Widnes Wild 3 Nottingham Lions 1.
The Nottingham Lions went down to a frustrating 3-1 defeat by the Widnes Wild at Silverblades Ice Rink on Saturday night.
Craig Wallis tussles with a Widnes player in front of the Wild net.
A first period Connor Glossop equaliser proved not to be enough for the Lions, who pushed for a game-tying goal right to the death before conceding an empty-net effort, with less than a minute remaining.
The Lions were hoping to build on last Sunday's impressive 7-1 home win over Hull Jets, whilst the Wild were aiming to bounce back from consecutive away defeats to the league's top two sides Solihull and Sheffield.
Nottingham could only name fourteen skaters and two netminders on their teamsheet, with seniors Reece Glossop, Sam Illsley, Ben Wood, Slawomir Kasprzak, Dan Hazeldine, Christy-Johnson Brown and Stuart Parker all unavailable. However, Matt Bradbury was able to welcome back junior players Connor Glossop, Cameron Pywell, Hamish Hall, Luke Evans and Joe Gretton, who all missed last weekend's big win over the Jets, on Under-18s duty in Whitley Bay.
The Lions found themselves 5-0 ahead inside the opening ten minutes of last Sunday's game but there was not to be a repeat of that this time around, as the hosts took the lead after five minutes courtesy of Ken Armstrong.
But in what was an end-to-end, even period, the Lions were rewarded for their efforts on thirteen minutes, when promising young forward Connor Glossop skated past three Wild jerseys before slotting the puck in the back of the Widnes net, for the equalising goal.
Connor Glossop scored his fifth goal of the season.
More of the same was to follow in the second period, with both teams having good chances to take the lead before the Wild restored their advantage just after the game's halfway mark, when Filip Supa found the net following a scramble of sticks and bodies in-front of Tom Hovell's net.
Despite the setback, the young goalie remained calm and composed during the following five minutes of relentless Widnes dominance, as he and his teammates had to soak up the first proper, prolonged spell of pressure from either side in the game.
Nottingham did find their feet again in the final few minutes before the second intermission but were unable to find a way past Wild goalie Greg Ruxton, as the score remained 2-1 going into the final twenty minutes of play.
The Lions took control of the third period, keeping the puck well but despite dominating the possession for the most part , they struggled to find a way through to goal and when they did, Wild's Man Of The Match Ruxton was equal to anything Nottingham threw at him.
As minutes turned to seconds, Hovell was pulled from the Lions' net for the extra skater but sadly, the gamble did not pay off as Shaun Dippnall ended any hopes of a late comeback, with a simple tap into the empty net.
Tom Hovell stopped 43 of the 45 shots taken against him.
The result means that Widnes now leap-frog Nottingham in the Laidler D2 standings and leaves the Lions eager to pick up some points from Sunday afternoon's (23rd November)local derby clash, as they make the short journey up the M1 to take on second-placed Sheffield Senators at Ice Sheffield (4.30pm). Ticket details are available by clicking here.
Connor Glossop 1+0, Luke Thomas 0+1, Hamish Hall 0+1.
Period Scores: 1st 1-1, 2nd 1-0, 3rd 1-0.
Shots: 1st 19-11, 2nd 14-13, 3rd 13-10. Total 46-34.
Penalty Mins: 1st 0-0, 2nd 4-2, 3rd 4-2. Total 8-4.
Lions MOTM: Connor Glossop.