It was a mixed weekend of results for the Nottingham Lions with jubilation on Saturday after a fantastic 3-2 road win against the Whitley Warriors, followed by the biggest defeat of the season on Sunday evening.
Saturday night started quickly with the Warriors taking the early lead at 3.14 when Phillip Edgar scored from the assists of David Longstaff and Jordan Barnes, only for the Lions to get it right back just two minutes later on the powerplay. With Shaun Kippin taking a 2 minute penalty for boarding and a 2+2 for roughing alongside Joseph Gretton of the Lions, it took the visitors only 16 seconds on the powerplay to tie the game up with Jakub Pniok and Joe Aston assisting Marc Levers at 5.26.
In the second period it took the Lions only 44 seconds to take the lead when Aston this time turned scorer from Gretton’s assist, and they doubled their advantage with just eight seconds of the period remaining with Aston getting his second from Levers and Gretton again. The game was set up perfectly for the Lions but it had a nervous finish when the Warriors scored a powerplay goal with seven and a half minutes remaining. With the Lions serving two minutes for too many men on the ice Daniel Pye brought the home side to within one from Martin Crammond and Philip Edgar’s assists, but Matt Bradbury’s side held on to claim a vital two points in the Moralee League.
END OF THE GAME: WHITLEY WARRIORS 2 – 3 NOTTINGHAM LIONS
The Lions returned home on Sunday evening for another meeting with the Solway Sharks who had been victorious in both the previous meetings between the two sides so far this season. The opening period was an evenly matched affair with both sides having chances. The deadlock was only broken with two and a half minutes remaining in the first period. Duncan Speirs scored the goal with assists from Marek Charvet and Kyle Horne, the Lions unlucky to go in at the break a goal behind.
The start of the second period was one to forget for the Lions with three Solway goals coming within the first two and a half minutes. Their second came thirteen seconds into the period when Steven Moore scored his first of the night from Charvet’s assist before just over a minute later Kyle Horne put the third on the board unassisted. Then, at 22.13 Joe Coulter put a fourth past Tom Hovell from the assist of Speirs. The Lions were rattled and it got even worse when Moore scored his second of the night at 28.30 from the assists of Daniel Abercrombie and Ross Murray.
Murray then sat for two minutes for a high stick at 32.57 and the night took another turn for the worse for the Lions as the Sharks scored shorthanded with Moore getting his hat-trick from Horne’s assist at 34.17. The home side did pull one back seven seconds later to make it 6-1 when Connor Glossop found the net for the Lions only goal of the night on the powerplay, Joe Humphries with the assist. Despite seven goals being scored in the second period alone that wasn’t to be the last mark the scorers would make on their scoresheet before the 40 minute mark as the Sharks restored their six goal advantage at 36.10 with Vaclav Kolarik being assisted from Speirs and Coulter to make it 7-1 at the end of the second period.
The third period passed with very little incident until the game entered the final five minutes when the Sharks turned the screw yet again and seemed determined to take the scoreboard into double digits. At 55.01 Scott Henderson added his name to the scoresheet with a goal from netminder Calum Hepburn’s assist before 26 seconds later Ross Murray got his second point of the night as he rounded off the scoring at 55.27 from the assists of Abercrombie and Moore.
END OF THE GAME: NOTTINGHAM LIONS 1 – 9 SOLWAY SHARKS
Overall a positive Saturday for the Lions spoiled by Sunday night’s result but final scores from elsewhere mean that the Lions now have a two point gap over Deeside at the bottom of the table ahead of the fixture next Sunday night against the Telford Tigers at the National Ice Centre, face-off is at 7.30pm.