The 2015/16 season is drawing to a close with first and second places in the Laidler Conference decided. Positions three and four could very well be finalised with the meeting between the Eagles and the Lions.
These two teams have had closely fought games in the three meetings to date with only single goals deciding the winners, the most recent being the 2-1 home win for the Eagles a couple of weeks ago.
The Lions have to again travel to Blackburn for this crucial game with all to play for as whoever wins will be up against Widnes Wild in the semis of the playoffs with the loser meeting the Laidler Champions, the Deeside Dragons. Now it would be true to say that the Lions have had the better results against both the Dragons and the Wild this season whilst the Eagles have struggled somewhat to come to terms in their games against the top two. It might also be true to say that given that situation that the Eagles might desperately want to avoid the Dragons in the semis?
The Lions have no real preference regarding to who they meet although their results have been better against the Wild than the Dragons but the Lions have made the Dragons feel the bitter taste of defeat something that up to now no other team has achieved.
The big questions for Saturday are, will the Eagles soar, or will they crash and burn? Will the Lions be rampant, or left licking their wounds?
These questions will be answered on Saturday up at the Eagles nest.
Following the play offs at Sheffield it looks like Widnes Wild will play off against the Sheffield Spartans in the hope of gaining promotion to the Moralee Conference. As the Sheffield Senators, after a treacherous season, in the Moralee Conference return to the Laidler Conference they just might be joined by the Spartans if they lose out to the Wild.
The play offs in Sheffield on 9th-10th April offer a whole weekend of first class entertainment with four teams from both the Moralee and Laidler Conferences deciding their play off champions.
One thing, I think is guaranteed, that there will be plenty of effort from all of the teams and probably a good deal of ‘old time’ really competitive hockey on offer.
The final Lions home league game last Sunday started at a cracking pace with the home team racing into a four goal lead against the Coventry Blaze but following that initial onslaught the game faltered somewhat. The next two periods were both tied with the Lions winning the game 5-1. The Blaze did make a game of it and with a change of netminder that certainly kept the Lions at bay with some good saves. Stuart Parker grabbed a couple along with Connor Glossop, and Rob Perks added the other goal. Some hard work by the defensive unit kept the game tight at the back and the support work by the forwards certainly helped in a controlled but steady win.