Nottingham Lions won 4-2 at Widnes Wild for the first time ever, to maintain their place at the top of the League for another week.
Without the services of Kieran Raynor, Cameron Pywell and Max Bennett, but with Jordan Liddell returning, Lions were fielding a virtually unchanged side.
Widnes were wearing Pink Boot laces and Goaltender Greg Ruxton had Pink Pads in aid of Breast cancer awareness month at the Silverblades Ice Rink.
Alan Levers started in the Lions nets, as Wild were first to try the view from the penalty bench, after just thirty-six seconds, with Player Coach Scott McKenzie sent for hooking.
It was an even start to the game with both teams trading attacks on goal once the initial power play was over. Then in the eighth minute, Elliot Perrin was adjudged to have cross checked his opponent, Lions Captain Luke Thomas, in trying to defend his player, upset the Lino-Ref, receiving a ten minute misconduct penalty.
Chris Gee was sent for interference on the ten minute mark, then was sent back again, thirty-three seconds after returning, this time for hooking. Two minutes later, and it was the Lions shorthanded, as Joe Gretton interfered with the play.
During the Wild Power play, Jamie Hovell had a minor altercation with Widnes’ Sheldon Cassidy, this didn’t impress the lino-refs much, as they received delay of game penalties.
Lions found themselves clear on a two man break, but as Dan Hazeldine stretched for the pass, he only put himself in the net and not the puck.
As the penalties ended another lions shot rung the post. However it wasn’t five on five for long, as Joe Humphries was called for boarding, Calum Riddick ended the power play before it began by laying into Humphries with his fists, two minutes for roughing, four on four, two and half minutes before the break.
It wasn’t long into the middle session, when Widnes netminder Ruxton tripped Pniok as he skated across in front of him. Nottingham took full advantage with their first goal of the evening. Hamish Hall directing a shot from a Thomas shot past the stranded netminder.
Four minutes later, and it was all square, with Widnes scoring the equaliser, McKenzie drawing Levers to one side of his goal, leaving broad shouldered Geoff Wigglesworth with most of the net to aim at.
Both teams traded penalties, Rob Perks, interference and Cassidy for hooking, four on four mid-way into the period. Just before the buzzer sounded, Greg Ruxton dived on a Lions forward instead of the puck, therefore being given his second penalty, this time for roughing.
Five minutes into the final session, and Lions took the lead again, with Joe Humphries lofting the puck over traffic in front of the goal following hard work from Dan Hazeldine.
A minute later saw the Widnes player coach McKenzie go for slashing, then Rob Perks for interference. Again, the teams weren’t at full strength for long, with Joe Humphries and Joe Gretton sat together in the box for tripping and interference. Widnes took a time out and after the start in play Paval Vales found himself in the box for holding the stick.
Three seconds of four on four and Widnes made it 2-2, Captain Shaun Dippnall appeared to take the puck round the back of the net, he passed the puck to the front of the net, where Wigglesworth was first to react, for his second goal of the game.
Most away teams would have capitulated at the point, five minutes from the end of the game, but not the Lions who went straight back onto the attack, it took two minutes for Nottingham’s third go-ahead goal of the game. Ondrej Pniok finding the bottom corrner of the net latching onto a pass from Elliot Perrin.
Lions then called a time out, thirty seconds later Widnes pulled their keeper managing to get the extra attacker, but it only took five seconds for Elliot Perrin to find the empty net with a looping back hand from inside his own blue line to seal the victory.
It was a great end to end hockey match that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats for the full 60 minutes.