham Juniors, former Lions and current players in the EPL (all junior club ambassadors).

With Lions player Connor Glossop representing the GB squad, Lions introduced Tom Norton, Will Weldon and Marc Levers from Peterborough Phantoms, Danny Rose and Callum Bowley from Telford Tigers.

The match was unusually officiated by three female officials, Referee Dina Cuglietta, Linesmen Lorna Beresford and Leigh Hetherington. Alan Levers and Ben Churchfield took charge in the nets.

GB dominated the first period, restricting the Lions to just eight shots on goal, compared to fifteen from GB.  It took nearly nine minutes for GB to open their account, with Luke Thomas colliding with the Linesmen, Glenn Billing took the opportunity to score with the aid of Lewis Hook and Cameron McGiffin.

Just past the eleventh minute mark, Dan Hazeldine was adjudged a two plus ten checking to the head penalty. During the power play, Ollie Betteridge supplied Lewis Hook, via Ed Knagg, for the second goal.

GB made it 3-0 on the fourteenth minute mark with the referees arm aloft, Cameron McGiffin scored unassisted on the delayed penalty.

A minute later it was Connor Glossop scoring GB’s fourth against his team mates, assisted by Toms Rutkis. Will Weldon went to the box for two minutes on a high sticking call, then GB's Callum Queenan thirty seconds later, for holding, a minute thirty of four on four was quickly followed by the Lions first power play of the evening, Queenan again the offender, this time for tripping. GB ended the period shorthanded with no further score.

Just over three minutes into the second period GB grabbed their fifth goal scored by Cameron McGiffin from Michael Stratford and Lee Bonner added number six unassisted. On the thirty minute mark, Lions changed goaltenders with Tom Hovell replacing Alan Levers who conceded six from his twenty seven shots.

Cameron McGiffin took a two minute roughing penalty on thirty one minutes and Ben Wood received a penalty for tripping in the thirty eighth minute. But there were no more goals in the second period with Hovell standing tall turning away twelve shots in his ten minutes or so of action.

The final session began with Jordan Hedley replacing Ben Churchfield in net for GB. Forty four minutes saw what was to be the last goal of the evening. Lewis Hook with his second goal of the night, assisted by Macauley Heywood and Glenn Billing.

Lions worked hard to do all they could to grab a goal and the best chance occurred when Ollie Betteridge sitting an interference penalty, found company, when a too many men penalty befell the GB bench. It took an age for the GB coach to pick someone to sit the penalty, this forced the referee to award the GB bench another penalty for delaying the game. Lions failed to capitalise on the following five on three and five on four power plays.

Luke Thomas served the final penalty for holding the stick half way through the period and the last ten minutes of the game passed without incident, so it finished seven-nil to the GB under twenties.

General Manager Danny Harrison spoke to to explain what this game meant to the Lions and the organisation "We do what we can to support Ice Hockey UK with this game and we really go out of our way to ensure that GB are made to feel welcome.  Our guys also put themselves out coming straight from work and give it their all to put on a competitive game. We know that the GB side are always going to be a strong side and they have some top players and its a great opportunity for our younger guys to step up and see what they have to aspire to."

"We look forward to seeing the GB20's do well in their forthcoming championships and see them next year for the next crop coming through." 

Great Britain can take this game as a good work-out in preparation for the trip to France next month. For the Lions it was a very good workout with no game the previous weekend to concentrate on their league campaign, starting with Coventry Blaze Saturday night 6.45pm face off in the Skydome.





Friday, 06 November 2015.