Sheffield Senators 4 Nottingham Lions 1.
The Sheffield Senators took home the local bragging rights, beating the Nottingham Lions for the first time in eight attempts at Ice Sheffield on Sunday afternoon.
The Lions were still on a high after the previous night’s narrow 1-0 win over the Jets at Hull Arena but couldn’t prevent a determined Senators side from finally breaking their Nottingham duck.
As with the previous night, the Lions were missing Rob Perks, Christy Johnson-Brown, Cameron Good and Joe Wightman. Connor Glossop also missed out due to his Under-18 duties.
The opening twenty minutes ended in a 1-1 tie with the officials doing their best to keep on top of a bad-tempered period, which saw frequent visits to the penalty box for both sides.
Just like in Hull the night before, it was the Lions and Luke Branin who opened the scoring, when the American received a Stephen Breisner pass in the neutral zone and headed straight for the Senators’ net, leaving two defenseman trailing in his wake, before coolly slotting the puck past Sheffield goalie Mark Hartley.
Former Lion Jonny Bell and Joseph Steeples then came to blows minutes later but both players simultaneously lost their footing before either combatant could land a deciding punch.
The hosts then found their equaliser on fourteen minutes through Tom Proctor, whose bullet of shot from the point, gave Alan Levers no chance of replicating his previous night’s shut out.
A scrappy second period was to follow, which saw Nottingham compete well but struggle for opportunities up front.
Sheffield seemed to have the Lions forward lines under control for the most part and looked the more likely to score, which they did on twenty-eight minutes through Latvian Sergevs Jegorovs.
Matt Bradbury’s men certainly didn’t let their heads drop and despite still finding it difficult to break down the Senators defence and there was still plenty of hope that they could turn around the scoreline in the final period.
The Lions came out in the third with renewed vigour, even though they had already endured five periods of highly competitive hockey in under twenty-four hours.
They out shot their hosts 17-7 in the period but were left unrewarded for their efforts thanks to the heroics of Hartley in the Sheffield goal and the outstanding individual skill of Jegorovs, whose goal on fifty minutes, followed eight minutes later by a short-handed effort, completed his hat trick and rounded off an disappointing afternoon for Nottingham.
In the end, Bradbury’s men had to settle for two points from a possible four over the weekend but with the most important game in terms of play off qualification being won on Saturday, Nottingham won’t be losing too much sleep over a derby defeat, this time around.
Next Sunday (16th February) sees the Lions return to the National Ice Centre, as they plot their revenge against the Widnes Wild (7.30pm), who subjected Nottingham to a surprising 5-1 defeat at Silverblades Ice Rink just four weeks earlier. Ticket details are available by clicking here.
Luke Branin 1+0, Stephen Breisner 0+1, Luke Thomas 0+1.
Period Scores: 1st 1-1, 2nd 1-0, 3rd 2-0.
Shots: 1st 7-11, 2nd 14-5, 3rd 7-17. Total: 28-33.
Penalty Mins: 1st 36-20, 2nd 2-12, 3rd 16-6. Total: 54-38.
Lions MOTM: Jamie Hovell.