October was a relativity quiet month for the Lions, with a big three-week break in their fixture schedule before they traveled to North Wales to take on the Deeside Dragons on the 21st.
Matt Bradbury’s men used this downtime as a good opportunity to work on tactics and fitness levels in training.
Alongside this, the unusually large break was also used to good effect, as the Lions entertained some of their sponsors and partners at a special Media Night at Frankie & Benny’s in the city centre.
Players and off-ice officials gathered at the Upper Parliament Street branch of the popular restaurant for a special evening involving staff and students from Central College Nottingham alongside special guests Capital FM’s ‘Capital Breakfast’ show presenters Dino and Pete.
The gathering was designed to give students from Central College Nottingham an opportunity to interview a selection of the Lions players and staff as part of their work for their Sports Media courses. Captain Luke Thomas, American import Luke Branin and Head Coach Matt Bradbury were among lucky few who were chosen for some post-food chat amidst friendly, bustling environment of the New York Italian Restaurant and Bar.
The special evening also gave the players and the off-ice team a chance to get together and socialise outside of their normal hockey routines as well as the opportunity to mingle with some of their other sponsors and partners from the likes of Ice Locker, Blue Bell Hill Trust and Frankie & Benny’s.
The Lions’ first big away test at Deeside Ice Arena soon came around and saw Nottingham come away with a very creditable 3-3 tie. After finding themselves 3-1 down with fifteen minutes to go, late goals from Ben Wood and Ollie Betteridge ensured the points were shared.
Seven days later, the Lions once again came from behind to get a result, as they clawed back a three-goal deficit, thanks to four goals from Joe Wightman and a hat-trick from Ollie Betteridge, to overcome the high-flying Sheffield Senators 7-5 at the National Ice Centre.
These two scorelines not only helped the Lions’ own self-belief that promotion was very much a realistic aim but also sent a strong message out to the rest of the league that even when behind, Nottingham could not be written off.