The Nottingham Lions were heavily out-shot on their way to a 6-2 defeat to the Sheffield Steeldogs last night in Sheffield, despite netminder Tom Hovell having a greater save percentage than his counterpart.

The Lions started strongly as they have so often done in games this season and they took the lead inside the first two and half minutes when Joe Humphries found the twine from the assist of Cameron Pywell at 2.23. The lead only last five minutes thugh when, with Ondrej Pniok in the box for interference, Adrian Palak was the first of the Steeldogs to beat Hovell when he scored on the powerplay from Andrew Hirst and Lewis Bell at 7.30. Both sides took another two-minute penalty in the first period but both of these were successfully killed off and the sides went in at the end of 20 minutes of play level at one each.


The second period started even faster than the first had with the Steeldogs taking the lead inside the first minute of play. James Spurr was the man to get his name on the scoresheet this time from the assists of Ben Morgan and Milan Kolena at 20.45, but it was only 90 seconds later that the Lions were back level again. Joe Humphries got his second point of the net when he and Adz Andrews assisted Jakub Pniok at 22.20 to tie the game up at two. In this back and forth game between the two sides the Lions were only level for two and a half minutes before Sheffield were back in front. Ben Morgan the scorer this time on exactly 25 minutes assisted by Hirst and Cameron Brownley.

The game settled down after that initial flurry of goals at the start of the second period and both teams stayed out of the box for the remainder of the middle stanza. The scoring wasn’t over though as the Steeldogs went into the break at the end of forty minutes two goals to the good following Spurr’s second goal of the night from Kolena and Thomas Relf at 33.09.


The third period was a case of nothing, nothing, nothing, everything. The first thirteen minutes went by without goals or penalties but then the final seven minutes of play contained two goals and 41 minutes of penalties. The goals came first with two in the space of seventeen seconds for the Steeldogs. Firstly Joe Cross put a marker on the board from the assists of Charles Thompson and Adrian Palak at 53.18 before Spurr completed his hat-trick at 53.35 from Lloyd Gibson’s and Milan Kolena’s assists.

The final five minutes saw a flurry of penalties as the tension between both sides rose. Firstly Luke Wilson took two minutes for roughing at 55.37 before Kolena was also given a two minute minor for interference at 56.38. Then with exactly three minutes to go Lewis Bell and Joe Humphries dropped the gloves with Bell receiving a 2+2+2 for roughing and Humphries receiving a 2+2 roughing penalty. Ben Wilson also received a match penalty during the delay caused by the fight. Ondrej Pniok would be the last player to sit when he was given an interference penalty at 57.50 but that would prove to be the last event of the game as the Steeldogs came away as winners.

Tom Hovell finished with six goals against from 49 shots faced giving him a save percentage of 87.76%, whilst Brandon Stones in the Steeldogs net faced 16 shots conceding two for a save percentage of 87.5%.


The Lions now return home to the National Ice Centre for a three game home stand starting this Sunday as we welcome the Whitley Warriors for a 6pm face-off. It’s half term week so bring the whole family down to join the pride and roar on the Lions!

Monday, 16 October 2017.
Chris Gadsby