Four points are available to the Nottingham Lions this weekend.
On Saturday the Lions’ pride hit the road to Telford Arena to face the Tigers before returning to Nottingham on Sunday, to face the Widnes Wild at the National Ice Centre in more NIHL Laidler D2 action.
Ben Wood in action against Widnes Wild at the NIC last season.
Lions will be looking to put a series of recent narrow defeats in the rear view mirror . A characterful comeback against the Hull Jets last weekend saw a four goal deficit turned over only to be denied in a tight, hard-fought 5-4 loss. It was a glimpse of what Matt Bradbury’s team are capable of and left plenty of positives to draw from, going into the four point weekend.
Absent from the Lions line up last Saturday was forward Slawomir Kasprzak, alongside defenceman Lee Holland and Adam Andrews. All three could potentially ice this weekend giving Nottingham a much needed boost in numbers.
It will be no easy task taking points from either of the weekend’s opponents. Telford Tigers have earned a respectable eight points from a possible ten putting them second in the table, with their only loss coming at the hands of league leaders Solihull Barons.
With no previous encounters between the Lions and Tigers both teams will need to make an impression early to take control of the game. The first period will be critical to the Lions especially as slow starts have hampered the road to victory on several occasions this season.
Though icing a roster full of home grown talent, one face may be familiar to some of the Lions. Young goalie Steve Lickman could be between the pipes for the Tigers, the custodian spent a year of his development with Nottingham Jaguars in 2011/12.
Before the dust has the chance to settle, the following day sees the Lions lace their skates once again to take on the Widnes Wild at the NIC. Last season’s record against the Wild was a mixed affair - a win, a draw and two losses were on the board by the end of the 2013/14 campaign.
Sunday will mark the maiden encounter of the Wild and the Lions this season. Varied fortunes has been the story of their season so far, taking two wins and two draws from their first four games. They will be facing the Lions on Sunday as part of their own bid for a four point weekend, they host the Sheffield Senators at the Silver Blades Ice Rink on Saturday before their journey to the NIC.
The Widnes Wild boosted their development prospects recently with an official affiliation with the Sheffield Steeldogs of the English Premier League. GB women’s international goalie Nicole Jackson is the first Wild player to sign an exciting two-way deal. The deal allows Nicole to play at the WEPL, EPL and the NIHL level. At present Nicole is with the Wild and could visit the NIC on Sunday to backstop her team against the Lions.
An exciting weekend of hockey await the Lions’ pride. Ticket details for the Telford clash are available here, face off is 17:30 on Saturday evening. For Sunday's home game at the NIC against the Wild, details are available here, face off is at 19:30.