The Lions take to the road and head off to Altrincham for their third meeting of the 2016/17 season.
The Lions camp, at times, must be wondering when they will be playing other team than those seeking top spot this season. The only team avoided by the Lions to date in the top echelon are the Widnes Wild so a tough old start to the Lions campaign. This is not to downgrade any of the other teams in the Laidler Conference but even before this season commenced potential winners were being identified and Nottingham among others were not in the frame although the Lions were viewed as potential banana skins to the favourites.
Every season sees the Lions rebuilding with players coming, in the main, from the junior club and with few if any recruited from outside of the club. With the assistance of the coaches and senior players the process of further development commences for the youngsters who have to learn fast to make their mark.
Ahead of the game Head Coach Matt Bradbury spoke about the teams progress so far this season - "We're really pleased with every players contribution so far this season. We have been working hard on our systems in training and ensuring every player has the confidence in themselves and each other on the ice. Going to Altrincham today will be another stern test and I know the boys are keen to make amends for our tight loss in their barn at the start of the season."
A slow start is the usual reaction as the team settles but to date the Lions have played three of the recognised front runners and missed out by the odd goal in a couple of games and an empty netter giving the team’s next opponent, the Aces, a two goal winning margin.
On the Altrincham Aces first visit to Nottingham the situation was reversed with the Lions winning the game 6-4 but not without the Aces racing into a three goal lead and the Lions having to dig deep and claw their way back into the game before eventually taking the points.
The pattern of last season came to mind as these two fought some classic games and all of them could have swung either way. As it turned out each team shared the spoils, games wise, with the Aces nicking the series by the odd goal.
Always difficult to grind out a positive result up at Altrincham but the Lions go there knowing that they have the ability to grab a point or two whilst also being well aware that the Aces have the resources to thwart whatever ambitions the Lions might have on the night.
A fast and physical affair between these two is guaranteed with a full sixty minutes of action and commitment required to earn any points in this game.
Face off this evening is at 6.00pm