Sheffield Senators 3 Nottingham Lions 1.

The Nottingham Lions' three-game unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday evening, after suffering a narrow defeat to local rivals Sheffield Senators at Ice Sheffield.

A solitary second period goal from Ben Wood was not enough for the Lions to take home any spoils, as they missed out on the chance to climb up to fifth in the NIHL Laidler D2 standings.

11BenWoodBen Wood netted his twelfth goal of the season for the Lions.

Head coach Matt Bradbury was unable to call upon the likes of Stuart Parker, Christy Johnson-Brown, Lee Holland and Ben Foster-Wilson but was able to welcome back Warren Gilfoyle and Eliott Perrin, who both missed out on last weekend's 7-3 home victory over the Blackburn Eagles.

Also dressing for the Lions were Under-18s Connor Glossop, Hamish Hall, Joe Humphries, Luke Evans, Joe Gretton and Kieran Raynor.

A fast-flowing and end-to-end first period failed to produce any goals, with Lions starting goalie Tom Hovell and Senators custodian Robert Browne both excelling in their creases, to keep the game deadlocked.

The best chance of the opening the scoring fell to Sheffield's Josh Gent, who with five minutes gone, struck the post after a sweeping short-handed play, caught Nottingham napping at the back.

However, it took less than two minutes of the second period for the hosts to open their account, when Gent made amends for his earlier miss to put the Senators in front.

12SlawomirKasprzakSlawomir Kasprzak takes on Sergevs Jegorovs at Ice Sheffield.

Not to be outdone, it took just five minutes for the Lions to find an equaliser, courtesy of Wood,  who finished superbly for his twelfth goal of the season, after breaking through the home defence on the right-hand side.

Nottingham's Latvian import Ivo Dimitrijevs almost gave the Lions the lead on the half-hour mark, striking the same post that Gent had dented in the first period but the scores remained tied going into the second intermission, with Tom Hovell making a string of fine saves as the period wore on, to leave the game finely balanced going into the final twenty minutes.

Nottingham had already suffered two odd-goal defeats to Sheffield this season and it looked like it might be a third, when the Senators took the advantage again on forty-four minutes, after Charles Thompson fired past Hovell, finishing off a two-on-one breakaway move.

With six minutes remaining, Luke Thomas took a slashing penalty and the home side's man advantage was quickly capitalised upon, thanks to Gent's second of the night, via an unstoppable slap shot from the point.

Bradbury's side kept on battling right to the end, with Connor Glossop's wicked shot rebounding off the Sheffield metalwork on fifty-eight minutes but the South Yorkshiremen hung on to claim their third win of the campaign against Nottingham.

WallisMOTMAwardCraig Wallis picked up another well-deserved Man Of The Match award.

A Lions Radio post game interview with Matt Bradbury can be heard by clicking here.

The Lions now quickly return home to the National Ice Centre, to take on the Senators again on Sunday night (7.30pm). More local pride is at stake, as Nottingham look to take advantage of their last chance to take points off an already promoted Sheffield side. Ticket details are available by clicking here.

Photos are courtesy of Ed Chappell.

Match Stats:

Ben Wood 1+0, Slawomir Kasprzak 0+1, Luke Thomas 0+1.

Period Scores: 1st 0-0, 2nd 1-1, 3rd 2-0.

Shots: 1st 15-5, 2nd 13-11, 3rd 14-9. Total 42-25.

Penalty Mins: 1st 6-4, 2nd 2-2, 3rd 10-22. Total 18-28.

Lions MOTM: Craig Wallis. 

Saturday, 21 March 2015.
Simon Ball-McQueen - Media Manager