Blackburn Hawks 6 Nottingham Lions 2

Lancashire beckoned for the Lions as they met with the Hawks at the Blackburn Ice Arena for the first time this season.

The home side were coming into the game on the back of back-to-back wins in the league and cup and full of confidence, no doubt boosted by the recent addition of their Finnish import forward Sami Narkia.

The visitors were hoping to bounce back from last Sunday’s 7-1 home defeat to table-topping Billingham Stars.

Unfortunately the Lions didn’t get off to the start they’d hoped for, some of their play was at times lacklustre and a lack of concentration in their own defensive zone gifted the Hawks a three-goal first period lead though Richard Ravey (02.29), Richard Hughes (07.24) and player-coach Jared Owen (16.52).

The Lions came out in the second more focused and more determined – and soon found a way past Blackburn goalie Daniel Brittle courtesy of Ben Wood (33.48). However, they were unable to to prevent two more goals for the Hawks through Matthew Viney (35.32) and a second for Richard Hughes (38.27). Nick Whyatt was able to grab a goal six seconds from the end of the period (39.54) to give the Lions hope with only a three goal deficit to make-up going into the third.

Lions netminder Richard Griffiths made a string of spectacular saves, including a marvellous one-on-one stop on Narkia to keep the Lions in the game during the third but Arnone scored the only goal of the period for the Hawks (51.45) and the home side took both points with a 6-2 victory.

Overall a disappointing first period meant the Lions we’re always playing catch-up. An improvement in the remaining periods kept the score respectable and showed that if they can have the right mental attitude from the outset Notttingham could be a match for any team in this league.

Check out Lions TV later this evening for interviews with Lions Head Coach Matt Bradbury and netminder Richard Griffiths as well as Blackburn’s Jared Owen and Scott Glover.

Next up for the Lions, an away trip to Billingham Stars next Sunday (27th November)

Match Stats:

Ben Wood 1+0, Nick Whyatt 1+0, Jack Baveystock 0+1, Chris Colegate 0+1.

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

Shots on Goal – Hawks 37 Lions 25.

Penalty Mins – 1st 2-0, 2nd 2-4, 3rd 2-0. Total 6-4.

Man of The Match – Richard Griffiths.

Monday, 21 November 2011.